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The Language of Food: "Mouth-watering and sensuous, a real feast for the imagination" BRIDGET COLLINS

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But first, she must familiarize herself with a kitchen and gather recipes to add to her book. To help her with this task, she hires Ann Kirby, an impoverished young woman hoping to provide proper care for her ailing mother. Together, these women forge a bond while creating a series of popular cookbooks. It was a friendship that grew over time and endured for a lifetime. The truth about Mrs. Beeton’s book is also interesting, and is something people should be made aware of, in my opinion.

This is a collection of articles on language relating to food. It's a mixed bag. There is a lot about etymology and word origins (Why do we "toast" someone or something when drinking? Are macaroons and macarons related, and do macaroni have anything to do with either of them?). This was ok, if not particularly captivating. I was much more interested in the chapter on the language used in menus and how it varies depending on the price point of the restaurant. That was actually quite fascinating, and there's a related chapter that looks at a similar thing in bags of crisps. I also liked the chapter on the phonetics of different foods and how different types of sounds suggest different qualities in the foods (crispy and crunchy? Soft and pillowy?).Eliza had never cooked before but was now forced to. England has many exciting and new ingredients to use, and, in her experimentation, she was not afraid to try cooking foreign dishes with their spices and ingredients. However, I cannot really recommend this to the great number of people who are not in these lines of work.

The Language of Food is a beautiful story of food and of recipes, and also of poetry, but more than that of two women who want to dream of and do things that weren’t approved of in the time they wanted to do them or seemed far out of their reach—and who each in their own way lived somewhat beyond convention. I realize this may sound like an odd statement to make, because it is an incredibly niche topic, but I spent a long, long time studying theoretical linguistics. And of all the courses I took, of everything I learned, one of the things I still remember is the first day of the Introduction To Historical Linguistics class I took as an undergraduate. It was a big class, maybe fifty of us, and the professor asked us to come up with the word for "tea" in as many languages as we could. And because this was a room of fifty linguistics majors, we knew a whole lot of languages, as an aggregate. And as we called out words she wrote them all down on the board, sorting them into one of two groups, by whether they sounded more like "tea" or whether they sounded more like "chai." Two of my favourite topics in one elegantly written novel - women’s lives and food history. I absolutely loved it' Polly Russell

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The story is told in dual narratives. Eliza’s thoughts and personal goals and challenges are very different from those Ann Kirby endured, but the women complemented one another beautifully. even though the book is brief, there's a ton of useful information in it. for example, i finally learned why it's called pain perdu. i mean, i knew the words meant "lost bread," but for some reason i'd never made the (incredibly obvious) connection that you make it with bread that has gone stale. i always assumed it was "lost" under the rivers of butter and syrup i poured upon it. Eliza Acton was a poet in real life and the author has spared no effort in imagining the world of food, spices and cooking through the eyes of a poet and a woman who didn't even know how to boil an egg when she first ventured into a kitchen. Almost immediately, Eliza and Ann find a rapport, and begin the process of testing recipes, ostensibly to feed the boarders at Mrs. Acton's establishment, but with the longer-term aim of writing a housekeeping and cookery manual for modern Victorian houskeepers. Despite her impoverished beginnings, Ann can read and write well, has a well-honed palate and relishes the opportunities that her employment and blossoming friendship with Miss Eliza provide. While the bulk of her paltry salary goes on bribing staff at the asylum, Ann grows in confidence and culinary skill. Meanwhile, Eliza discovers an unexpected fascination with and passion for food and cooking, adding a revolutionary quantitative aspect (prior to her book, recipes rarely included accurate quantities or cooking times) and drawing on her poetic skills as she records the various recipes she and Ann trial together in the kitchens of Bordyke House. As a frequent reader of historical fiction, it is common to encounter dual timelines these days, which is okay most of the time, but not really my favorite, which was why I enjoyed the format the author used in this novel. Instead of a dual timeline, she used dual first-person narratives from the same time period. This made the story much more effective for me.

