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The Language of Food

Ketchup began as a fermented fish sauce from China's Fujian province: ke for fermented fish, tchup for sauce. The British were the first to add tomatoes to their anchovy "catsup" in 1817. A century later, Heinz changed the spelling again-and added sugar. In The Language of Food, Dan Jurafsky opens a panoramic window onto everything from the modern descendants of ancient recipes to the hidden persuasion in restaurant reviews. Combining history with linguistic analysis, Jurafsky uncovers a global atlas of premodern culinary influence: why we toast to good health at dinner and eat toast for breakfast and why the Chinese don't have a word for "dessert". Engaging and eclectic, Jurafsky's study reveals how everything from medieval meal order to modern menu design informs the way we drink and dine today. Tuck in!
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About the Author

Dan Jurafsky is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" and a professor of linguistics at Stanford University. He and his wife live in San Francisco.


"...hugely entertaining book..." -- The Independent "Deliciously erudite." -- Nature "This book won't put dinner on the table, but it just might improve how you order in a restaurant." -- Tony Turnbull, Christmas Round-ups 2014 - The Times "His [Jurafsky's] decoding of food-related texts is the most original aspect of a work that is entertaining and revealing throughout." -- The Economist "I found The Language of Food eye-opening, insightful and huge fun to read, with surprises and treats on every page." -- Bee Wilson

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