In the history of humanity the sense of taste has become progressively more refined, so much so that it is "a knowledge that enjoys and a pleasure that knows". This book describes the evolutionary pathway that has made humans the only species that cooks its food, produces it, and celebrates its delights through language. All animals eat in order to survive, but only humans know how to make the act of eating an agreeable occurrence, are able to appreciate it and transform it into an object of culinary art and scientific gastronomy. Through cooking and the invention of cuisine, the act of eating is socialized and translated into linguistic experience. For all these reasons, "knowing how to taste" is a privilege reserved to our species. From the preferences' of monkeys and hominids up to the advent of fine cooking as a science, the author observes the peculiar nature of human gustatory faculties from an unusual perspective, placing emphasis on carnal and emotional experiences, the importance of which has been long overlooked.
Rosalia Cavalieri teaches Semiotics and Theory of Sign Languages at the University of Messina.