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Food history lectures by Professor Ken Albala

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  • Raphaella DiContini
    I splurged and treated myself to buying the lecture series Food: A Cultural Culinary History on DVD. Is there any interest in having essentially culinary
    Message 1 of 3 , May 15, 2013
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      I splurged and treated myself to buying the lecture series Food: A Cultural Culinary History on DVD. Is there any interest in having essentially culinary movie nights where we hang out and watch historical food lectures? I watched the first 3 last night and they are AWESOME! I am in the Tacoma area, but would be willing to travel on a free weekend to share the historical foodie joy!!
       
      There are 36 lectures total:
      1. Humanity’s desire for spices and other luxury items eventually connected the entire globe. Track the powerful trading empires of the Venetians and Portuguese, the Spanish conquest of the New World, and the “Columbian exchange”—where plants and animals from five continents were globally transplanted, changing eating habits around the world.
      In joyous service,
      Raffaella
    • Wendi Dunlap
      ... YES! :) I would be willing to host some, too, really soon now (as soon as my bathroom is finished being remodeled). W -- - Wenyeva atte grene * In
      Message 2 of 3 , May 16, 2013
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        Raphaella DiContini wrote:
        > I splurged and treated myself to buying the lecture series Food: A
        > Cultural Culinary History on DVD. Is there any interest in having
        > essentially culinary movie nights where we hang out and watch historical
        > food lectures?


        YES! :)

        I would be willing to host some, too, really soon now (as soon as my
        bathroom is finished being remodeled).

        W


        --
        \-\ Wenyeva atte grene * "In tenebris lux" * pronounced WEN-yuh-vuh
        \-\ Armorum Servula, quam Ancoram Caeruleam dicunt
        \-\ Per chevron argent and vert, three beacons counterchanged.
      • The Henson's
        This sounds fascinating. I d be up for some of this as well, although the scheduling will be tricky. Rycheza
        Message 3 of 3 , May 16, 2013
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          This sounds fascinating. I'd be up for some of this as well, although
          the scheduling will be tricky.

