Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson
I do love books that delve into the history of a small subject, like the book on Salt, or Oranges, or red dye. I also like those that wander a bit, but still talk seriously about the mundane necessities we use daily. This isn’t just about forks, it’s about the entire history of cooking. It deals with how kitchen technologies shape the food we eat, and how the food we eat shapes technologies.
Best part of this book: The woman who read the audiobook had a voice that made the charming British turns-of-phrase really shine. Also, it’s a fairly comprehensive history of cooking and knives and spoons and pots, so when someone asks why the Chinese use chopsticks and the Italians of the Middle Ages wore knives all the time, you can trot out the answer.
Worst parts of the book? I’m not really sure there were any. It is what it says it is: a book about the history of cooking technology. If you read cookbooks for fun, watch cooking shows and have favorite celebrity chefs, you’ll probably dig this. Ditto if you like anthropology and history and sociology. It’s a great book for cooking nerds, and quite charming.