"This ambitious encyclopedia claims to be an "authoritative source [which] covers human history from Stone Age nutrition to the future of food..."
-- College & Research Libraries (September 2004)
"The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture examines historical, anthropological, and nutritional aspects of food. Discussions include uses, beliefs, developments and comparisons. Farmers, chefs, practitioners and researchers from a variety of disciplines have contributed signed articles on topics ranging from iodine to ethnobotany to food as a weapon to maize. ... Go to this set for topics as diverse as gender and food, livestock production or farmers markets. Written for those in high school and above, this set is an instant classic."
-- Catholic Library World (September 2003)
"...contains 600 articles on food, festivals, food production, nutrition, and eating customs around the world. Though written for a college-level audience, the essays range from the scientific and historical to the provocative and intriguing...Particularly useful for students of anthropology and sociology as well as cuisine."
-- C&RL (July/August 2003)
"As the title implies, the encyclopedia discusses food in its relations to society. The 600 articles, arranged alphabetically, over everything from the significance of Betty Crocker to bioactive food components. Chronological scope encompasses the Paleolithic origins of hunting and current trends such as comfort food and fusion cuisine. Length of the signed articles ranges from less than a page for most biographies (Birdseye, Clarence; Escoffier, George-Auguste) to more than 10 pages for Dairy products and Sensation and the Senses. Some topics, among them Beer, France, and Fruit, are examined in series of subentries. See also references and current bibliographies are at the end of each entry, with some bibliographies containing Web sites. Interspersed throughout the text are boxes and sidebars on subjects such as genetically modified organisms, a controversial topic that is treated impartially. ... The volumes also include tables with statistical information, for example, production, imports, and exports of butter by country. In addition to the set¿s 550 black-and-white photographs and 50 maps, each volume has a section of color plates, an eclectic mix illustrations relationships between culture and food. ... The index is comprehensive, indexing minor names such as Marjorie Hendrick and the Watergate Inn, which are mentioned in the entry, United States: Middle Atlantic. Criticisms are few. ... Although this is an expensive resource, it is well worth the money. Recommended for all academic and public libraries that have patrons interested in food and culture."
-- Booklist (June 2003)
"Another of Scribner's high quality topical encyclopedias, this source...supplies 725 articles by more than 300 contributors, ranging from anthropologists, food critics, and folklorists to historians and archaeologists. The table of contents is organized alphabetically by 27 topics that include staple foods, food consumption, regions and culture, diet, religion, feasts and festivals, and biographies. Each includes subtopics such as apples, snacks, Cajun cooking, weddings, dietary guidelines, food in the Bible, and Clarence Birdseye. The Systematic Outline of Contents again lists the 27 topics. Article lengths range from brief descriptions of a topic to essays several pages long. Most entries have bibliographies, which may be as long as a page; most have see also references. There are 50 maps, 550 black-and-white photographs, and in each volume, an eight-page color photo spread. Throughout the volumes are sidebars, time lines, tables, menus, and recipes. One can find, e.g., the importance of cassava, a recipe for muggety pie, the relationship of food to prehistoric societies, a list of popular snacks with their origin, and how to eat the foul smelling durian. An extensive index may be more useful than the table of contents to locate particular foods or cultures. Well researched and well written. Summing Up: Essential. All collections."
-- Choice (June 2003)
"The role of food in different cultures throughout time and in all parts of the world is exploded in this exceptional new three-volume culinary reference. ... Contributors include food specialists, anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, economists, and critics who provided 600 signed articles covering topics such as individual staple foods; the role of food in different holidays and festivals; nutrition and food science; food symbolism and its use in various arts; national cuisines; and biographies of individuals in food history. ... The set features 550 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, with separate eight-page inserts of color illustrations in each volume. ... Public libraries especially will find Encyclopedia of Food and Culture valuable since it does cover a broader ranger of culinary subjects and its alphabetical arrangement of entries is easier to use than the chapter structure ... For academic libraries, large public libraries, or any library with a demand for culinary information, this set is highly recommended."
-- Library Journal (April 2003)
"The entries cover specific foods (chili peppers, soup); preparation methods (baking, roasting); distribution (farmers markets, retailing of food); storage (packaging and canning, pantry and larder); and nutrition and health (vitamins, obesity). There are also articles about various cultures and cuisines, religions, food as a symbol, and writing about food. Readers will find everything from aphrodisiacs to 'icon foods' (bagels, peanut butter) to the evolution of the chef de cuisine here. The contributors examine feasts, festivals and fasts, hunger, and how Betty Crocker's image has changed with the times as well as food as a weapon of war. They include biographies of people, such as Epicurus, Clarence Birdseye, Louis Pasteur, and Julia Child. All articles have bibliographies. Many have sidebars with interesting facts, such as one about Halloween in the article on candy and confections. Many color and black and white illustrations enliven the text. An appendix offers the revised Dietary and Reference Intakes from the National Academy of Sciences and a systematic outline of the contents as well as a list of contributors. A unique approach, accessible language, and fascinating content that covers gender and food and Rabelais' vivid food imagery as well as cannibalism, the noodle in Asia, and food in the Bible make the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture an outstanding resource for high school, academic, and large public libraries. Users will learn and be entertained in the process."
-- American Reference Books Annual (April 2003)
"This impressive reference contains well-researched entries, many written by specialists. The defining subject of food and culture allows a broad selection of topics; readers will delight in the variety offered, which includes scientific, historic, and anthropologic topics. National foods are listed in entries for the country or region, which cover history, geography, people, types of food produced, and historic and current dishes. National dishes are also included in entries on types of food, such as fish, eggs, wheat, and so on. Popular dishes, particularly those of the West, are featured, as are a broad variety of food-related topics such as aversion to food, modern packaging, and hunger strikes. A list of references accompanies each entry. The contributors are mainly American academics; others are historians, food historians, authors, and agricultural and other specialists in the US, Canada, and Europe. The work is illustrated in b&w."
-- Reference and Research Book News (May 2002)