Summary and Info
We didn’t always eat the way we do today. It was only at the advent of the early modern period that people stopped eating with their hands from trenchers of bread and started using forks and plates, that lords stopped inviting scores of neighbors to dine together in great halls and instead ate separately in private rooms, and that Europeans started worrying about dining ? la mode, from the most refined nouvelle cuisine. Aguecheek’s Beef, Belch’s Hiccup tells the story of how early modern Europeans put into words these complex and evolving relationships between cooks and diners, hosts and guests, palates and tastes, food and humankind. Named after two memorable characters in Twelfth Night, this lively history of food and literature draws on sources ranging from cookbooks and medical texts to comic novels and Renaissance tragedies. Robert Appelbaum expertly weaves such sources together to show how people invented new genres and ways of speaking to express interest in food. He also recounts the evolution of culinary practices and attitudes toward food, connecting them with contemporaneous developments in medical science, economics, and colonial expansion. As he does so, Appelbaum paints a colorful picture of a remarkably conflicted culture in which food was many things—from a symbol of happy sociability to a token of selfish gluttony, from an icon of cultural life to a cause for social struggle. Peppered with illustrations and even a handful of recipes, Aguecheek’s Beef, Belch’s Hiccup looks at our basic staple of daily existence from an entirely fresh perspective that will appeal to anyone interested in early modern literature or the history of food. (20070223)
More About the Author
Robert Appelbaum (born 2 February 1952) is an academic specializing in early modern writing, food studies, and terrorism studies.
Review and Comments
Rate the Book
Aguecheek's Beef, Belch's Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections: Literature, Culture, and Food Among the Early Moderns 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 ratings.