Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great micro-history from Mark Kurlansky. This is a deep look into the history of cod. When thinking of cod most us of instantly visualize Gordon fish sticks or fish and chips, but cod has a rich history that has been the cause of wars, has inspired explorers and traders, and influenced Clarence Birdseye to develop modern freezing methods. Once plentiful, cod fishing in Europe and America is now mostly restricted to allow stock to replenish, due to the over harvesting throughout time. It is still a controversial topic to the fishing industry and politics.
What I like about these micro-histories is the look into a common item that ends up having a history that has affected life world wide. Kurlansky delivers in a well written and, at times, humorous way to keep the reader engaged and entertained. Lots of interesting recipes, too, as far back as the middle ages. Needless to say, where the recipe for roe and liver sounds intriguing, it will likely never make its way to my dinner table.
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