Cover image for The foodlover's atlas of the world
The foodlover's atlas of the world
Shulman, Martha Rose.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Willowdale, Ont. : Firefly Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
288 pages : color illustrations, color portraits ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX641 .S38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Food contains the history of the world. Without words, it tells a thousand stories of political struggle, of ethnology, religion, geography and migration. Tastes, flavors and textures uncover centuries-old events; local specialties unlock the mysteries of agriculture and climate; foods foreign to a region reveal the effect of expansion and commerce. The Foodlover's Atlas of the World weaves an intricate portrait of the food regions of the world today and how they came to be. Renowned cookbook author Martha Rose Schulman lends her expertise to an intimate look at what makes each cuisine unique, engaging the mind as much as the taste buds.

A journey across many lands, The Foodlover's Atlas of the World gives in-depth details on local customs and lore, typical menus and traditional ingredients for each region. For the cook, the casual food reader, the gastronomic fanatic and the cultural historian, there is no other book on the food of the world that packs such a visual, cultural and culinary punch.

The Foodlover's Atlas of the World features forty-three distinctive regions and subregions that go beyond political boundaries to gastronomic borders; and close to 300 evocative photographs, 90 special recipes, plus sample menus, dish definitions, local food lore and historical detail.

Author Notes

Martha Rose Shulman , famous for her Parisian supper clubs, has spent a lifetime catering, teaching and entertaining on a grand scale. Her knowledge of the world's foods and their origins is astounding, as evidenced by her many successful cookbooks, including: Supper Club: Chez Martha Rose ; The Vegetarian Feast ; Mexican Light: Exciting, Healthy Recipes from the Border and Beyond ; Provençal Light: Traditional Recipes from Provence for Today's Healthy Lifestyle ; Mediterranean Light: Delicious Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine ; Entertaining Light: Healthy Company Menus With Great Style , among many more. She is a well-recognized and trusted name whose loyal fans will be excited about this latest book.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Putting together all she has learned from writing 17 cookbooks (including Mediterranean Light, Provencal Light and Mexican Light), Shulman provides a whirlwind tour of the globe's culinary traditions. Illustrated throughout with 300 full-color, National Geographic-style photos, this overview of food around the world is divided into "Europe," "Africa and the Middle East," "Asia and Australia" and "the Americas," and is subdivided by country and region. In each section Shulman discusses the staple foods, culinary history, specialties and mealtime customs of each area. Sidebars spotlight signature dishes and special ingredients, beverages and such concoctions as Hungarian stews, Indonesian rempah paste, Vietnamese pho and Paraguay's yerba mate herbal tea. Typical menus are also included. Shulman describes the various ways that commerce, imperial expansion and immigration have influenced each region's cuisine. The book concludes with a sampling of 80-plus recipes from every continent, including the Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, the savory Provenal Tapenade, the flavorful Lamb and Prune Tagine from Morocco and the rich, sweet Linzertorte from Austria. The volume covers a surprising amount of ground in reasonable depth (though the Africa and South America sections are arguably skimpy), and the recipes live up to Shulman's usual high quality. This single volume will provide any cook with an international repertoire not to mention plenty of theme party ideas. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Taking a colorful, entertaining look at food in its geographical context, Shulman (The Best Vegetarian Recipes) explores the culinary traditions and cuisines of 90 countries and 43 regions of the world. A brief culinary history, a list of traditional staple foods, signature dishes and national drinks, and a sample menu are provided for each country, and Shulman concludes with a selection of 90 recipes from around the globe. Other standard culinary references like Larousse Gastronomique and The Oxford Companion to Food provide similar and more in-depth information, but libraries will still want to consider this volume because it offers a solid and basic introduction to the subject matter. Recommended for most public libraries.-John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Arranged by continent and countries, this interesting and readable book discusses the specifics of how geography has influenced the culture of food in a particular location. Each chapter includes a history of food, social influences, staples, an explanation of ingredients, well-known dishes, and how to read a local menu. Material is presented through broad discussions, not the precise dictionary style of Larousse Gastronomique (Crown, 1988) or Alan Davidson's The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford, 1999). Boxed inserts highlight interesting or unusual facts or traditions. Large, color photographs relate to the adjacent text and will attract browsers. The final section gives approximately 75 recipes arranged by courses with the country of origin noted. An excellent resource for geography, foreign language, and home-economics students.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction This is a book about the flavors of the countries of today's world. And being that, it is a geography and history, a story of migrations, religions, commerce, farming, ethnology, and culture. For one cannot consider the food of, say, Central Asia without talking about the influences of the Persian Empire and the impact of the windswept, inhospitable nature of its environment; or that of the Balkan Peninsula without understanding the reach of the Ottoman Empire. We cannot look at the cooking of China and Southeast Asia without taking note of the chile pepper, which arrived with European traders during the Age of Discovery and became so linked with local cooking that it is almost impossible to imagine these cuisines without that fiery ingredient. The cuisines of the Mediterranean owe much to the Arab expansion of the Middle Ages, and what would they be without the foods that came from the Americas, particularly the tomato? Foodways migrate with peoples, whether that migration is the result of emigration (Chinese into Southeast Asia; Europeans to the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand), imperial expansion (Romans, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and Europeans), or commerce (the medieval and colonial spice trade and the New World sugar boom). Even forced emigration -- such as the African slave trade -- contributes to the evolution of the cuisines of a place, and the influences work in both directions. In parts of Brazil, the Caribbean, and the American South, signature dishes mirror their African counterparts. Religion, too, has a profound effect on diet. Throughout the orthodox Christian world, for example, a wide range of vegetable dishes became a necessity because of the stringent fasting requirements of the Church. The vegetarian traditions of India, China, and much of Southeast Asia evolved because of similar requirements imposed by Hinduism and Buddhism. In countries where Islam and Judaism have dominated, pork is not part of the repertoire. And, of course, every place in the world has its special dishes associated with particular religious vacations and festivals. Weather and geography are the great determining factors when it comes to the traditional staples of a place. If a land is not conducive to farming, societies may depend on grazing animals for their sustenance, and the foodways that result accommodate the nomadic lifestyle of a herder. Staples might consist of unleavened flat breads, which can be quickly made, fermented dairy products, and broiled and wind-dried meats. Maritime countries and regions depend on fish, both fresh and preserved. The richer the agriculture of a place, the more possibilities there are for a varied cuisine. Often geography, climate, and the course of history have worked hand in hand. New staples were introduced into many countries from the outside and took hold because they thrived. Olives, for example, were planted throughout the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians and the Romans; the Romans cultivated wheat throughout their empire; and the Arabs brought rice to Spain. While it sometimes took time for these new foods to catch on, eventually they became defining ingredients, This type of evolution is still happening today -- perhaps more than ever because of the huge and rapid migrations of large numbers of people. Today, one would be hard-pressed to find a country whose food did not reflect outside influences of one kind or another. With this in mind, I set out to write this book about food in its geographical context. It asks the question: What do places taste like, and why? What are their key ingredients, their signature dishes, and how and why did these evolve? It is a formidable project, one that could take a lifetime, and obviously I have barely scratched the surface here. Yet my own learning curve has been tremendous; understanding authentic flavors entailed a crash course in world history and ethnographics. And because I've included a smattering of recipes to illustrate the text, I've eaten very well along the way. -- A WORD ABOUT GASTRONOMIC BORDERS I could have drawn The Foodlover's Atlas of the World in different ways. Gastronomic regions are not always easily defined by political borders, which are often drawn and then redrawn by statesmen at the end of a conflict. I would have found it difficult, before the break-up of the Soviet Union, for example, to include the Middle Eastern-influenced Caucasian cuisines in a chapter on Russia. For this reason, countries are grouped according to their influences rather than their locations and, where further links exist, these are referred to in the text.Regionalism within a country illustrates another way in which the map of the world doesn't always define the map of its cuisines. One cannot, for example, talk about the cuisine of China, Italy, France, and the United States without looking closely at the cooking of particular regions. Italy was not even a unified country until quite recently, and the food varies considerably from one area to another. These countries are subdivided into areas of culinary similarity. Excerpted from The Foodlover's Atlas of the World by Martha Rose Schulman, Martha Rose Shulman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Britain and Ireland
Russia and Eastern Europe
Central Europe
The Low Countries
The Balkan Peninsula
Africa and the Middle East
The Middle East
North Africa
Asia and Australasia
Central Asia and the Caucasus
The Philippines
New Zealand
The Americas
The United States
Central America and Mexico
The Caribbean
South America
Further Reading