Beans: A History, Ken Albala (Berg Publishers, 2007)
The humble bean has always attracted attention – from Pythagoras’ notion that the bean hosted a human soul to St. Jerome’s indictment against bean-eating in convents (because they “tickle the genitals”), to current research into the deadly toxins contained in the most commonly eaten beans.
Over time, the bean has been both scorned as “poor man’s meat” and praised as health-giving, even patriotic. Attitudes toward this most basic of foodstuffs reveal a great deal about the society that consumes them.
Beans: A History takes the reader on a fascinating journey across cuisines and cultures.
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