A staple of the food-writing genre that prefigured the current locavore and foodist movements by almost two decades, Margaret Visser’s Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat, and a cornucopia of incredible details about the ways we do it. Presented as a meal, each chapter of Much Depends on Dinner represents a different course or garnish, which Margaret Visser handpicks from the most ordinary American dinner: corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream. Visser tells the story behind each of these foods and in the course of her inquiries reveals some unexpected treats: the history of Corn Flakes; the secret behind the more dissatisfactory California olives (they’re picked green, chemically blackened, and sterilized); and the fact that, in Africa, citrus fruits are eaten whole, rind and all. For food lovers of all kinds, this intelligent and unexpectedly funny book is a treasure of information that sheds light on one of our favorite pastimes: eating.
About the author
Margaret Visser writes on the history, anthropology, and mythology of everyday life. Her most recent book is The Gift of Thanks, published by HarperCollins. Her previous books, Much Depends on Dinner, The Rituals of Dinner, The Way We Are, and The Geometry of Love, have all been best sellers and have won major international awards, including the Glenfiddich Award for Foodbook of the Year in Britain in 1989, the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Literary Food Writing Award, and the Jane Grigson Award. In 2002 she gave the Massey Lectures on CBC radio, subsequently published as the best-selling book, Beyond Fate. Her books have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. She appears frequently on radio and television, and has lectured extensively in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. She divides her time between Toronto, Paris, and South West France.
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