A History (The Meals Series)
Heather Arndt Anderson
Portland Oregon based Heather Arndt Anderson is a food writer, culinary historian, and botanist. She has written four books on food and food history. Breakfast, we do it every day, rarely question it and assume it has always been the way it is. In Breakfast: A History (The Meals Series), Anderson gives us a fascinating cultural history of breakfast. On the first page we learn that breakfast - despite its current status as our most important meal of the day - until recently lunch was our first meal of the day and we called it dinner. Dinner comes from the French term disdéjeuner which means end the fast and gives rise to our term breakfast. Anderson traces the cultural history of the meal from the ancient past to the present day and discusses what our breakfast practices say about us at different times. She surveys breakfast practices around the world, discusses breakfast in the home, take out breakfasts and breakfast in the arts and media. She fills the book with fascinating tidbits from the birth of cornflakes in a Battle Creek Michigan Seventh Day Adventist sanitarium to the birth of chicken and waffles to New York jazz era musicians who wanted something both sweet and savory after their late night gigs. We learn the changes to breakfast with the changing role of women in the home and society and the rise of take out food. Anderson's book surprises, entertains us, educates us and informs us.