The Secret History of Food: Strange but True Stories about the Origins of Everything We Eat

Ecco. Aug. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780062973214. $27.99. COOKING
From the eating habits of early humans around the globe, to the pragmatic purpose of pie crust, to the revolutionary fire that drove colonial Americans to take pie to another level, food writer Siegel takes readers on an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek journey through the often-absurd history of everyday foods. With chapters on subjects such as swallowing (the physiological process), pie, breakfast foods (e.g., cereal), corn, honey, vanilla, the feasts of Decembers past, ice cream (not just a dessert but a human right), chili peppers, and tomatoes, Siegel weaves historical and primary source texts with laugh-out-loud commentary to make this account anything but ordinary. Sharing insight on everything from the evolution of home cooking to the scientific history behind chewing, this winning book is as educational as it is entertaining.
VERDICT Some of the stories may be familiar, but Siegel’s humor gives them a fresh feel and makes them much more amusing than the average history book. This winning resource is highly recommended for foodies and history buffs who enjoy a side of laughter with their footnotes.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing