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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Gifts of the Gods

A History of Food in Greece

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Gifts of the Gods

A History of Food in Greece

What do we think about when we think about Greek food? For many, it is the meze and the traditional plates of a Greek island taverna at the height of summer. In Gifts of the Gods, Andrew and Rachel Dalby take us into and beyond the taverna in our minds to offer us a unique and comprehensive history of the foods of Greece.

Greek food is brimming with thousands of years of history, lore, and culture. The country has one of the most varied landscapes of Europe, where steep mountains, low-lying plains, rocky islands, and crystal-blue seas jostle one another and produce food and wine of immense quality and distinctive taste. The book discusses how the land was settled, what was grown in different regions, and how certain fruits, herbs, and vegetables became a part of local cuisines. Moving through history—from classical to modern—the book explores the country’s regional food identities as well as the export of Greek food to communities all over the world. The book culminates with a look at one of the most distinctive features of Greece’s food tradition—the country’s world renown hospitality. Illustrated throughout and featuring traditional recipes that blend historical and modern flavors, Gifts of the Gods is a mouth-watering account of a rich and ancient cuisine.

384 pages | 100 color plates, 20 halftones | 6 x 9

Foods and Nations

Food and Gastronomy

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"Blending well-illustrated recipes into their graceful narrative, the authors offer a comprehensive survey of the evolution of Greek foods from ancient times to today. . . .The book’s general theme is how the natural environment, or the 'gift of the gods,' as it is aptly entitled, has shaped Greek foodways and culinary traditions over those historical periods. . . . The reading [is] rather enjoyable and entertaining. . . . Recommended."


Table of Contents

Classical Feasts: The First Gastronomy
Roman and Byzantine Tastes
An Empire Reborn
A Culinary Geography, Part I: Beyond Greece
A Culinary Geography, Part II: Within Greece
Food of Recent Greece

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