At first glance, this book seems a jumble of topics, traditions, tastes and techniques. Broad reviews of political and economic history are interspersed with discussions of topics like shipbuilding, irrigation, spices and the Mediterranean grain trade. Recipes for seafood, lamb, pasta and vegetables are scattered throughout the book; recipes from different regions are shuffled together like a deck of cards. But two good indexes — one of general topics, the other of recipes — guide readers through the confusion; the recipes I tested were very good. Wright's enthusiastic investigation of Mediterranean cuisines is a fine feast for readers interested in culture, history, and most of all, food.