Consider the Fork: A History of Invention in the Kitchen
A wooden spoon - most trusty and loveable of kitchen implements - looks like the opposite of 'technology', as the word is normally understood. But look closer. Is it oval or round? Slotted or solid? Does it have an extra-long handle to give your hand a place of greater safety from a hot skillet? Or a pointy bit at one side to get the lumpy bits in the corner of the pan?
It took countless inventions, small and large, to get to the well-equipped kitchens we have now, where our old low-tech spoon (found, like the knife, in every culture) is joined by mixers, freezers and microwaves, but the story of human invention in the kitchen is largely unseen. Countless decisions, obsessions and preoccupations have gone into the making of your pots and pans. Indeed the very foods we eat speak of the time and the place we inhabit.
From the birth of the fork in Italy as it discovered pasta, to culture wars over spoons in Restoration England, and tests for how to choose the perfect pan, Consider the Fork opens our eyes to the incredible creations that have shaped how and what we cook. Encompassing inventors, scientists, cooks and chefs, this is the previously unsung history of our kitchens.
I love Bee Wilson's writing -- Nigella Lawson Bee Wilson's Consider the Fork, though a work of considerable scholarship, is also a cracking good read, as enjoyable as it is enlightening -- Raymond Blanc, Chef-Patron 'le Manoir Aux Quat'saisons' This scholarly and witty book, packed full of fascinating information and thrilling insights, is as enlightening as it is a joy to read -- Claudia Roden, Author Of 'the Food Of Spain' Mind meets kitchen: Bee Wilson sizes up every kitchen implement from the wooden spoon to the ergonomic Microplane, and gives us its history, including versions that led up to each object but did not survive for lack of fitness. Her climax is the kitchen, the room itself, the affluent modern version of which has never been so highly designed; so well equipped; so stylish; or so empty. She conducts us on a sobering, entertaining, and instructive tour -- Margaret Visser, Leading Food Historian I was so enthralled by Bee Wilson's new book that I found it hard to put down. As always she is a completely reliable guide to her subject, and this history of how we cook and eat is full of surprises - how human table manners have changed our bodies, and how technological changes can affect our personal tastes in food. Her authority is complete, her scholarship lightly worn and her writing terrific -- Paul Levy, Co-Author Of 'the Official Foodie Handbook', And Editor Of 'the Penguin Book Of Food And Drink' A fast-paced and mind-opening investigation into the quirky stories behind our daily interactions with food -- Richard Wrangham, Author Of 'catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human'
Bee Wilson writes a weekly food column, 'The Kitchen Thinker' in The Sunday Telegraph, for which she has three times been named the Guild of Food Writers Food Journalist of the Year. Her previous books include The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us and Swindled!. Before she became a food writer, she was a Research Fellow in History at St John's College, Cambridge. She has also been a semi-finalist on Masterchef. Her favourite kitchen implement is currently the potato ricer.