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I have been in love with this book since forever. It's really what started my interest in the history of food. I know some people might find the subject repetitive or boring, but I am not one of those people.
Regarding the narration, it's great.
This book isn't exactly a page-turner, but it hits every note I'm looking for.
And also, when I can't sleep, this is what I put on. It is warm and comforting, like being read to at night when I was a little kid. I own it in paperback, Kindle, and Audible.
What did you love best about Much Depends on Dinner?
Wonderful. Margaret Visser posits a dinner (corn, butter, rice, chicken, ice cream, salad with olive oil and lemon) and then provides a sweeping historical and anthropological view of each component. She not only provides a fascinating, even enthralling, history, but also explores the mythological significance of each food and its role in politics and even war.
What did you like best about this story?
It is so fact-rich that with another author, it might sink under its own weight, but Visser’s charming, open style pulls you along. Ice cream is not just ice cream; it’s a history of thermodynamics. Rice is not just rice, it’s the story of political organization. Corn is not just corn; it’s the rise of industrial food.
What does Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Toren was the perfect narrator for this. She took what might have been a fact-heavy book and turned it into a fascinating story, pulling you along from fact to fact as if each tidbit was a revelation. She was wonderful.
Any additional comments?
Published in 1985, it’s slightly dated and should be read in conjunction with Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which takes the history and anthropology and adds a moral core. Absolutely wonderful and highly recommended.
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