If you, like me, are constantly googling random things as questions come up, you will love The Secret History of Food. It provides more in-depth information than Wikipedia. Luckily, it also goes off in weird tangents and down deep rabbit holes when an intriguing side fact is found.
Here is an example. Why is vanilla slang for something plain and white? Vanilla is blackish-brown and relatively expensive. This leads through the obvious “for rich or royals” origin story of ice cream. Then to Prohibition where breweries and distilleries switched from alcohol to ice cream—setting Americans up for a new addiction. Ice cream impacted both world wars. During the 1950s, Castro was busy smuggling it into Cuba for his own use.
Vanilla is just one of nine food-focused chapters. Pie, honey, cereal, corn, chili peppers, tomatoes, holiday festivals, and fast food are also discussed.
The Secret History of Food is an interesting and unique look into how food impacts both our lives and those of our ancestors. I enjoyed learning new secrets about food. 4 stars!
Thanks to Ecco and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.