Breakfast: A History

AltaMira: Rowman & Littlefield. (Meals Series). 2013. 230p. ISBN 9780759121638. $45; ebk. ISBN 9780759121652. HOME ECON
Though often hailed as the most important meal of the day, breakfast has not always been a universal custom. Food writer Arndt Anderson follows the evolution of the meal throughout history, comparing differences among cultures and explaining the origins of dishes commonly found on the breakfast table. Going all the way back to antiquity, the author begins with the societal transformations that led to the adoption of breakfast and explores the factors that resulted in changes to the meal, such as religion and the discovery of tea, coffee, and chocolate. The chapter "Around the World in a Meal," for instance, covers familiar foods such as cereals, eggs, bacon, and pastries, as well as those eaten in other countries. Arndt Anderson also examines how the preparation of breakfast in the home has varied over time, influenced by advances in technology and women's changing roles.
VERDICT While the average reader will enjoy the insights into the roots of familiar foods, this book will mainly appeal to the dedicated reader with a specific interest in the subject.
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