Food in World History: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Food in World History

1st Edition

By Jeffrey M. Pilcher


144 pages

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Paperback: 9780415311465
pub: 2005-10-18
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pub: 2008-10-09
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Providing a comparative and comprehensive study of culinary cultures and consumption throughout the world from ancient times to present day, this book examines the globalization of food and explores the political, social and environmental implications of our changing relationship with food.

Including numerous case studies from diverse societies and periods, Food in World History examines and focuses on:

  • how food was used to forge national identities in Latin America
  • the influence of Italian and Chinese Diaspora on the US and Latin America food culture
  • how food was fractured along class lines in the French bourgeois restaurant culture and working class cafes
  • the results of state intervention in food production
  • how the impact of genetic modification and food crises has affected the relationship between consumer and product.

This concise and readable survey not only presents a simple history of food and its consumption, but also provides a unique examination of world history itself.


'This is a solid little book that does an admirable job of incorporating a good deal of recent scholarship on food and foodways in a succinct and accessible fashion … Food in World History is a welcome addition to the literature on early modern and modern food history, both for its conciseness and its solidly global approach.' - Eric R. Dursteler, Brigham Young University in Canadian Journal of History, spring-summer 2008

Table of Contents

1. The First World Cuisine Part 1: The Ingredients of Change 2. The Columbian Exchange 3. Sugar, Spice, and Blood 4. Nouvelles Cuisines 5. Moral and Political Economies Part 2: The Taste of Modernity 6. The Industrial Kitchen 7. Cuisine and Nation-Building 8. Empires of Food 9. Migrant Cuisines Part 3: The Global Palate 10. Guns and Butter 11. The Green Revolution 12. McDonaldization and its Discontents 13. Culinary Pluralism

About the Series

Themes in World History

The Themes in World History series provides exciting, new and wide-ranging surveys of the important themes of world history. Each theme is examined over a broad period of time allowing analysis of continuities and change, and introduces students to historians' methods and debates in their context.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General