Interest in food, cooking, and the culture surrounding food has grown enormously in the intervening period, as has the study of food and food history. University departments, international societies, and academic journals have sprung up dedicated to exploring the meaning of food in the daily lives of people around the world, alongside an ever-increasing number of articles, books, programmes, and websites in the general media devoted to the discussion of food, making the Oxford Companion to Food more relevant than ever.
Already a food writing classic, this Companion combines an exhaustive catalogue of foods, be they biscuits named after battles, divas or revolutionaries; body parts (from nose to tail, toe to cerebellum); or breads from the steppes of Asia or the well-built ovens of the Mediterranean; with a richly allusive commentary on the culture of food, expressed in literature and cookery books, or as dishes peculiar to a country or community.
While building on the Companion's existing strengths, Tom Jaine has taken the opportunity to update the text and alert readers to new perspectives in food studies. There is new coverage of attitudes to food consumption, production and perception, such as food and genetics, food and sociology, and obesity. New entries include terms such as convenience foods, drugs and food, Ethiopia, leftovers, medicine and food, pasta, and many more. There are also new entries on important personalities who are of special significance within the world of food, among them Clarence Birdseye, Henri Nestlé, and Louis Pasteur.