A New York Times Notable Book: A renowned scholar explores the way we eat across cultures and throughout history.
From the wild parties of ancient Greece to the strictures of an Upper East Side meal to the ritualistic feasts of cannibals, Margaret Visser takes us on a fascinating journey through the diverse practices, customs, and taboos that define how and why we prepare and consume food the way we do.
With keen insights into small details we take for granted, such as the origins of forks and chopsticks or why tablecloths exist, and examinations of broader issues like the economic implications of dining etiquette, Visser scrutinizes table manners across eras and oceans, offering an intimate new understanding of eating both as a biological necessity and a cultural phenomenon.
Witty and impeccably researched, The Rituals of Dinner is a captivating blend of folklore, sociology, history, and humor. In the words of the New York Times Book Review, “Read it, because you’ll never look at a table knife the same way again.”