Why We Eat What We Eat: How the Encounter Between the New World and the Old Changed the Way Everyone on the Planet Eats

Raymond Sokolov, Author Summit Books $21.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-66796-2
Sokolov ( The Jewish American Kitchen ) has scoured published sources and ventured as a dedicated ``gastroethnographic reporter'' throughout the ``Hispanic diaspora'' of the New World to chronicle the collision of ingredients and culinary traditions resulting from Columbus's voyages. Readers who have never considered whether or how the various cuisines of the New World relate to one another--or who have never thought much about the progress of the chili pepper through Africa, Europe and Asia--will be moved to view regional food traditions quite differently. The author doesn't miss an opportunity to submit revisionist insights: that Puerto Rico offers ``the most complex tangle of culinary influence and geography in the world'' (he chides New Yorkers for neglecting it); or that Philippine dishes somewhat resembling Spanish paella are actually native, rather than evidence of Spain's mercantile empire. Sokolov, a hands-on researcher, is also an anecdotalist of warmth, skill and appetite who knows how to wind through the complexities of culinary history. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-671-79791-1
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