New Release: A Curious History of Vegetables

Posted by – June 24, 2016
Categories: Food & Nutrition Health & Healing New Release

A Curious History of VegetablesAnyone who’s heard the phrase “freedom fries” knows that we humans have the propensity to imbue pretty much anything and everything with layers of complex meaning. In this way, vegetables take on lives of their own, overlaid with social, political, gendered, and emotional symbolism. Even potatoes have surprising secret histories, representing and contributing to cultural narratives, identity and folklore all over the world.

The humble potato has a long and storied history, from its early cultivation in the Incan terraces of South America to its role in enabling the European industrial revolution. But before claiming its rightful place in shepherd’s pie, vichyssoise, and disco fries, it served cultural roles as varied as leprosy scapegoat, connection to the great jaguar spirit, some sort of evil devil’s vegetable, and even a sexy Shakespearean symbol of, all things, lust.

Anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wolf D. Storl brings these surprising, curious, and illuminating veggie ethnographies to life, showing readers why beets had to be consecrated by priests every February 22, tomatoes were used to season human goulash, and asparagus gets you ready to get down. Supplemented with beautiful full-color illustrations, recipes, and gardening tips, A Curious History of Vegetables is an unexpected, informative, and delightful read.

Tags: Cookbooks Farming & Permaculture Herbalism Wolf Storl

About the Author

Maren began her publishing career as an intern at Counterpoint and Soft Skull Press, where she stayed on for more than four years as a publicist and web coordinator. She joined the NAB team in 2015 and is still stoked about it—she gets to read her Rob Brezsny horoscope (Scorpio)​ before anyone else! Maren lives in Oakland with a monstrous Maine Coon and spends the majority of her spare time convincing him to not eat all of her houseplants. Sometimes she has time to write, paint things, garden, or repair furniture.​