Cover for von Hoffmann: From Gluttony to Enlightenment: The World of Taste in Early Modern Europe. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

From Gluttony to Enlightenment

The World of Taste in Early Modern Europe

Mystery, metaphor, and the creation of a new sensual realm

Scorned since antiquity as low and animal, the sense of taste is celebrated today as an ally of joy, a source of adventure, and an arena for pursuing sophistication. The French exalted taste as an entrée to ecstasy, and revolutionized their cuisine and language to express this new way of engaging with the world.

Viktoria von Hoffmann explores four kinds of early modern texts--culinary, medical, religious, and philosophical--to follow taste's ascent from the sinful to the beautiful. Combining food studies and sensory history, she takes readers on an odyssey that redefined a fundamental human experience. Scholars and cooks rediscovered a vast array of ways to prepare and present foods. Far-sailing fleets returned to Europe bursting with new vegetables, exotic fruits, and pungent spices. Hosts refined notions of hospitality in the home while philosophers pondered the body and its perceptions. As von Hoffmann shows, these labors produced a sea change in perception and thought, one that moved taste from the base realm of the tongue to the ethereal heights of aesthetics.

"A fascinating read. . . . Recommended."--Choice

"Hoffmann's volume takes us on a great journey that, ultimately, explores that which makes us human. An impressive and nuanced study, it is, above all, a worthy addition to the expanding menu of sensory studies."--Social History

"A highly intelligent and well-documented intellectual history of taste in the early modern period. It gave me dozens of topics to consider writing about."--James McWilliams, author of The Pecan: A History of America's Native Nut

"Von Hoffmann's study gives a comprehensive overview of writings on early modern taste from the standpoint of cuisine, medicine, religion, and philosophy. Rich and thoroughly researched."--Emma C. Spary, author of Eating the Enlightenment: Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670–1760

Viktoria von Hoffmann is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liège.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
An American in Hitler's  Berlin - Cover
An American in Hitler's Berlin

Abraham Plotkin's Diary, 1932-33

Edited and with an Introduction by Catherine Collomp and Bruno Groppo

Africans in Europe - Cover
Africans in Europe

The Culture of Exile and Emigration from Equatorial Guinea to Spain

Michael Ugarte

Mussolini's Army in the French Riviera - Cover
Mussolini's Army in the French Riviera

Italy's Occupation of France

Emanuele Sica

The British Army of the Rhine - Cover
The British Army of the Rhine

Turning Nazi Enemies into Cold War Partners

Peter Speiser

Cristi Puiu - Cover
Cristi Puiu

Monica Filimon

Between Two Homelands - Cover
Between Two Homelands

Letters across the Borders of Nazi Germany

Edited by Hedda Kalshoven

The Banquet - Cover
The Banquet

Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe

Ken Albala

Assassins against the Old Order - Cover
Assassins against the Old Order

Italian Anarchist Violence in Fin de Siècle Europe

Nunzio Pernicone and Fraser M. Ottanelli

Scandinavian Studies - Cover
Scandinavian Studies

Edited by Susan Brantly