Why Food Matters
From the author of Ten Restaurants That Changed America, an exploration of food’s cultural importance and its crucial role throughout human history
“A rich and fascinating narrative that reaches deep into the historical and cultural larder of societal experience, powerfully illustrating the myriad ways that food matters as an essential condiment for humanity.”—Danny Meyer, founder of Union Square Hospitality Group and Shake Shack
Why does food matter? Historically, food has not always been considered a serious subject on par with, for instance, a performance art like opera or a humanities discipline like philosophy. Necessity, ubiquity, and repetition contribute to the apparent banality of food, but these attributes don’t capture food’s emotional and cultural range, from the quotidian to the exquisite.
In this short, passionate book, Paul Freedman makes the case for food’s vital importance, stressing its crucial role in the evolution of human identity and human civilizations. Freedman presents a highly readable and illuminating account of food’s unique role in our lives, a way of expressing community and celebration, but also divisive with regard to race, cultural difference, gender, and geography. This wide-ranging book is a must-read for food lovers and all those interested in how cultures and identities are formed and maintained.