More than a year ago, I was invited to contribute a couple of major articles to a proposed encyclopedia. It was intended to be four volumes and was, at the time, called the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Now, more than a year later, the encyclopedia, still four volumes but renamed the Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, is out.
Chances are, this is the sort of work that will mostly be purchased by libraries and universities. Each entry covers the foodways and culture of a different country. The countries I chose were Mongolia and Jordan, as I’d spent time in both places and had studied the food and customs of both. Each article includes an overview, a “food culture snapshot” (a vignette of how food fits into the life of a single family), a couple of recipes, and then sections on major foodstuffs, cooking, typical meals, eating out, special occasions/holidays, and diet and health.
It was a wonderful project. While I’m not going to suggest you buy this massive encyclopedia, I am happy to say that you can see it on Amazon — and the “look inside” feature allows you to search by topic. So if nothing else, you can at least see the scope of the work. Too bad there aren’t more projects like this out there. I could happily do this on a regular basis.
Anyway, here’s the link to the Food Cultures of the World Encylopedia on Amazon. If you’re impressed, you could always mention it to your local library. :)