Romaine Wasn't Built in a Day: The Delightful History of Food Language (Hardcover)

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Romaine Wasn't Built in a Day: The Delightful History of Food Language (Hardcover)


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"Scrumptious...This book was meant to be devoured."
—Roy Peter Clark, author of Murder Your Darlings

"I will never look at my breakfast the same way again!"
—Sarah Lohman, author of Eight Flavors

Romaine calm and read on for a deliciously detailed digest of food language throughout time from celebrated linguist and historian Judith Tschann

Food and words—we rely on both to sustain our daily lives. We begin each morning hungry for nourishment and conversation, and our happiest moments and fondest memories are often filled with ample servings of both.

Food historian Judith Tschann celebrates this glorious intersection of linguistic and culinary affinities with Romaine Wasn't Build in a Day, a decadent romp through the history of food words. On the hunt for the hidden stories behind hundreds of dishes and ingredients we take for granted—like pumpernickel, for example, which literally means "Farting Nicholas"—Tschann takes us on an expedition from the vineyards of Avignon to the shores of Tahiti, illuminating the ways in which language is ever-changing, infinitely amusing, and entirely inseparable from culture, history, and identity. 

Full of endless morsels of fascination for word nerds and foodies alike, Romaine Wasn't Built in a Day will beguile history buffs, captivate crossword fiends, satiate Scrabble nerds, and feed our fondness for our two favorite pastimes: eating and talking. 

Judith Tschann is professor emerita at the University of Redlands, where she taught medieval studies for many years and served for five years as chair of the English Department. She received a Mortarboard Professor of the Year Award and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and has lectured and written for both academic and popular audiences. She lives in Redlands, California, with her husband. 
Product Details ISBN: 9780316389372
ISBN-10: 0316389374
Publisher: Voracious
Publication Date: February 21st, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English
"If you’ve ever paused mid-sip to wonder about the origins of your piping hot coffee or pondered the etymological roots of the word 'pastrami,' former English professor Judith Tschann has some very fun answers. Tschann joyfully explores our daily food rituals, from breakfast spreads to boozy nightcaps, parsing the language we use to talk about what we eat and drink, and why. Along the way, she unearths surprising origin stories and twisty verbal evolutions. The result is a truly delightful smorgasbord of history and linguistics that kept us entertained—and made us hungry."—Apple Books

"Accomplished medievalist Tschann turns her linguistic skills to sussing out the origins of all manner of food-related words... Tschann's approach is lighthearted, but her aim is serious."


"I will never look at my breakfast the same way again!"—Sarah Lohman, author of Eight Flavors

"Scrumptious... This book was meant to be devoured."—Roy Peter Clark, author of Murder Your Darlings