Romaine Wasn't Built in a Day: The Delightful History of Food Language (Hardcover)
Discover how the food we love shapes the language we use in this sharp, laugh-out-loud story of the etymology of food words.All food has a story, reaching as far back into history as language itself. Throughout time, as languages followed and reflected the tides of civilizations, food language came to represent some of the highs and lows of how humans communicate: from the highbrow "Chateauneuf du Pape," which must be pronounced with a healthy dose of snootiness; to the giggle-inducing yet delicious "nun's farts" of Jamaica (also known as "beignets"); to the fascinating travels of the word "coffee" across centuries and continents, attesting to the undying and unifying allure this drink holds for us. From Spam to amuse-bouches, ciabatta to kombucha, Romaine Wasn’t Built in a Day reveals the delightful history and stories behind the words we use for the foods we love.
In Romaine Wasn’t Built in a Day, linguist Tschann takes us on a journey from the vineyards of Avignon to the shores of Tahiti to the port of Mocha on the Red Sea coast to explore the history of the history of the words we use for the food we eat. Chock full of linguistic did-you-knows and delectable trivia, this is your go-to gift for history buffs, crossword fiends, and Scrabble diehards. This is the surprising and sometimes hilarious history of food, told through the lens of the fascinating evolution of language.
Judith Tschann is professor emerita at the University of Redlands, where she taught medieval studies for many years and served for five years as chair of the English Department. She received a Mortarboard Professor of the Year Award and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and has lectured and written for both academic and popular audiences. She lives in Redlands, California, with her husband.