          Rycheza

          On 5/15/2013 11:16 AM, Raphaella DiContini wrote:
          >
          >
          > I splurged and treated myself to buying the lecture series Food: A
          > Cultural Culinary History on DVD. Is there any interest in having
          > essentially culinary movie nights where we hang out and watch historical
          > food lectures? I watched the first 3 last night and they are AWESOME! I
          > am in the Tacoma area, but would be willing to travel on a free weekend
          > to share the historical foodie joy!!
          > __
          > _http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=9180_
          > __There are 36 lectures total:
          >
          > 1.
          > *1*Hunting, Gathering, and Stone Age Cooking
          > 2.
          > The transition to agriculture was perhaps humanity’s single greatest
          > social revolution, with mixed results. Explore the factors
          > surrounding the rise of agriculture, how plants and animals were
          > domesticated, and why agriculture directly led to civilization as we
          > know it. Learn how the menu of foods favored by agricultural
          > societies came about.
          > *2*What Early Agriculturalists Ate
          > 3.
          > Ancient Egypt’s prosperity, court culture, and isolation from
          > conflict led to a sophisticated food tradition and the first “elite”
          > cuisine. Study the archaeological evidence of their food customs,
          > the religious significance of foodstuffs and animals, and the
          > components of their cuisine, encompassing grains, wine, bread,
          > numerous vegetables, and wild game.
          > *3*Egypt and the Gift of the Nile
          > 4.
          > Practices regarding food were deeply integral to the lives of the
          > ancient Hebrews. Explore prescriptions regarding food in Genesis,
          > and consider that the Fall itself was an act of eating. Then learn
          > about the Hebrew rituals and meaning of sacrifice, and note the
          > Hebrews’ complex food prohibitions, rooted in what was considered
          > clean and unclean.
          > *4*Ancient Judea—From Eden to Kosher Laws
          > 5.
          > Grasp how the ancient Greeks’ need for arable land led to their
          > imperial and mercantile system, and consider what we learn about
          > their food culture from Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, and Plato.
          > Observe the role of food in the rituals of festivals, religious
          > cults, and symposia, and study simple components of the classical
          > Greek diet that later influenced the rest of the world.
          > *5*Classical Greece—Wine, Olive Oil, and Trade
          > 6.
          > Alexander’s conquests heralded an era where previously unconnected
          > cultures mixed on a large scale. Trace the diffusion of foodstuffs
          > over vast trade networks in the Hellenistic period. Study early
          > dietary regimens based in Galen’s famous theory of the body’s
          > “humors,” and the influence on food culture of philosophical schools
          > such as the Stoics and Epicureans.
          > *6*The Alexandrian Exchange and the Four Humors
          > 7.
          > Ancient India gave birth to culinary traditions that still carry
          > wide influence. Learn about the culture of the Aryans, whose
          > religion prefigured Hinduism; food customs relating to caste; and
          > the traditions of vegetarianism in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
          > Also study the dietetic system of Ayurvedic medicine and the
          > components of Indian cuisine.
          > *7*Ancient India—Sacred Cows and Ayurveda
          > 8.
          > Chinese culture produced what is arguably the most complex,
          > sophisticated, and varied culinary tradition on earth. Trace the
          > rise of civilization in China from the Hsia to the Han dynasty, the
          > social and technological factors underlying China’s elaborate food
          > traditions, and the role of Taoist thought and Chinese medicine in
          > diet.
          > *8*Yin and Yang of Classical Chinese Cuisine
          > 9.
          > Here, delve into intriguing contrasts in the dining habits of the
          > ancient Romans. From the simple food customs of republican Rome,
          > follow the expanding empire and how exotic food became a status
          > symbol. Examine a cookbook aimed at those eager to flaunt their
          > wealth, see how the satirist Juvenal responded, and witness the
          > bizarre gastronomic decadence of the late empire.
          > *9*Dining in Republican and Imperial Rome
          > 10.
          > Food and its symbolism played a distinct role in the development of
          > Christianity. Observe the role of food in Jesus’s parables and
          > miracles, as well as in the ritual of the Eucharist. Learn about
          > early Christian and monastic dietary prescriptions, practices
          > regarding ritual fasting, and the significance of purification
          > through self-denial.
          > *10*Early Christianity—Food Rituals and Asceticism
          > 11.
          > The fall of Rome and the rise of Germanic tribal kingdoms brought
          > marked culinary changes to Europe. Study the “barbarian” diet and
          > the culture of “fast and feast” rooted in the opposing ideals of
          > Christian asceticism, meat-eating virility, and classical
          > moderation. Trace Charlemagne’s dynamic rule and his impact on food
          > culture.
          > *11*Europe's Dark Ages and Charlemagne
          > 12.
          > The rise of Islam brought a new way of thinking about food.
          > Contemplate the Muslim cultural values that permitted pleasure, the
          > cultivation of the senses, and the creation of an exquisite cuisine.
