On The Nature of Food:
How Mankind Found Food, Tamed It, and Created Cuisines

by Vicki Oppenheimer


Milpah Press, 2002. ISBN 0972270701.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 02/21/2003

Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen

It was an article in my local newspaper, The Naples Daily News, that first introduced me to Ms. Oppenheimer and her book. The large front-page spread in the Neopolitan section beckoned for my complete attention. The banner and accompanying photo said it all: "A Lifetime Passion". Pictured was Ms. Oppenheimer, a 94-year-old resident of Naples.

The book is not only a compilation of recipes from family kitchens of the post WWI era into the present day, it is an anthropologic look at the importance of food in man's survival and development.

Ms. Oppenheimer began gathering recipes and researching her material for this book at the age of 13. Now, 81 years later, she is seeing the results of what can happen when an author does not lose sight of her goal.

For me, this book is much more than a culinary delight. It is a source of inspiration and motivation. If she can get her book published and accomplish book signings at major bookstores at her age, then surely I can hang on to my goal of one day writing something worthy of publication.

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