Book Review: Food around the World
Book Review: Food Around the World
by Margaret McWilliams
About the Book:
Food Around the World: A Cultural Perspective is a unique and fascinating text examining the geography, history, economic, religious, and cultural factors influencing food consumption and availability.
This is actually a text book for students that examines cultural food patterns and fosters an appreciation for various regions, nations, and cuisines. Chapters explore how and why different regions developed their unique cuisines and include recipes from each region.
Eating organic isn’t a trend. It’s a return to tradition.
– Margaret McWilliams
Why I liked this book:
This book is a keeper on my bookshelf as a research guide for my travels.
Food Around The World is a textbook first published in 2002 and updated with content and additional chapters on new regions researched. The 2015 edition is now in it’s 4th edition.
The book is well organized by region and includes pertinent cultural information including a brief political and religious history. This information along with detail of local food supplies gives context for why different food elements may be prevalent in the region.
Most relevant for me as a traveler, it provides a list of traditional foods including their history an often pictures. I always make a list of traditional foods to try in country and this book made my research all the easier.
My family and I had a fun time playing a new game called “Would you eat this?”. One person would say the traditional food name and you had to say if you would eat it or not. We would then read out the list of ingredients. Stomach and innards were not high on our lists. We were also surprised at how many ways you can fix potatoes.
The book also contains some of these traditional recipes in case you want to try it at home.
The 4th edition book is rather expensive (~$140) and can be rented at a lower rate (~$60). I chose to purchase the 3rd edition (the 4th edition was updated to include Canada) from a second hand retailer for under $10 including shipping.
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