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Dinner with Darwin : food, drink, and evolution

Author: Jonathan W Silvertown
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2017. ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
What do eggs, flour, and milk have in common? They form the basis of crepes of course, but they also each have an evolutionary purpose. Eggs, seeds (from which flour is derived by grinding) and milk are each designed by evolution to nourish offspring. Everything we eat has an evolutionary history. Grocery shelves and restaurant menus are bounteous evidence of evolution at work, though the label on the poultry will  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Nonfiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan W Silvertown
ISBN: 9780226245393 022624539X
OCLC Number: 973383817
Description: 232 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Contents: An invitation to dinner --
A cooking animal --
Shellfish-beachcombing --
Bread-domestication --
Soup-taste --
Fish-flavor --
Meat-carnivory --
Vegetables-variety --
Herbs and spices-piquancy --
Desserts-indulgence --
Cheese-dairying --
Wine and beer-intoxication --
Feasting-society --
Future food.
Responsibility: Jonathan Silvertown.

Abstract:

What do eggs, flour, and milk have in common? They form the basis of crepes of course, but they also each have an evolutionary purpose. Eggs, seeds (from which flour is derived by grinding) and milk are each designed by evolution to nourish offspring. Everything we eat has an evolutionary history. Grocery shelves and restaurant menus are bounteous evidence of evolution at work, though the label on the poultry will not remind us of this with a Jurassic sell-by date, nor will the signs in the produce aisle betray the fact that corn has a 5,000 year history of artificial selection by pre-Colombian Americans. Any shopping list, each recipe, every menu and all ingredients can be used to create culinary and gastronomic magic, but can also each tell a story about natural selection, and its influence on our plates--and palates. Join in for multiple courses, for a tour of evolutionary gastronomy that helps us understand the shape of our diets, and the trajectories of the foods that have been central to them over centuries--from spirits to spices. This literary repast also looks at the science of our interaction with foods and cooking--the sights, the smells, the tastes. The menu has its eclectic components, just as any chef is entitled. But while it is not a comprehensive work which might risk gluttony, this is more than an amuse bouche, and will leave every reader hungry for more.
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"A series of beautifully plated amuse-bouche, raising tantalizing and rich ideas. . . . The book left me feeling as if I had attended a dinner party, where foodies, historians, and scientists Read more...

 
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