Writer and historian Albert Jack’s writing is concise, entertaining and engaging and provides trivia to impress your dinner guests or lighten dull dinner conversation. This beautifully presented book is chockfull of trivia about history of food-related topics from ingredients to the history of its most famous dish, the person to which the dish or ingredient is related, and the relationship to world history.
Jack divides the book into fifteen chapters with title headings that read like a fine dining menu, with options for breakfast, lunch, fast food, aperitifs and appetizers, soups and starters through fish, meat and various dessert and cheese options, to name just a few of the chapters. These are further sub divided into more tasty morsels. For example, the section Breakfast includes the chapters “Coffee: the drink that sped up the world” and “What is the connection between marmalade and a sick Queen” as well as “The Noble Story of French Toast.”
Italian Cuisine tackles the origins of pasta in “From Marco Polo to Spaghetti Trees” and “Pizza: How a dish from Naples conquered the world.” The chapter on Christmas dinner explains the origins of Christmas ham feasts and the shift from traditional goose dinner to turkey, which leads to the more enlightenment about the expression “to talk turkey” and “going cold turkey.”
What Caesar Did for My Salad is an insightful, delightful and mouth-watering must-read for any foodie, epicurean, historian and lover of language. Highly recommended.