A wooden spoon – most trusty and lovable of kitchen implements – looks like the opposite of “technology,” as the word is normally understood.
Now this is my kind of non-fiction, and not just because of the subject. Clearly written with fun and love for the subject, it’s the kind of books that makes you share facts with a smile. Not a school book, but a book of knowledge.
Consider the fork is about your kitchen, kitchens in the past, kitchens in the future. It’s about ways to prepare food, about utensils, about how certain foods and materials have influenced our diets and diets around the world. It explains why the Japanese are satisfied with using only one knife, while the Western world prides itself on a case full of them. Why the wok was for the poor, and why fridges were looked at with suspicion. It’s a history book through the kitchen.
Bee Wilson adds anecdotes, but never makes the story about her. It’s excitement and facts thrown together, making it a very tasty stew (no, I couldn’t resist such a corny metaphor).
Consider the fork, Bee Wilson, Basic Books 2012