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Download Much Depends on Dinner: The extraordinary history and mythology, allure and obsessions, perils and taboos, of an ordinary meal Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Much Depends on Dinner: The extraordinary history and mythology, allure and obsessions, perils and taboos, of an ordinary meal Audiobook, by Margaret Visser Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (263 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Visser Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 ISBN: 9781436145152
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Bestselling author Margaret Visser holds a doctorate in classics and appears frequently on television and radio shows. Much Depends on Dinner was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Publisher’s Weekly. As the subtitle suggests, here she uses the framework of a simple meal to show us how our food has defined who we are and how we live. Dr. Visser begins by showing how corn has shaped the history of man. In further chapters, she considers the economics of salt, the medicinal properties of butter, and offers similarly fascinating information about chicken, lettuce, olive oil and lemon juice. The final chapter ends on a sweet note with ice cream and the nostalgia it creates. As it gathers information from the villages of ancient hunters and the corridors of modern science, Dr. Visser’s perceptive book examines food through a wider lens than today’s nutritional microscope. It isn’t meant to change our eating habits, but it leaves us with a taste for the history and mythology of everyday foods. Narrator Suzanne Toren captures Dr. Visser’s enthusiasm for her subject.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 2/20/2014

    " Really interesting. I ate this book up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/11/2014

    " Pretty amazing that Visser conceived of and wrote this YEARS before countless others began waxing poetic on the ethics of food... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaethe | 1/31/2014

    " I don't cook, but I enjoy eating on a regular basis. Also, I enjoy reading about the sociology of dining rituals. cool stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celia Montgomery | 1/23/2014

    " The history of what we ate! This is a fascinating, carefully structured history of food. Visser brilliantly divides her chapters into the elements of a meal. We learn about how people discovered, cultivated, enjoyed and abused corn, chicken, salt, and other seemingly ordinary edibles. This is an important book. I wonder how much it influenced the organic food movement? This is the sort of thing I imagine Jane Brody reading when she runs out of ideas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Guy | 1/12/2014

    " Simply brilliant! It will change forever how you view the food you eat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 1/4/2014

    " recommended to me long ago by Jane "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 12/24/2013

    " Slightly out of date but fascinating all the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisagray | 12/17/2013

    " Loved this book and the fascinating details and history of our food. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 11/29/2013

    " Ordinary meal, it's ingredients and cooking methods dissected and described in incredible detail, almost too much detail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pancha | 11/20/2013

    " I was already familiar with a lot of the information, especially in the corn, salt, and chicken chapters. But the author included many interesting anecdotes and word origins, so I didn't mind. The butter chapter was my favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allisonv | 11/17/2013

    " A teeny bit outdated, but a good place to start if you are interested in American food and culture. Very readable/non-academic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sskous | 11/17/2013

    " Insightful, funny, and most of all a romp through a dinner that explains so much about who we are through what we eat. I love Visser's way of thinking, seeing and explaining. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim | 10/20/2013

    " Dull and pedantic. And the ending is really abrupt. It took me well over a year to finish this book in fits and starts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joel | 3/23/2013

    " Unusual approach to food. Writer takes the ingredients in an ordinary dinner (chicken, corn, ice cream, etc.) and informs you of the history and evolution of the food. Very nicely written "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 2/29/2012

    " Bit if a hodge-podge of facts, not very well arranged, but some interesting snippets here and there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Regina | 2/25/2012

    " A wonderful, fascinating book. Everybody eats. I wonder how the 'bag from McDonalds' will fit into a future cullinary history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhea Tregebov | 2/7/2012

    " Beautifully written book I've been meaning to read since it came out decades ago. While I'm sure some of the information is now dated, reading it at this stage makes me realize how incredibly influential Visser's ideas and insights have been and continue to be. Still a wonderful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trina | 10/30/2011

    " Full of crazy facts about some of the basic foods we eat every day. For example, chickens were first domesticated for cock fighting- not for eating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jada Roche | 8/29/2011

    " Dated, but fun. The ending was abrupt and didn't do anything to tie the book together. Interesting to read something that illustrates the coming mistrust (or rather, increasing mistrust) of the food industry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 5/29/2011

    " This is one of those books that's maybe not written as well as it could be (okay, it's duller than dirt in many parts), but the subject matter is so darn interesting and well-researched that all is forgiven. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 grundoon | 2/3/2011

    " Generally enjoyable read, often meandering, with an information density that rivals most college-level textbooks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefanieq Banner | 1/8/2011

    " Informative and interesting, but a bit dry and long-winded in writing style "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Guy | 9/26/2010

    " Simply brilliant! It will change forever how you view the food you eat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trina | 10/22/2009

    " Full of crazy facts about some of the basic foods we eat every day. For example, chickens were first domesticated for cock fighting- not for eating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaethe | 9/16/2009

    " I don't cook, but I enjoy eating on a regular basis. Also, I enjoy reading about the sociology of dining rituals. cool stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Regina | 5/16/2009

    " A wonderful, fascinating book. Everybody eats. I wonder how the 'bag from McDonalds' will fit into a future cullinary history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 4/19/2009

    " Really interesting. I ate this book up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sskous | 8/23/2008

    " Insightful, funny, and most of all a romp through a dinner that explains so much about who we are through what we eat. I love Visser's way of thinking, seeing and explaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pancha | 8/3/2008

    " I was already familiar with a lot of the information, especially in the corn, salt, and chicken chapters. But the author included many interesting anecdotes and word origins, so I didn't mind. The butter chapter was my favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/29/2008

    " Pretty amazing that Visser conceived of and wrote this YEARS before countless others began waxing poetic on the ethics of food... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joel | 2/28/2008

    " Unusual approach to food. Writer takes the ingredients in an ordinary dinner (chicken, corn, ice cream, etc.) and informs you of the history and evolution of the food. Very nicely written "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allisonv | 1/15/2008

    " A teeny bit outdated, but a good place to start if you are interested in American food and culture. Very readable/non-academic. "

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About the Author

Margaret Visser is an award-winning author and essayist. Her previous five books, all bestsellers, have met with international acclaim. Much Depends on Dinner won the Glenfiddich Prize for Food Book of the Year and was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly and The New York Times. The Rituals of Dinner won the IACP Literary Food Writing Award and the Jane Grigson Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her most recent book, The Geometry of Love, also the subject of a prize-winning documentary film, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize. A professor of classics at York University for 18 years, she now devotes her time to research and writing. Visser lives in Toronto, Paris, and the south of France.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren has recorded hundreds of audiobooks and has earned more than twenty-five Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She has received the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.