Food History News

A Culinary History

FoodHistoryNews The Oxford Book of Food Food has always been the most distinctive expression of an ethnic group, a culture and a nation. But these days culinary has got the right doze of attention due to an incredible amount of publications, recipe collections, cookbooks and celebrity chef albums that has recently become available to public. Moreover, culinary has gained the status of a science which can be proved by a variety of conferences devoted to food that have been held lately. For example, the annual scholarly Oxford University Food Conference organized by historian Theodore Zeldin has helped establish culinary as a science in Anglo-American scientific circles. The American Center for Wine, Food and Arts based in Napa, California, also plays a key role in promoting culinary research. The American Institute of Wine and Food regularly publishes its "Journal of Gastronomy" and Cornell based "Food and Foodways" provides an insight into the history of culinary on a regular basis. In addition, "The Oxford Book of Food" is about to be brought out soon, along with a Web-site directory of relevant materials compiled by Barbara Haber, a director of the culinary collection of the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.

What's more, culinary history is gradually becoming part of the curriculum and has already been acknowledged as a respectable academic field. Currently over three hundred anthropologists in the U.S. list food studies as their specialty. Courses in food and culture are becoming more and more popular in some of the top-ranked universities, including the University of California-Berkeley, and degree-granting programs exist at Boston University, Cornell University and New York University, to name just a few. And for good reason. These days careers in the food industry offer great job opportunities. Historically based "theme restaurants" top the list of the trendiest dining venues. With the increasing popularity of recherché fusion cuisine more and more budding chefs employ historical approach to look into the origins and secrets of the refined flavors of the past. In the books on culinary history the scientists survey feeding strategies and habits from prehistoric times to the era of the fast food, from medieval table manners and eating habits to present day food preferences, researching culinary history from a new perspective.

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