cover image Tasting History: Explore the Past Through 4,000 Years of Recipes

Tasting History: Explore the Past Through 4,000 Years of Recipes

Max Miller. Simon Element, $30 (256p) ISBN 978-1-982-18618-0

YouTuber Miller offers modern recipes inspired by historical fare in his innovative debut. A brief history lesson prefaces each recipe, as with the original instructions for the Egyptian-inspired dessert tiger nut cake, which were drawn on the walls of the tomb of Rekhmire, a chief adviser to pharaohs during the 18th dynasty, or the recipe for mead, which notes that in Norse mythology, the beverage “bestows power” on the consumer. Many of the recipe titles bear entertaining names, as in “Farts of Portingale,” an English dish of minced lamb balls that was served at a feast in 1504 to celebrate the appointment of the new archbishop of Canterbury. Elsewhere, a bread pudding recipe nods to the American Civil War doctor who wrote a nutrition guide for soldiers recovering in the hospital, and a raspberry rhubarb recipe is credited to a formerly enslaved Pullman porter. Throughout, Miller skillfully balances history with tantalizing recipes, and manages to make even ancient fare accessible with suggested ingredient substitions and an inviting tone. The result is a fascinating outing that will entice history buffs and home cooks alike. Agent: Jim Stein, Innovative Artists. (Apr.)