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Siren Feasts : A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece - Andrew Dalby

Siren Feasts

A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece

Paperback Published: 26th December 1996
ISBN: 9780415156578
Number Of Pages: 336

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Cheese, wine, honey and olive oil--four of Greece's best known contributions to culinary culture- -were already well known four thousand years ago. Remains of honeycombs and of cheeses have been found under the volcanic ash of the Santorini eruption of 1627 BC. Over the millennia, Greek food diversified and absorbed neighboring traditions, yet retained its own distinctive character.
In "Siren Feasts," Andrew Dalby provides the first serious social history of Greek food. He begins with the tunny fishers of the neolithic age, and traces the story through the repertoire of classical Greece, the reputations of Lydia for luxury and of Sicily and South Italy for sybaritism, to the Imperial synthesis of varying traditions, with a look forward to the Byzantine cuisine and the development of the modern Greek menu. The apples of the Hesperides turn out to be lemons, and great favour attaches to Byzantine biscuits.
Fully documented and comprehensively illustrated, scholarly yet immensely readable, Siren Feasts demonstrates the social construction placed upon different types of food at different periods (was fish a luxury item in classical Athens, though disdained by Homeric heroes?). It places diet in an economic and agricultural context; and it provides a history of mentalities in relation to a subject which no human being can ignore.

Industry Reviews

"In this comprehensive survey of Greek gastronomic culture, Dalby offers us a vivid, nicely illustrated, informative history of the culinary tradition." -"Journal of Indo-European Studies, Spring/Summer 1998 "The strength of "Siren Feasts lies in its attention to the development of gastronomy and to the gastronomical writers who are relatively unknown even to professional classicists. The book can also be a useful starting point for inquiries into Greek food." -"Bryn Mawr Classical Review "If your knowledge of Greek food stops at South Street Souvlaki, try this scholarly history of food and gastronomy in Greece. Is it true that Achilles got cranky without a daily gyro? Feta-ed to be a bestseller among epicures." -"Philadelphia Inquirer

List of figures
The Way These People Sacrificep. 1
The Gardens of Alcinousp. 33
Divine Inventionsp. 57
In the Feasts of the Lydiansp. 93
Sicilian Tablesp. 113
Lemons of the Hesperidesp. 133
Strymonian Eelsp. 152
The Imperial Synthesisp. 168
Biscuits from Byzantiump. 187
Notesp. 212
Bibliographyp. 267
Index of ancient and medieval sourcesp. 287
Greek Indexp. 297
General Indexp. 310
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415156578
ISBN-10: 0415156572
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 26th December 1996
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.11 x 15.49  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1