          > Study Islamic eating rituals and Persian-influenced culinary
          > techniques, such as perfuming food and cooking meat with sweets.
          > *12*Islam—A Thousand and One Nights of Cooking
          > 13.
          > In the wake of the Crusades, learn about the great innovations in
          > medieval cooking spurred by contact with Islamic civilization, based
          > in the sophisticated use of exotic spices and herbs. Trace the food
          > rituals and exuberant indulgence of Carnival, and grasp the
          > symbolism of outlandish folktales relating to food.
          > *13*Carnival in the High Middle Ages
          > 14.
          > Ironically, the plague in 14th-century Europe produced societal
          > shifts that led to a resplendent era in food. Assess the influence
          > of three seminal cookbooks and the craze for spices and sugar in the
          > flourishing of “Gothic” cuisine. Study specific recipes, cooking
          > techniques, and the culture of medieval court banquets.
          > *14*International Gothic Cuisine
          > 15.
          > The Italian Renaissance brought a new aesthetic approach to cookery,
          > featuring great complexity of presentation. Uncover some of the
          > era’s extremes in books by food writers Platina, Ficino, and
          > Messisbugo, and note connections with the self-conscious
          > sophistication of Mannerist painting. Study menus and recipes from
          > the staggeringly elaborate banquets of the court of Ferrara.
          > *15*A Renaissance in the Kitchen
          > 16.
          > Contemporary with the European Renaissance, Aztec culture produced a
          > unique food tradition that survives today in Mexican cuisine. Learn
          > first about Aztec society, its indigenous foodstuffs, and
          > distinctive diet. Also study descriptions of lavish Aztec banquets;
          > “signature” foods, from avocados, beans, and chilies to chocolate
          > and maize; and the Aztec philosophy of balance and moderation in
          > eating.
          > *16*Aztecs and the Roots of Mexican Cooking
          > 17.
          > Humanity’s desire for spices and other luxury items eventually
          > connected the entire globe. Track the powerful trading empires of
          > the Venetians and Portuguese, the Spanish conquest of the New World,
          > and the “Columbian exchange”—where plants and animals from five
          > continents were globally transplanted, changing eating habits around
          > the world.
          > *17*1492—Globalization and Fusion Cuisines
          > 18.
          > Across Europe in the 1500s, witness new dynamics in culture that
          > brought the use of cutlery, elaborate tableware, ritualized behavior
          > at table, and food ideologies distinct from courtly fashions. Also
          > observe the effects of the religious Reformations on eating habits,
          > seen in new dietary freedoms, fasting practices, and moralistic
          > thinking about food.
          > *18*16th-Century Manners and Reformation Diets
          > 19.
          > Here, explore the rise of distinct regional and national cuisines,
          > focusing on Italy and Spain. Review the monumental culinary writings
          > of Bartolomeo Scappi, bringing together specialty dishes from all of
          > Italy. Then study excerpts from two classic books of Spanish cookery
          > as they vividly evoke Spain’s rich food culture.
          > *19*Papal Rome and the Spanish Golden Age
          > 20.
          > In the mid-17th century, France assumed a preeminent position in the
          > art of cooking. Here, grasp the aesthetics of the new French
          > cuisine, based in subtlety, refinement, and pureness of flavors.
          > Discuss four French cookbooks that revolutionized culinary history
          > and set the context for a variety of cuisines that follow.
          > *20*The Birth of French Haute Cuisine
          > 21.
          > English cookery’s unflattering reputation conceals a rich and varied
          > culinary past. Consider the religious and political factors that
          > produced a “schizophrenic” gastronomy, contrasting native and
          > foreign influences, courtly and country cooking. Learn about the
          > wide range of British foodstuffs, and compare recipes using odd,
          > baroque embellishments with ideologies promoting simple, traditional
          > fare.
          > *21*Elizabethan England, Puritans, Country Food
          > 22.
          > The 17th and 18th centuries saw the rise of European colonial
          > empires, where trade in exotic foods abetted slavery and forced
          > labor. Follow the conquests of the Dutch, British, and French, and
          > grasp how the trade in a group of entirely superfluous luxury items
          > changed the focus of the global economy.
          > *22*Dutch Treat—Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Tobacco
          > 23.
          > In this lecture, learn first about distinctive African foodways that
          > predated extensive outside contact, encompassing traditions such as
          > rich stews and “fufu” (starch-based porridges), regional eating
          > rituals, and important indigenous foodstuffs. Then review the
          > surprising variety of Australian plant and animal species used in
          > aboriginal cookery but never adopted by European settlers.
          > *23*African and Aboriginal Cuisines
          > 24.
          > Contemplate the traditional Japanese reverence for nature as
          > reflected in their respect for the natural flavors of all foods.
          > Study the elements of Japan’s refined and elegant cuisine, the
          > origins of sushi, and the aesthetics of ritualized manners,
          > decoration, and presentation in the world’s first restaurant-based
