A convincing argument and an appetizing look at a rarely discussed topic.




A rich compendium of history and lore tracing the evolution of food preservation.

Part popular history, part travel narrative, Shephard’s study explores the interesting question of how innovations in food preparation and preservation shaped civilization’s growth. Most of the chapters tackle preservative methods such as drying, salting, canning, and freezing, and highlight formative moments in their implementation. Shephard, who created several food programs for British television, presents chemical processes in layman’s terms while offering copious historical anecdotes designed to illustrate the importance of diet or food preservation as well as to engage a diverse readership. Those who assume Germany to be the originator of sauerkraut, for example, are quickly informed that builders of the Great Wall were fed on a diet of sauerkraut fermented in wine in sixth-century China. Similarly, in the chapter on salting we learn how Attila and the Huns sustained themselves by placing fresh cuts of meat beneath their saddles. As they rode, the combination of the horse’s sweat and the action of the rider pummeling the saddle removed the meat’s liquids, producing a nicely tenderized and preserved hunk of what Shephard calls “gallop-cured meat.” Perhaps just as impressive is the 19th-century tale of John Ross and the crew of the Victory, who survived for four and a half years in the Arctic on a store of tinned meat and vegetables, briefly supplemented by the Inuit diet of fox, salmon, and seal blubber. While the author succeeds in the daunting task of noting food types and preserving trends from around the globe, her British perspective occasionally skews the text; this is most noticeable in the virtual omission of France from a chapter on milk products and in the striking amount of space devoted to the creation of marmalade.

A convincing argument and an appetizing look at a rarely discussed topic.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2001

ISBN: 0-7432-1633-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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