I know plenty of food writers, but not very many historians. So I was excited to meet British writer Tom Standage
, who spoke at a dinner at NYC's Bouley
last week to promote his most recent book, An Edible History of Humanity
. Standage’s day job is business and technology editor at the Economist
, but he's also fascinated by history and food, and all his passions come together in this book. Some topics he tackles: how the spice trade led to the discovery of the New World, how Napoleon's inability to feed his army brought about his defeat in Russia, and how Britain's decision to import food instead of grow it led to the Industrial Revolution. The book isn't exactly beach reading, but I’d recommend it to those who are looking to broaden their culinary horizons.