Maarit Knuuttila: Kauha ja kynä. Keittokirjojen kulttuurihistoriaa [The ladle and the pen. The cultural history of the cookbook]

24 September 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kauha ja kynä. Keittokirjojen kulttuurihistoriaa
[The ladle and the pen. The cultural history of the cookbook]
Helsinki: SKS (The Finnish Literature Society), 2010. 207 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-187-2
€ 26, hardback

This book by ethnologist Maarit Knuuttila describes the history of European cookbooks, recipes and cooking. Knuuttila familiarises the reader with the earliest documents relating to the preparation of food, which were written by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but of which only a few have been preserved. Instead of haute cuisine the book concentrates on the authors and users of basic Finnish cookery books, and examines how those books reflect the times in which they were written, as well as their significance for women. While the literary high culture of gastronomy has been produced mainly by men, the everyday dishes represented in the basic cookbooks are the work of women. The author discusses the changes in perceptions of the ideal home and health, as well as the ways in which Finnish cookery, housekeeping and food culture have altered during the past hundred years.

Tags: ,