Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson
Published in October 2012
Consider the Fork should make it on to your "to read" list if you meet any of the following criteria:
A. You are a fan of material history - the history of stuff.
B. You like to read books about the history of food.
C. You love to learn about the history of technology, and how technological change shapes social and economic life.
D. Your partner does most of the cooking (you do the cleaning up), but you would like to regale said partner with learned recitations about the pans, stove, fridge, and utensils utilized to prepare your meal.
E. You wish to torture your (preferably teenage) children over family meals.
Reading Consider the Fork is somehow the perfect companion to watching "Downton Abbey," in that they are both very much an upper-class British experience.
Bee Wilson, the daughter of a Shakespeare scholar and recipient of a Ph.D. from Trinity College Cambridge, infuses her history of kitchen technology with many wonderful details of the English cooking and food preparation (although the American kitchen history story is not neglected). She has the historians command of context, the essayists gift for narrative, and the food writers eye for detail.
Read Consider the Fork and you will never look at your fridge, stove, or knife set in the same way.
What are you reading?