I just finished reading Jane Kramer’s “A Fork of One’s Own” in The New Yorker. It heavily references Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat and now I want to read everything Bee Wilson has ever written. Her other books are The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us and Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee.
An excerpt from my favorite section of Kramer’s article:
This new cutlery transformed the way people ate. By the late eighteenth century in Europe, people were slicing their food into bite-size morsels and carrying them to their mouths with forks—those formerly weird things, Wilson calls them. And they hardly needed to chew such tiny pieces, which in most cases were already softened by pounding, overcooking, or long, gentle braisings. At the same time, the modern overbite began to appear prominently in upper-class Western European jaws.
The evolution of teeth has long been an interest of mine (due to my own need of orthodontics, despite my parents’ fairly straight teeth), but I’ve never figured out exactly where to start reading. Now I know! And bringing history, anthropology and food all together is a winning trifecta for me. Though I suppose I won’t get to Fork until I’ve finished with this stack of magazines, ha!