Much Depends on Dinner: The extraordinary history and mythology, allure and obsessions, perils and taboos, of an ordinary meal
Date: July 2008
Duration: 14 hours 58 minutes
Best-selling author Margaret Visser holds a doctorate in classics and appears frequently on television and radio shows. Much Depends on Dinner was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Publisher's Weekly. As the subtitle suggests, here she uses the framework of a simple meal to show us how our food has defined who we are and how we live. Dr. Visser begins by showing how corn has shaped the history of man. In further chapters, she considers the economics of salt, the medicinal properties of butter, and offers similarly fascinating information about chicken, lettuce, olive oil and lemon juice. The final chapter ends on a sweet note with ice cream and the nostalgia it creates. As it gathers information from the villages of ancient hunters and the corridors of modern science, Dr. Visser's perceptive book examines food through a wider lens than today's nutritional microscope. It isn't meant to change our eating habits, but it leaves us with a taste for the history and mythology of everyday foods. Narrator Suzanne Toren captures Dr. Visser's enthusiasm for her subject.