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197 × 120 mm
144 pages
48 illustrations, 40 colour
01 Apr 2013

Beef A Global History Lorna Piatti-Farnell

Hamburgers, roast beef, stew, steak, ribs – these mouthwatering dishes all have cows in common. But though beef is enjoyed around the world – from the Argentinian pampas to the kobe beef of Japan – links to obesity and heart disease, mad cow disease and climate change have caused consumers to turn a suspicious eye onto the ubiquitous meat. Arguing that beef farming, cooking and eating is found in virtually every country, Beef delves into the social, cultural and economic factors that have shaped the production and consumption of beef throughout history.

Lorna Piatti-Farnell shows how the class status of beef has changed over time, revealing that the meat that was once the main component in everyday stews is today showcased in elaborate dishes by five-star chefs. Beef explores the place beef has occupied in art, literature and historical cookbooks, while also paying attention to the ethical issues in beef production and contemplating its future.

Featuring images of beef in art and cuisine and palate-pleasing recipes from around the world, Beef will appeal to the taste buds of amateur grillers and top chefs alike.

‘covers everything you ever wanted to know about beef and more. The book delves into the social, cultural and economic factors which have shaped the production and consumption of beef throughout history . . . This book is an enlightening foray into the world of beef.’ 
– Smallholder Magazine

‘Beef has long had a variety of cultural associations, and Piatti-Farnell treats some of the more notable ones, including Rembrandt’s Carcass of Beef and Hogarth’s Gate of Calais, while also recording literary references in Shakespeare, Dickens, and Byron, among others. Piatti-Farnell is alert to more recent examples as well – including Lady Gaga’s “meat dress”– and she notes the longstanding advertising campaign of Chick-fil-A, in which three cows hold signs imploring humans to “Eat Mor Chikin”. – The Weekly Standard

‘These are food memoirs, salacious and exotic, colorful, powdered, sweet, greasy and globe-trotting . . . sharp and speedy little reads, spotted with off-kilter illustrations’ 
– Chicago Tribune

‘Embellished with clever illustrations and a nice selection of historical and contemporary recipes . . . [an] outstanding series of food volumes.’ – Wall Street Journal

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Lorna Piatti-Farnell is a Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies at Auckland University, New Zealand. She has published widely on cultural history, food studies, Gothic fiction and popular culture.