The Oxford Companion to Food Third Edition by Alan Davidson
‘the best food reference work ever to appear in the English language … read it and be dazzled’ –Bee Wilson, New Statesman
First published in 1999, this ground-breaking Companion was an immediate success and won prizes and accolades around the world. Its combination of serious food history, culinary expertise, and entertaining serendipity, was and remains unique.
Interest in food, cooking, and the culture surrounding food has grown enormously in the intervening period, as has the study of food and food history. University departments, international societies, and academic journals have sprung up dedicated to exploring the meaning of food in the daily lives of people around the world, alongside an ever-increasing number of articles, books, programmes, and websites in the general media devoted to the discussion of food.
The great quality of this Companion is the way it includes both an exhaustive catalogue of foods – whether they be biscuits named for battles, divas or revolutionaries, body parts from nose to tail, toe to cerebellum, or breads from the steppes of Asia or the well-built ovens of the Mediterranean – and a richly allusive commentary on the culture of food, whether expressed in literature and cookery books, or as dishes peculiar to a country or community.
In the third edition the editor has taken the opportunity to update the text and alert readers to new perspectives in food studies. There is new coverage of approaches to food such as those offered by anthropology and sociology as well as the culture surrounding food exemplified by etiquette, gastronomy, and photography, and our shifting concerns surrounding food, including convenience food, obesity, and local food. In its new edition the Companion maintains its place as the foremost food reference resource for study and home use.