          > food culture.
          > *24*Edo, Japan—Samurai Dining and Zen Aesthetics
          > 25.
          > Eating habits in the American colonies incorporated a wide variety
          > of cultural influences. Contrast the culinary fashions of Virginia,
          > modeled on the English gentry, with the mercantile, Puritan ethic of
          > New England; the varied foodways of the Dutch settlers, Germans,
          > Quakers, and Quebecois; and the unique cuisine of Louisiana.
          > *25*Colonial Cookery in North America
          > 26.
          > The Industrial Revolution brought far-reaching changes in food
          > production and culture. In the British Isles, observe how the advent
          > of industrially organized farming, urban labor, and mass production
          > led to artificial modification of food and a decline in the quality
          > of diet, as well as human-made disasters such as the 1840s potato
          > famine.
          > *26*Eating in the Early Industrial Revolution
          > 27.
          > In the 19th century, food-conscious social movements reacted against
          > the ills of industrial society. Delve into new dietary ideologies
          > that stressed purity, backed by both quasi-scientific and religious
          > thought. Follow the rise of vegetarian societies, Utopian social
          > experiments, and health reform movements that gave us graham
          > crackers, breakfast cereals, and granola.
          > *27*Romantics, Vegetarians, Utopians
          > 28.
          > European culinary art blossomed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
          > Learn about the West’s first true restaurants in 18th-century Paris
          > and the formalized structure of meals served in multiple courses.
          > Follow the exploits of four of the first celebrity chefs and the
          > development of “gastronomy”—the science and art of eating well.
          > *28*First Restaurants, Chefs, and Gastronomy
          > 29.
          > Here, investigate the process by which late 19th-century food
          > production became a vast industry. See how technological
          > developments such as freezing, canning, and pasteurization gave
          > large companies increasing control over food production. Trace the
          > fortunes of the peanut from health food to junk food, and the global
          > implications of industrial food processing.
          > *29*Big Business and the Homogenization of Food
          > 30.
          > In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, European colonialism
          > expanded across the entire globe as a form of economic empire
          > building. Grasp how Western powers came to control massive
          > production of export crops in nonindustrialized countries, and how
          > political maneuvering enabled large companies to dominate global
          > markets in foodstuffs.
          > *30*Food Imperialism around the World
          > 31.
          > This lecture explores the significant ways in which American eating
          > habits have been shaped by immigrants. Investigate the social
          > phenomenon of immigration, and how food cultures are imported and
          > adapted. Learn how Italian, Jewish, and Mexican foods entered the
          > American mainstream, and what accounts for their wide and sustained
          > popularity.
          > *31*Immigrant Cuisines and Ethnic Restaurants
          > 32.
          > In early 20th-century America, discover how World War I changed the
          > way civilians eat. Observe how corporations dictated the American
          > diet, and witness the advent of chain supermarkets, junk foods, the
          > marketing of food with health claims, and the government’s new role
          > in food supply in the wake of the Depression.
          > *32*War, Nutritionism, and the Great Depression
          > 33.
          > Food technologies developed to aid the war effort became the
          > template for American eating in the postwar era. Follow the
          > proliferation of freeze-dried and convenience foods, TV dinners, and
          > chain restaurants as they shaped food culture. Study the phenomenon
          > of fast food and the McDonald’s business model that became a global
          > phenomenon.
          > *33*World War II and the Advent of Fast Food
          > 34.
          > Explore the revitalization of food culture in the late 20th century,
          > beginning with the health food movement and new dietary ideologies.
          > Track the vibrant new era in food reflected in the work of
          > influential food writers and cooks, artisan food producers, “slow
          > food” culture, and farmers’ markets.
          > *34*Counterculture—From Hippies to Foodies
          > 35.
          > Science is transforming both how we prepare foods and the foods
          > themselves. First, witness the meeting of science and fine dining in
          > the ingenious creations of “modernist” cuisine. Then grasp the
          > principles of the genetic modification of foods, its promise and
          > potential dangers, and the implications of technologies such as
          > cloning and hydroponics.
          > *35*Science of New Dishes and New Organisms
          > 36.
          > Conclude with Professor Albala’s intriguing predictions on the
          > future of our food culture. Contemplate potential trends in food
          > supply, industrial processing, agriculture, and food delivery. Also
          > consider the projected obsolescence of our forms of shopping and
          > home cooking, and possible successors to traditional cutlery,
          > plates, and kitchens.
          > *36*The Past as Prologue?
          >
          > In joyous service,
          > Raffaella
          >
          >
          >
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