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9+ Works 2,161 Membros 74 Críticas

About the Author

Bee Wilson is an acclaimed food writer, historian, and author. The author of numerous books, including Consider the Fork, Wilson lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Obras por Bee Wilson

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum



If you like cooking and history this is a fun book to read.
MorrisHagerman | 54 outras críticas | Mar 13, 2024 |
This book by Bee Wilson deserves a wide audience. When I was a younger person working in the food-processing industry, I pushed the claims of my organization. However, since then, I have learned to eat natural food, freshly cooked.

I have several books on this topic, so much of her material is familiar. However, she has done excellent research and covers countries spanning several continents, unlike many authors.

The book's organization is excellent, and I like her even tone throughout the text. The pitfalls of cheap, easy, processed food should be public knowledge and good eating habits. She also wrote about our low attention to food these days: we often wolf down our food or eat while looking at a screen. Similarly, she dissects the issues with 'liquid food,' which is becoming popular.

If you don't savor your food, you have lost half the battle to a good life and health. Bee Wilson makes this point with grace and subtlety.

This book is excellent. Read it.
… (mais)
RajivC | 4 outras críticas | Feb 29, 2024 |
*3.7, rounded up*

It is refreshing to take a look at food history in terms of technology and think about wooden spoons as tech innovations.

“Traditional histories of technology do not pay much attention to food... But there is just as much invention in a nutcracker as in a bullet.” Amen to that!

There are lots of interesting things packed into this book:

- Cooking in pots is one of the greatest innovations; it meant making food you didn’t have to chew, which meant that people without teeth survived, and more things became edible.
- Why did Victorians boil their vegetables for so long? Well, they found out that simmering and boiling water have the same temperature. Simmering uses less fuel, though, so Victorians simmered ☺ Boiling water transfers heat to the food faster, though, so things cooked slower in simmering water. Also, vegetables were less tender in those days. Bless my nerdy heart.
- Your knife was one of your most treasured possessions during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. You did not eat with another person’s knife. It simply wasn’t done!
- I am curious about that pancake recipe from 1672, “so crisp you can set them upright”. Basically, you make pancakes and then boil them in lard. Lard! It’s probably delicious and definitely horrifyingly unhealthy.
- Much of technological conservatism in food history is explained by availability of labour. Why invent stuff when you had servants?
- Our “ideal kitchen” is a relatively recent and Western invention:
“From the 1940’s onward, the ideal kitchens were dangled above women’s noses as a treat: a compensation for a life of drudgery or part of sleight of hand that told them how lucky they were to be unpaid ‘homemakers’.

These were dollhouses for grown women, packed with the maximum number of trinkets. The aim was not to save labor but to make the laborers forget they were working.”

But, but, but:

Please be aware that this book is very Western-centric. I understand that it is necessary, otherwise you would need to write volumes and volumes. But it is kind of strange to see that the US, Great Britain, and France exist, and then there are such countries as China, India, Lebanon, and maybe Japan out there somewhere. There is no indication that the author is aware of this. The title becomes misleading.

Also, I found the author anecdotes distracting and unnecessary. I was bored by the discussion of relative merits of Le Creuset, Tefal, and cast-iron pans – there are places on the Internet I can go to for this sort of thing.
At least now I know how to take better care of my lovely cast-iron pan ;)
… (mais)
Alexandra_book_life | 54 outras críticas | Dec 15, 2023 |
Abandoned at 67%. This book might have landed better with me in 2012, but a decade later it just feels like a breezy (and Anglo-centric) recap of stuff I've been reading about for years.
mmparker | 54 outras críticas | Oct 24, 2023 |



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