Hamburgers, pot roast, stew, steak, brisket—these mouthwatering dishes all have cows in common. But while the answer to the question, “Where’s the beef?” may be, “everywhere,” links to obesity and heart disease, mad-cow disease, and global warming have caused consumers to turn a suspicious eye onto the ubiquitous meat. Arguing that beef farming, cooking, and eating is found in virtually every country, Beef delves into the social, cultural, and economic factors that have shaped the production and consumption of beef throughout history.
Lorna Piatti-Farnell shows how the class status of beef has changed over time, revealing that the meat that was once the main component in everyday stews is today showcased in elaborate dishes by five-star chefs. She considers the place beef has occupied in art, literature, and historical cookbooks, while also paying attention to the ethical issues in beef production and contemplating its future. Featuring images of beef in art and cuisine and palate-pleasing recipes from around the world, Beef will appeal to the taste buds of amateur grillers and iron chefs alike.