I was so excited to get approved for this ARC. A time period that I enjoy (Victorian) with a story that centers on women breaking boundaries and finding meaning? Sign me up! I'd like to think that the lesson here is that we are all immigrants, that no culture is an island, that beauty is created at the confusing and painful boundaries between cultures and peoples and religions. I guess we can only look forward to the day when the battles we fight are about nothing more significant than where to go for tacos. This reminds me of an upstairs, downstairs type of book. Very interesting and informative book that I enjoyed a lot. All innovation happens at interstices. Great food is no exception, created at the intersection of cultures as each one modifies and enhances what is borrowed from its neighbors. The language of food is a window onto these “between” places, the ancient clash of civilizations, the modern clash of culture, the covert clues to human cognition, society, and evolution."

it's fantastic stuff and very easy to read. there's a bit too much of the personal anecdote dropped in, and it is very san francisco-centric, but there's at least one entertaining, thought-provoking fact in each chapter, which is pretty good for a book about something as niche-y as food and linguistics. Libations are still around too. Modern hiphop culture has a libationary tradition of "pouring one out" -- tipping out malt liquor on the ground before drinking, to honor a friend or relative who has passed away - - described in songs like Tupac Shakur's "Pour Out a Little Liquor." (It's especially appropriate that malt liquor, a fortified beer made by adding sugar before fermenting, is itself another descendent of shikaru.) The fascinating journey through The Language of Food uncovers a global atlas of culinary influences. With Jurafsky's insight, words like ketchup, macaron, and even salad become living fossils that contain the patterns of early global exploration that predate our modern fusion-filled world. For example (if I remember correctly), study of a large data set shows that a one-letter increase in median word length in the description of menu items correlates with a 19 cent increase in price. On the other hand, the average number of words used on menu descriptions, when compared with price, shows a normal-curve (i.e., inverted “U” shape) distribution, that is, both the cheapest and most expensive restaurant use very few words compared to the mid-range restaurants (wordy culprits are identified as TGI Fridays and Olive Garden, among others). Modern Cookery for Private Families was the first cookery book to provide a detailed list of ingredients, precise quantities and cooking times for each recipe in a format we still follow today. Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was published in 1861 well after Eliza Acton's and it is now known that Mrs Beeton plagiarised hundreds of Acton's recipes for the collection. Not only that, but Mrs Beeton stole recipes from other cookery books as well, and knowing that now, I wish she wasn't held in such high esteem. A pox on her book!

Eliza and Ann grow to create a strong friendship. Ann enjoys cooking just as much as Eliza and the two go about perfecting recipes that they serve to boarders and will add to the cookbook. Eliza has the chance to finally be separated from the constricting reach of her mother through marriage. She also has the chance to mend her estranged relationship with her oldest sister. There are many other aspects to this story, but I don't want to give too much information and spoil the surprises. there are some unexpected, appreciated connections. i mean, how often do you think tupac turns up in linguistic tomes? there's basically two different avenues explored here. one is tracing food through time and place and learning how it evolved into the food we know today, both in name and ingredients. the second focus is the one that really got my brain juices a-stirring, and it's more about food and language with an advertising slant. one of the chapters focuses on the language used in menus throughout time and a mini-study on the relationship between the language used and the average price of the restaurant's meals. so many subtle manipulations at play - the length and number of the words used, the use of french terms, the inclusion of the protein's birthplace, the occurrence of "filler words," the level of complicity the diner has in their own meal (i.e. - "your way" or "your choice.") it's fascinating stuff. The Language of Food is an enthralling historical fiction novel, based around the life of Victorian poet and cookery book writer Eliza Acton (1799-1859). Outside the UK and Australia, the book has been published as Miss Eliza's English Kitchen: A Novel of Victorian Cookery and Friendship. The voices of both women are very touching. Eliza is very warm and encouraging, taking Ann under her wings. Ann appreciates Eliza’s warmness and kindness, but at the same time still feels guilty for not taking care of her parents. You can sense how much she tries to stay strong, never revealing her troubled past.Incidentally, do ebooks not support macrons? Every single macroned letter in this book is a graphic of a macron and not a typed character.) I teach English. I listen to books like this as a kind of professional development that you can do on a bicycle, city bus, etc., because you never know what kind of language-related trivia may come in useful in the classroom. For librarians and administrators, your personal account also provides access to institutional account management. Here you will find options to view and activate subscriptions, manage institutional settings and access options, access usage statistics, and more.

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