Twenty years in the making, the first edition of Alan Davidson's magnum opusappeared in 1999 to worldwide acclaim. Its combination of serious food history, culinary expertise, and entertaining serendipity was recognized as utterly unique. Including both an exhaustive catalogue of the foods that nourish humankind-fruit from tropical forests, mosses scraped from adamantine granite in Siberian wastes, or ears, eyeballs and testicles from a menagerie of animals-and a richly allusive commentary on the culture of food, whether expressed in literature and cookbooks, or as dishes peculiar to a country or community, the Oxford Companion to Food immediately found distinction.
The study of food and food history was a new discipline at the time, but one that has developed exponentially in the years since. There are now university departments, international societies, and academic journals, in addition to a wide range of popular literature exploring the meaning of food in the daily lives of people around the world.
Alan Davidson famously wrote eighty percent of the first edition, which was praised for its wit as well as its wisdom. Tom Jaine, the editor of the second edition, worked closely with Jane Davidson and Helen Saberi to ensure that new contributions continue in the same style. The result is an expanded volume that remains faithful to Davidson's peerless work. The text has been updated where necessary to keep pace with a rapidly changing subject, and Jaine assiduously alerts readers to new avenues in food studies. Agriculture; archaeology; food in art, film, literature, and music; globalization; neuroanatomy; and the Silk Road are covered for the first time, and absorbing new articles on confetti; cutlery; doggy bags; elephant; myrrh; and potluck have also found their way into the Companion.
New edition ensures that the Companion maintains its place at the forefront of an exciting new field
Includes more than 70 new entries - on topics such as doggy bags, elephant, food in space, globalization, potluck, and television and food
New entries written by some of the foremost contemporary food writers, including Rachel Lauden, Harold McGee, and Bee Wilson
Hundreds of entries - from artichoke to wild rice - updated to take account of recent developments and changing food fashions
Major bibliography now brought right up to date
Almost 200 beautiful line drawings - now enhanced by a two-colour text design
Second edition of this international bestseller, which won prizes and accolades around the world when first published in 1999
Alan Davidson famously wrote 80 per cent of the Companion, which was acclaimed for its wit as well as its contents; the second edition retains almost every word Alan Davidson wrote, and takes care that new contributions continue in the same style
"No serious foodie should be without a serious food reference book. Unlike the similarLarousse Gastronomique, the Oxford text is approachable and lacks the sometimes overwhelming French bias of the former. This is great for deciphering the increasingly international American palate."--Associated Press.
"A valuable addition to the knowledge-seeking epicure's library."--Chicago Tribune
"..one of the best basic culinary reference books available."--Library Journal
"One of the most honored reference works ever about food, expanded and updated in keeping with the boom in food studies."--Philadelphia Inquirer
"An erudite companion, to be sure, but one that brims with good cheer...Tom Jaine attacks the subject with brio... Like the best encyclopedias, these Companions lead readers from the commonplace into the great mysteries of their subjects. Whether you like a little Siberian moss with your Dom Perignon, or a meatball with your Muscat, there's more than enough here to satisfy even the most fastidious tastes."--Kirkus Reviews
"A food book for all time... The canon of great food literature just got one fat volume greater... A must-have for any serious food follower"--Gourmet
"It is a grand book for anyone who enjoys the lore of food."--Greenwich Times
"What Samuel Johnson's 18th-century dictionary was to the English language the late Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food is to present-day gastronomy-- a far-reaching, erudite, and occasionally idiosyncratic guide covering more of its subject than anything published before... It's all here, everything from ancient food history to modern national cuisines."--The Wall Street Journal
936 pages; 175 line illus.;ISBN13: 978-0-19-280681-9ISBN10: 0-19-280681-5
About the Author(s)
Alan Davidson was a distinguished author and publisher, and one of the world's best-known writers on fish and fish cookery. In 1975 he retired early from the diplomatic serivice - after serving in, among other places, Washington, Egypt, Tunisia, and Laos, where he was British Ambassador - to pursue a fruitful second career as a food historian and food writer extraordinaire. Among his popular books are North Atlantic Seafood and Mediterrranean Seafood. In 2003, shortly before his death, he was awarded the Erasmus Prize for his contribution to European culture. Tom Jaineis an independent writer and publisher, specializing in food and food history. He is the author of numerous books, including Cooking in the Country, Making Bread at Home, and Traditional Country House Cooking. He frequently writes for The Times, The Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, the Evening Standard, and many magazines and journals. He was editor of The Good Food Guide from 1989 to 1994, has presented 'The Food Programme' on Radio 4, and has frequently participated in discussions of food on radio and television. Jane Davidson is Alan Davidson's widow, and assisted him in his work, in particular as co-author of Dumas on Food. She has written many reviews of food books for Petits Propos Culinaires. She has also worked for the British Council. Helen Saberi was Alan Davidson's personal assistant, and worked very closely with him on the first edition of the Companion, as contributor, researcher, fact-checker, and proofreader. She is co-author with Alan Davidson of Trifle and The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy.