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Food Fights & Culture Wars : A Secret History of Taste


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About the Author

Tom Nealon is a food writer and antiquarian bookseller who specializes in early printed books, literature, and anything to do with the often elusive history of food. His work has appeared in Slate, The Boston Globe, and extensively at He lives with his wife and two children in Boston, where he runs Pazzo Books and occasionally insists that he is one of the world's leading authorities on condiments.


An illustrated history of diet and society, which bubbles with culinary curiosities and fascinating tidbits.--Best Books of 2016
Astonishing . . . [A] wide-ranging history of food--and civilization itself.--Best New Books
Enjoy dinner with a side of history . . . and in between these cold-hard facts is some great eye candy.--Best New Cookbooks for Spring 2017
As someone who enjoys reading about food almost as much as cooking it, I'd highly recommend settling down with a glass of sherry and Tom Nealon's fascinating and copiously illustrated book of culinary history . . . Just the thing to work up an appetite.--Felicity Cloake "Best Books on Food 2016 "
A fun and engaging illustrated history of food.
Glorious . . . eclectic and free-ranging . . . delightful information made more delightful still by lavish illustrations . . . of cakes that look like architectural follies and advertisements for 'fluid beef' that promise fortifying masculine results.--Lisa Abend
Nealon applies his deep knowledge and dry wit to some of the most prevalent of modern foods, from chocolate to mayonnaise to Marmite.
This book is a feast! The wealth of stories, the luxurious illustrations, the sharp details, and Tom Nealon's deep culture and dry wit come together in a banquet of Lucullan proportions. You can gorge yourself without suffering heartburn or gaining an ounce.--Luc Sante
Tracing the history of culinary practice, Nealon uncovers some fascinating and significant relationships between food and seemingly disparate historical events. Diverse elements, from carp to chocolate to barbecue, each turn out to have significantly influenced historical eras and episodes . . . Nealon keeps his prose lighthearted, but never to the point of undermining his deep historical and cultural research . . . [This] ever-entertaining text wraps around lavish, copious illustrations . . . and they deserve closest scrutiny.
[Nealon] serves up the literary equivalent of tapas: elegant, nourishing, and enjoyable stories that leave room for what comes next. As with those small, delicious dishes, a favorite among the offerings here is hard to choose.--Rebecca Rego Barry

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