Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Booknote: Tastes Like Chicken

Emelyn Rude, Tastes Like Chicken: a History of America's Favorite Bird. New York: Pegasus Books, 2016. ISBN: 9781681771632.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: chickens, poultry, history, foodie
Format: e-book galley
Source: NetGalley

I tend to like microhistories, so I thought this book would be a good selection. The book looks at the chicken from domestication ten thousand years ago or so to today's popularity. It was not always the case that chicken was popular. For instance, in America's colonial days, chickens were not  seen as valuable, and farmers rarely bothered to pen them in.

The book is well researched, but it is a slogging and slow read, especially the early chapters where the author basically drowns the reader in minutiae. If you are expecting an interesting narrative with an engaging reading pace, then this book is not for you. I barely managed to finish it in order to write this short review.

If I have to recommend the book, I'd do so for academic libraries where the school has a strong culinary sciences program or maybe strength in food history and/or agricultural sciences. For my library, I would only order this if it was requested. This is not a book for popular readers. The description of the book says this is in the spirit of Mark Kurlansky's Cod. I'd say skip this book and go read one of Kurlansky's books instead.

1 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

1 comment:

Heather said...

It sounds like an interesting topic. Too bad that you didn't enjoy it.