Food Fights and Culture Wars

Food Fights and Culture Wars

A Secret History of Taste

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In this eclectic book of food history, Tom Nealon takes on such overlooked themes as carp and the Crusades, brown sauce and Byron, and chillies and cannibalism, and suggests that hunger and taste are the twin forces that secretly defined the course of civilization. Through war and plague, revolution and migration, people have always had to eat. What and how they ate provoked culinary upheaval around the world as ingredients were traded and fought over, and populations desperately walked the line between satiety and starvation.Parallel to the history books, a second, more obscure history was also being recorded in the cookbooks of the time, which charted the evolution of meals and the transmission of ingredients around the world. Food Fights and Culture Wars: A Secret History of Taste explores the mysteries at the intersection of food and society, and attempts to make sense of the curious area between fact and fiction.Beautifully illustrated with material from the collection of the British Library, this wide-ranging book addresses some of the fascinating, forgotten stories behind everyday dishes and processes. Among many conspiracies and controversies, the author meditates on the connections between the French Revolution and table settings, food thickness and colonialism, and lemonade and the Black Plague.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Overlook Press,, 2017
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9781468314410
Characteristics: 223 pages :,illustrations (some colour), maps (some colour)
Alternative Title: Food fights & culture wars


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 27, 2018

Well, the idea is a good one and starts out well. The photo plates are wonderful and would make a book by themselves. Then, he starts to invent history. Maybe some of his theories need checking out -- does chocolate fuel our aggressive natures, or not? Was Paris saved from the plague by lemonade?

Apr 09, 2018

I’m a bit . the fence on that one. The author starts out great with so much detail on food, culinary history, food fads, etc but he seems to run out of steam in the last quarter of the book. Fun read, still

robertafsmith May 02, 2017

Roberta's Pick: This is a rollicking good read about food and taste and history. It is lavishly illustrated with 122 stunning colour plates and full of delicious nuggets of information. Let's start with the author who tried to cook every food ever mentioned in the Canterbury Tales (c1390). Do not be put off by the cover! Staff Pickles.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top