Author(s): Helen Leach
‘You could say that the 1930s saw the highpoint of Macaroni Cheese.’ ‘New Zealand kitchens of the late twentieth century became increasingly spacious, as the average number of household members declined.’ This engrossing history of the domestic kitchen covers 10 decades that saw our culinary traditions accommodate extraordinary changes in technology and the irresistible process of globalisation. Each chapter surveys the external influences on households and their kitchens, samples the dishes prepared during the decade, and discusses the structure of meals. A study of kitchen equipment and design then closes each chapter, cumulatively revealing more innovation in these aspects than in what we ate. Kitchenz is the culmination of a 10-year research and writing project by anthropologist Helen Leach, supported by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand, focusing on the material culture of cooking by New Zealanders living in the past two centuries. The project has led to the publication of From Kai to Kiwi Kitchen (2010), The Pavlova Story (with Mary Browne, 2008), The Twelve Cakes of Christmas (with Mary Browne and Raelene Inglis, 2011) and this book.
Helen Leach is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago. Her research interests include the evolution of human diet and prehistoric horticulture. The Pavlova Story was shortlisted in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2009.