Romaine Wasn't Built in a Day
The Delightful History of Food Language
"A truly delightful smorgasbord of history and linguistics that kept us entertained—and made us hungry."
"Scrumptious…This book was meant to be devoured."
—Roy Peter Clark, author of Murder Your Darlings
Romaine calm and read on for a deliciously detailed digest of food language throughout time from celebrated linguist and historian Judith Tschann that is guaranteed to "make you a hit at dinner parties" (New York Times).
Food and words—we rely on both to sustain our daily lives. We begin each morning hungry for nourishment and conversation, and our happiest moments and fondest memories are often filled with ample servings of both.
Food historian Judith Tschann celebrates this glorious intersection of linguistic and culinary affinities with Romaine Wasn't Build in a Day, an irresistibly charming and deliciously decadent romp through the history of food words. On the hunt for the hidden stories behind hundreds of dishes and ingredients we take for granted, Tschann takes us on an expedition through the centuries and around the world, illuminating the ways in which language is always changing, ever-amusing, and entirely inseparable from culture, history, identity, and such as:
- pumpernickel, which literally means "Farting Nicholas"
- the surprising linguistic connection between alcohol and eyeliner
- and the fascinating travels of the word coffee across centuries and continents, attesting to the enduring allure of a cuppa joe
Full of endless morsels of fascination for word nerds and foodies alike, Romaine Wasn't Built in a Day will beguile history buffs, captivate crossword fiends, satiate Scrabble nerds, and feed our fondness for our two favorite pastimes: eating and talking.
"Accomplished medievalist Tschann turns her linguistic skills to sussing out the origins of all manner of food-related words... Tschann's approach is lighthearted, but her aim is serious."—Booklist