ISBN13:978-0743255530 ISBN10: 0743255534 This edition has also been released as: ISBN13: 978-0743216333 ISBN10: 0743216334
Summary: We may not give much thought to the boxes in our freezers or the cans on our shelves, but behind the story of food preservation is the history of civilization itself. The development of portable, preserved food enabled the great explorers to travel into the unknown and gradually map the planet, facilitated the conquest of new territories, and created routes for the expansion of trade and the exchange of knowledge and culture that opened up our world. InPickled, Potted, and Canned,aut
hor Sue Shephard weaves together the stories of the inventors -- and inventions -- in a lively and richly detailed narrative that spans centuries and continents. It is a tale filled with extraordinary characters, old legends, and new revelations: how Attila the Hun and his men ''gallop cured'' their meat; how cooks became chemists and chemists became cooks and how some even lost their lives, like seventeenth-century statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon, whose death was caused by an experiment with a frozen chicken. From the primitive techniques of drying and salting to the latest methods that have allowed us to feed men in space,Pickled, Potted, and Cannedgives us fascinating insights into the histories, cultures, and ingenuity of people inventing new ways to ''cheat the seasons.''
Summary: We may not give much thought to the boxes in our freezers or the cans on our shelves, but behind the story of food preservation is the history of civilization itself. The development of portable, preserved food enabled the great explorers to travel into the unknown and gradually map the planet, facilitated the conquest of new territories, and created routes for the expansion of trade and the exchange of knowledge and culture that opened up our world. InPickled, Potted, and Canned,author Sue Shephard weaves together the stories of the inventors -- and inventions -- in a lively and richly detailed narrative that spans centuries and continents. It is a tale filled with extraordinary characters, old legends, and new revelations: how Attila the Hun and his men ''gallop cured'' their meat; how cooks became chemists and chemists became cooks and how some even lost their lives, like seventeenth-century statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon, whose death was caused by an experiment with a frozen chicken. From the primitive techniques of drying and salting to the latest methods that have allowed us to feed men in space,Pickled, Potted, and Cannedgives us fascinating insights into the histories, cultures, and ingenuity of people inventing new ways to ''cheat the seasons.'' ...show less
Edition/Copyright:00 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Simon & Schuster, Inc. Published: 06/27/2006 International: No
View Author Bio
Sue Shephard has spent most of her career working in television in England, where she was responsible for creating, among other programs, three series about food and culture with Dorinda Hafner, with whom she co-wrote United Tastes of America. Pickled, Potted, and Canned was nominated for the 2001 IACP Jane Grigson Award, which recognizes scholarship in food writing. Shephard lives in the southwest of England with her husband and two grown children.
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Introduction Shelf Life Food preserving helped make it possible for our nomadic ancestors to settle down in one place and build agrarian communities where they could live in reasonable confidence that they would not go hungry through the variable seasons and the many other difficulties that nature might throw at them. Food preserving also made it possible for some of our ancestors to travel, taking their food with them as they journeyed over long distances to explore unknown places, confident, if they could find no fresh food, that their portable provisions meant they would not starve. Preserved foods have played a significant role in our social and cultural history, and it is arguable that without the ability to preserve food, man might have been forced to continue his wanderings as a hunter-gatherer, following migrating herds and foraging for seasonal foods. A preserved harvest to feed people through the winter also allowed the slow evolution of the social and cultural complexities that owning and storing secure stocks of food and having long periods of seasonal leisure brought in their train. It encouraged the growth not only of arts and technologies, but also of social stratification, slavery, and endemic warfare. Without preserved food man might not have been able to send out large armies and naval ships to explore new lands and seas and conquer new territories. There might have been no great expeditions into the unknown, no great discoveries of navigation and science by men such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Drake, and Livingstone. There might have been no creation of the trade routes along which knowledge and culture were exchanged. The Poles might have remained unreached, rivers uncharted, mountains unscaled, and the moon unvisited. None of the greatest achievements in travel, exploration, and survival could have been possible without the increasing ability to preserve and carry food into places where none was available. Even now, men and women still take up impossible-sounding challenges to cross oceans, deserts, and ice, and still plan to live on preserved provisions, albeit using the latest in science, technology, and nutritional knowledge. Few people in the developed world have to worry about hunger anymore. Yet the first thing everyone does when a crisis looms is to rush out and panic buy, stockpiling great quantities of preserved foods. It is this same instinct that drove our ancestors to find ways to keep supplies of food ready for all eventualities throughout the year. But then, unlike in modern society, they spent a great deal of their time worrying about where the next meal was coming from and most of their energies in producing, storing, preserving, and cooking their food. Abundant autumn crops of fruits and nuts and great quantities of fresh young summer vegetables all seem to come at once, for this is nature's way of ensuring the successful reproduction of each species. Short of stuffing themselves in the summer and autumn and starving for the rest of the year, ancient peoples had to find some way of cheating nature and turning these gluts of good things into food that would be available for eating all the year round. Though the severity of the climate might vary, at least the rhythm of the seasons was predictable. Our forebears also had to find ways to provide against less predictable disasters such as diseases that ravaged them, their crops, and their livestock. In some parts of the world they also had to suffer long periods of drought, flooding, freezing, or tropical heat and invasions from aggressors and scarcity of food during the long, dark years of war. For many people the threat of famine from any of these causes remains a grim reality. In the small, isolated, self-sufficient communities around the ancient world, people began searching for ways to preserve life by preserving food. Wh
''Stories which not only divert and entertain but yield illuminating insights into social history.''-- Hugh Massingberd,Daily Telegraph
View Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Preface: The Longest Journey Introduction: Shelf Life Drying Salting Pickling in Vinegar Smoking Fermenting Milk Products Sugar Concentrates Pies, Pots, and Bottles Navy Blues From Cooks to Chemists Canning Great Journeys Refrigeration and Freezing Dehydration and Beyond Feast or Famine Select Bibliography Index Picture Credits
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