Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

A diet consisting entirely of uncooked foods, as is sometimes advocated, would obviously require us to forgo many gastronomic pleasures. But it would be perfectly adequate and would include many such pleasures. We would not be restricted to salad vegetables, fruits and nuts, milk, raw fish, and steak tartare. Provided that the preparation of foods without heat was allowed, for example by marinating them or using the technique of fermentation, we could enjoy salami, prosciutto, cheese, and many other dairy products, and many alcoholic drinks (although neither beer nor spirits). It might, of course, leave this Companion looking a little forlorn, just as it would confound the judgements of many anthropologists on the effect of cooking on humanity, e.g. Lévi-Strauss (1970) and Richard Wrangham (2009), and might have us agreeing with none other than Adolf Hitler that, ‘all sicknesses of civilization are caused by man cooking food.’