Jean-Louis Flandrin, Jane Cobbi

Meals of the Past, Meals of the World Publication date : August 1, 1999

That historians would be interested in eating is hardly something new. But in the past, they tended to take a more quantitative approach. Here the emphasis is placed more on the cultural aspects of eating as the authors make an inventory of what our ancestors ate, when, how, and of what sorts of ideas and representations influenced their choices. They have thus created a true history of taste and of its transformations, as well as of the social practices linked to the meal.
Without limiting themselves to the Western tradition, this study examines the analyses of ethnologists and anthropologists of other cultures as well: Islamic, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Thai, and African.
This is a rigorous introduction to the history of taste that the reader will want to savor.

Jean-Louis Flandrin is a historian. Jane Cobbi is an anthropologist.