So I have a degree in Anthropology. But I generally find history rather boring and confusing. Too many dates and names to remember and sort through. I realize history is important when talking about Anthropology and culture since we must look to the past to understand why we are what we are today. This doesn't change the fact that I always wanted to fall asleep in history classes.
Well, I finally found a way to make history interesting and engaging for me. FOOD. (Let's face it, my entire life revolves around food. I day dream about it, I love grocery shopping and new restaurants, I work IN a restaurant, I love new recipes and cooking... ).
I have Linda Civitello to thank for my new love of history. She is the author of the book "Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People." It's the history of the world but based around FOOD (totally genius, I tell ya). The book explains how food influenced important historical events, how different foods migrated across oceans, how and why cuisine changed over the years .... awesomely delicious to read.
I had to pause numerous times when reading this book and run to the grocery store to cook up something amazing. Reading about food is dangerous (kind of like watching the Food Network or Travel Channel).
I now understand why I love potatoes so much. I also learned why the US is such a coffee addicted culture -- so I don't have to feel bad about my java addiction, it's really not my fault. And I have a renewed sense of wonder about how diverse the US is and how that diversity if reflected in our cuisine and restaurants. I love being able to choose from American burgers and fries, Vietnamese Pho, Japanese Sushi, El Salvadoran pupusas, Chilean OR Argentine empanadas, Spanish tapas, Italian pastas, Indian curry, Irish corned beef and cabbage, etc etc etc. (It's no wonder Americans are obese! Too many things to eat! (and yet most people here just go to McDonald's and never explore the fabulous options available. Sad face.))
Damnit, now I'm hungry. Time for lunch.
In conclusion: Read this book.