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Culinary history?


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Have you done this one for middle school? I'd love to hear some ideas or resources you used. DD/rising 8th deliberated over cooking around the world, kitchen chemistry, or culinary history for next year. Notice a theme? I think we're actually settling on the latter.

 

I'm leaning towards using GC Food: A Cultural Culinary History as the spine at this point. I might pick up a textbook just for a reference. The GC course will give us one 30-40 minute lecture a week, a world region or topic for the week, and a sprinkling of activities/recipes. I'll sift through the extra reading recommendations in there, but I'm expecting most of them to be above her interest level. The lectures may push her attention span for that matter. LOL

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We're working through 'what Einstein told his chef' and I have 'edible history of humanity' which I really liked and may assign dd to read.

 

My mil bought her a food technology textbook that schools use and she's been poring over it...

 

Listening in!

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We've used most of that course and it's been one of our favorites. We use it along with history for the past 3 years. Highly recommend it.

 

This year we've also taken several single food items and read a book about their historical, social, economical, nutritional, scientific, etc history. We did bananas, chocolate, sugar, some potato info but that was just 1 chapter. We focused a bit on items involved with Columbian Exchange to align with history and it's been excellent.

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We did some What Einstein Told His Cook for chemistry last year. The second volume is a definite consideration.

 

I like the idea of going in depth on one for item. That would be interesting. :)

 

I think this will BE her history, so I've got some fleshing out to do. The Guesthollow kitchen chemistry high school course has some good titles I'm going to look at closer.

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Sounds like fun. I'll try to come back with other suggestions, but off the top of my head I recommend most enthusiastically "America's First Cuisines" by Sophie Coe. It is an excellent book. Her "The True History of Chocolate" (finished by her husband, renown archaeologist Michael Coe, after her death) is not quite as good, but nonetheless a worthwhile read.

Edited by bibiche
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If you've bought the GC course or have Great Courses Plus, there are a ton of excellent book suggestions in it. Our favorite so far this year has been, Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World. We're an adoptive family; DD was born in Guatemala so there were some sections that were tough for her because of the history of bananas in Guatemala, but I think it was a good introduction to that topic for her. You do end up leaving the book wondering whether you should just stop eating bananas entirely because of their atrocious socio-economic and anti-humanitarian history or eat even more before they disappear because of disease and genetics.

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Thanks! I'm looking up each of these. Documentaries are a good idea. We have Amazon instead of Netflix but I'm sure there's some good ones on there.

 

Unless a better option springs along we're definitely going with the GC course as the spine. For reference we'll add a textbook and one of those Betty Crocker binders that have basic instructions for cooking anything. And a cookbook with meals from around the world? Then the rest will be padded with extra reading and time in the kitchen.

Edited by SilverMoon
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