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Dining Out: A Global History of Restaurants

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by Katie Rawson & Elliott Shore
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The history of restaurants is frequently said to begin in France in the mid- to late-18th century. And the word itself certainly does seem to originate there. But people have been paying to eat away from home for much longer than that. This diverse history of restaurants in many forms offers a wide perspective. While it begins with coverage of European and American fine dining institutions, it moves nimbly through roadside diners, showcasing the evolution of dining experiences over time.

Dining Out: A Global History of Restaurants, as presented by Katie Rawson and Elliott Shore, takes us on a captivating journey through the multifaceted world of restaurants. This book not only explores restaurants as businesses but also delves into their role as venues for a rich tapestry of human experiences. From lavish banquets in twelfth-century China to the medicinal origins of French restaurants, the narrative demonstrates that the history of restaurants is far from singular—rather, it is a diverse and fascinating tapestry of stories from different times and places, including chifa restaurants emerging from Chinese worker migrations in nineteenth-century Peru, Alexander Soyer's pioneering gas stove, and the transformative impact of the Harvey Girls in the American West. Beyond the culinary realm, Dining Out also delves into restaurant architecture, technological advancements, staffing, tipping culture, ethnic cuisines, and the dichotomy between slow and fast foods. Richly illustrated and deeply informed, this engaging history whisks us away from the world's first restaurants in Kaifeng, China, on a global journey that culminates in the latest high-end dining experiences, offering a comprehensive and delightful exploration of humanity's relationship with eating out.

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