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The Magic Harvest
Food, Folkore and Society
The Magic Harvest is a rich and wide-ranging account of the history of popular beliefs about food, written by one of Europe's most important and original historians of food and culture.
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More Info
  • November 1998
  • 264 pages
  • 154 x 233 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Paperback $30.00
  • 9780745621968
Table of Contents
Part I:.

1. Bread and Death: Food and Peasant Rituals in Italy.

2. The Two Faces of Time: The City Calendar and the Country Calendar.

3. The Setting of the Moon: Wine, the Vine and the New Science.

4. Food and Popular Culture.

5. Dietary Geography and Social History.

6. City Cooking and Country Cooking.

Part II:.

7. Bourgeois Cooking in the 19th Century: Between Tradition and Renewal.

8. Concentrated Broth.

9. The Demon of the Hearth.

10. Shopping for Food.

11. The Age of the Soya Bean.

12. The Great Transformation.

13. Born Under Libra.


1. Diet and Literature.

2. List of Authors.

Notes and References.



About the Author
Piero Camporesi is Professor of Italien Literature at the University of Bologna.
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"The Magic Harvest is a concentrated broth of pieces every bit as rich as the cuisine that forms the focus of [Camporesi's] study. There is a convincing unity in these essays. Together, they offer a scholarly history of the slow shifts in the dietary geography and regimes of Italy to the present, a masterly display of the interdisciplinary skills food history demands and of the exciting range of questions it poses, and, not least, a provocative argument about the reasons for, and costs of, the comparatively recent 'invention' of a national 'Italian' cuisine. Coming after Bread of Dreams, this book confirms Piero Camporesi's importance in the evolving field of the history of food." John Walter, University of Essex

"A collection of fascinating scholarly essays ... excellent insight into a culture which most people may only rather simplistically associate with a relatively scant diet of pasta, pizza, tripe and escalopes of veal." The Good Book Guide

"Piero Camporesi is one of the most stimulating and path-breaking historians." Roy Porter

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