At what point in history did people start serving meals at regular hours? Would we still be eating communally today if the Black Plague hadn't forced diners to eat a safe distance from each other? What is the real story behind the origin of pasta? These are just a few of the tantalizing questions that are answered in this fascinating history of food from prehistoric times to the present. This comprehensive work explores the culinary evolution of cultures ranging from Mesopotamia to modern America, and explores every aspect of food history, from the dietary tales of the ancient Hebrews to the contributions of Arab cookery. Written by leading world authorities, this volume gives a unique perspective on the social and cultural mores of humankind through the ages, offering cooks, culinary scholars, and food lovers a banquet of information on which to feast.