Vegetables: A Biography

Author(s): Evelyne Bloch-Dano


From Michael Pollan to locavores, Whole Foods to farmers' markets, today cooks and foodies alike are paying more attention than ever before to the history of the food they bring into their kitchens - and especially to vegetables. Whether it's an heirloom tomato, curled cabbage, or succulent squash, from a farmer's market or a backyard plot, the humble vegetable offers more than just nutrition - it also represents a link with a long tradition of farming and gardening, nurturing and breeding. In this charming book, those veggies finally get their due. In capsule biographies of eleven different vegetables - artichokes, beans, chard, cabbage, cardoons, carrots, chili peppers, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, pumpkins, and tomatoes - Evelyne Bloch-Dano explores the world of vegetables in all its facets, from science and agriculture to history, culture, and, of course, cooking. From the importance of peppers in early international trade to the most recent findings in genetics, from the cultural cachet of cabbage to Proust's devotion to cardoon-and-marrow stew, to the surprising array of vegetables that preceded the pumpkin as the avatar of All Hallow's Eve, Bloch-Dano takes readers on a dazzling tour of the fascinating stories behind our daily repasts. Spicing her cornucopia with an eye for anecdote and a ready wit, Bloch-Dano has created a feast that's sure to satisfy gardeners, chefs, and eaters alike.


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"A lovely book that makes you feel at once hungry for these plants and satiated by the knowledge you just reaped about them." (Audobon) "Quirky... entertaining... Evelyne Bloch-Dano's book confirms that we are what we eat, and that vegetables, like Bloch-Dano's gardens, are firmly rooted in the realm of imagination." (Times Literary Supplement) "Evelyne Bloch-Dano displays here erudite command of culinary history with both literary and historical anecdotes.... Digesting the contents of this little book yields a trove of trivia with which to impress shoppers and vendors alike at the farmers' market." (Booklist)"

Evelyne Bloch-Dano is the author of many books, including Madame Proust: A Biography, which is also published by the University of Chicago Press. Teresa Lavender Fagan has translated many books, including J. M. G. Le Clezio's The Mexican Dream.

General Fields

  • : 9780226059952
  • : 24015
  • : University of Chicago Press
  • : February 2013
  • : 216mm X 140mm
  • : United States
  • : February 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 128
  • : Evelyne Bloch-Dano