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The Culture of Food

ISBN: 978-0-631-20283-7
228 pages
December 1996, Wiley-Blackwell
The Culture of Food (0631202838) cover image


This book is about the history of food in Europe and the part it has played in the evolution of the European cultures over two millennia. It has been a driving force in national and imperial ambition, the manner of its production and consumption a means by which the identity and status of regions, classes and individuals have been and still are expressed. In this wide-ranging exploration of its history the author weaves deftly between the classes, regions and nations of Europe, between the habits of late antiquity and the problems of modernity. He examines the interlinked evolutions of consumption, production and taste, to show both what these reveal of the varied cultures and peoples of Europe in the past and what they suggest about the present.
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Table of Contents

1. The Basis for a Common Language.

2. The Turning Point.

3. To Each His Own.

4. Europe and the World.

5. The Century of Hunger.

6. The Revolution.

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Author Information

Massimo Montanari was born in Imola in 1949. He teaches medieval history at the universities of Catania and Bologna. Among his other publications are The Medieval Countryside (Turin, 1984) and Food and Culture in the Middle Ages (Rome, 1992).
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The Wiley Advantage

* A 2000 year history of the linked histories of food, culture and regional identity - from Roman antiquity to the present.
* The first book of its kind.
* Scholarly in its range of reference, witty and accessible in style.
* Covers all the regions of Europe.
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"Massimo Montanari has sliced through the evidence of anecdotes, novellas, dietary tracts and demographic surveys to show the close and often surprising connections between food as precarious necessity and food as symbol of power, culture and social ambition." Times Literary Supplement
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