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Eating India: An Odyssey into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices [Hardcover]

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Item Number 379710  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   265
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 10, 2007
Publisher   Bloomsbury USA
ISBN  1596910186  
EAN  9781596910188  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Though it's primarily Punjabi food that's become known as Indian food in the United States, India is as much an immigrant nation as America, and it has the vast range of cuisines to prove it. In Eating India, award-winning food writer and Bengali food expert Chitrita Banerji takes readers on a marvelous odyssey through a national cuisine formed by generations of arrivals, assimilations, and conquests. With each wave of newcomers---ancient Aryan tribes, Persians, Middle Eastern Jews, Mongols, Arabs, Europeans---have come new innovations in cooking, and new ways to apply India's rich native spices, poppy seeds, saffron, and mustard to the vegetables, milks, grains, legumes, and fishes that are staples of the Indian kitchen. In this book, Calcutta native and longtime U.S. resident Banerji describes, in lush and mouthwatering prose, her travels through a land blessed with marvelous culinary variety and particularity.

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More About Chitrita Banerji

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Chitrita Banerji grew up in Calcutta and came to the United States as a graduate student; she received her master's degree in English from Harvard University. She has since become an internationally recognized writer on Bengali food, and is the author of "Life and Food in Bengal," "Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals," and "Feeding the Gods: Memories of Women, Food, and Ritual in Bengal." A two-time winner of Sophie Coe awards in Food and History, she has written about food for "Gourmet," "Gastronomica," "Granta," the "Boston Globe," and the "American Prospect." She lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Chitrita Banerji was born in 1947.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Page turner in the wrong sense  Sep 9, 2008
The title of this book should really have been "Eating India: Proof that Bengali cuisine is superior". Knowing the author is from Kolkata, I expected more coverage of Bengali cuisine. But I certainly didn't expect a blatant bias when covering other regional cuisines. The author constantly harks back to the food she knows best and asserts how her native cuisine requires a more delicate balance of spices and herbs without making much of an effort in knowing if other cuisines require a similar balance. Simple Bengali dishes are glorified while dishes of similar or even higher complexity from other regions are given just a passing mention. I made a bad decision in buying this book outright. So I couldn't justify quitting after the first couple of chapters. I could however, resort to speed reading and turn the pages as quickly as possible. :-)
Eating India  Dec 2, 2007
Title: Eating India
Author: Chitrita Banerji
ISBN: 978-1-59691-018-8
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine

From local eating myths to well-known facts about how food migrates with its people, Eating India rips into the history of food in India leaving no stone unturned. Wonderfully written in travel journal-style, Eating India takes readers from the pepper capital of Kerala to the imperial styled northern cuisines of Muslims to the eating habits of the fast-paced city by the sea, Bombay. Chitrita Bangerji challenges her own childhood memories of various cuisines and asks locals about emerging trends in food'. She strives to find the `real' story from `real' people and delivers a knock-out book in the end.

The details of her findings are laced with interesting tidbits about the geographic region, the nature of the people in the area and a vivid description of the sights and sounds so that a reader can place themselves exactly in that area without difficulty.

This is an important book in order to preserve some of the finer details about the exquisite cuisine in India. Without this book, the world might loose some of that history. Eating India is fun to read, delivers an incredible amount of information and an important part of keeping the history of India's cuisines alive.
Fantastic--Indian food comes alive  Oct 28, 2007

this book is in a class of its own--part travel, part food and part culture spiced throughout with love --
Chitrita spoils us again with her excellent writing, fantastic eye for detail and ability to bring together and share with us the foods and customs and locales that make India so wild, exotic and special; she shares it all from her authentic perspective. This is unlike any other book on India; we have waited too long for this integrated point of view. hope she has another book in the works. Mary K. Eliot
A Great Read, even for an Indian reader !  Jul 22, 2007
You think you know India, but after reading Eating India, you realize how wonderfully rich, tasty, and complex is the "Khichdi" called India. The real melting pot through millenia that has absorbed the waves of Aryans, Huns, Mongols, Greeks, Mughals, Europeans, and many others into its ever changing but unique identity is explored here in this book through the medium of food. The book is more than just a food book. It offers a prismatic look at the people, history, geography, and culture of the various regions of India. I grew up in Gujarat, but after reading the book, my salivary glands are working overtime, and I cannot wait to visit Ahmedabad and check out Agashiye restaurant. For the gastronomically adventurous traveller, especially if she has the digestive immune system that can handle a few choice microbes, the pleasures of eating at a roadside "dhaba" is not to be missed.
A wonderful book for anyone who loves food, travel, and history. Desis and non-desis alike will find it stimulating and appetizing.

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