20 January, 2014

Consider the fork: a history of invention in the kitchen by Bee Wilson [Surani, Waitakere Central library]

If you are one of those curious types like me you would look at this cover, turn it over to read the blurb and think twice before putting it back down!

Inside this book is the most fascinating history of inventions in the kitchen. You wouldn't think it, but it took countless inventions, small and large, to get to the well-equipped kitchen we have now.

From the humble cooking pot, with which we were able to eat plants that could have otherwise been toxic if eaten raw, to the stainless steel knives, forks, and spoons we seem unable to live without, this book explores the story of invention behind each item and illustrates their development through the ages and cultures.

Bee Wilson's book might seem extremely comprehensive at times but I found this quite a witty tome to read and enjoy. I must say that after I read this, I gained a profound sense of respect and insight into the world of cooking and the forces of history that have shaped it.

Cooking is not one of the skills I can boast about but after reading the following quote in 'Consider the Fork', I can truly say that I am a changed person:

"The first act of cooking was THE decisive moment in history - we ceased to be upright apes and became more fully human. Cooking... helped make our brains uniquely large, providing a dull human body with a brilliant human mind."

I think everyone should include this title on their must-read list, right after 'War and Peace'!

Author: Bee Wilson
ISBN: 9781846143403
Published: 2012
Publisher: London: Particular 

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