Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat
Food writer and historian Bee Wilson delves into the lineage of the cookware, utensils and appliances in Consider the Fork, an entertaining history of kitchen technology: "It took countless inventions, small and large, to get to the well-equipped kitchens we have now." She discusses how cultural influences have changed the way people prepare and eat their meals, as well as how cooking implements have left their mark on civilizations.
Wilson's sprightly, knowledgeable voice skips nimbly through the narratives of pots and pans, knives, grinding implements and eating utensils, working up to the theme of the kitchen as a whole. Short asides on particularly interesting niche items such as the mezzaluna, rice cooker and toaster provide quick, fascinating epilogues to each chapter. Her insights will change the way you look at your kitchen accoutrements. Take the blunt butter knife, descendent of the deadly and versatile medieval belt knife: "It takes a civilization in an advanced state of politesse--or passive aggression--to devise on purpose a knife that does a worse job of cutting." --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger, Infinite Reads