We may not give much thought to the boxes in our freezers or the cans on our shelves, but behind the story of food preservation is the history of civilization itself. The ability to preserve food was the key that liberated humans from the anxious life of the hunter-gatherer, forced to follow migrating herds or to forage for seasonal berries and leaves. The development of portable, preserved food enabled the great explorers to travel into the unknown and gradually map the planet, facilitated the conquest of new territories by great armies and navies, and created routes for the expansion of trade and the exchange of knowledge and culture that opened up our world. It allowed us to expand our daily menu from the limited repetitious range of our ancestors to the multicultural, international choices we enjoy today. In 'Pickled, Potted, and Canned', Sue Shephard weaves together the stories of the inventors and key developments of food preservation in a lively and richly detailed narrative that spans centuries and continents, a fascinating blend of social history, popular science, and man's ongoing curiosity and inventiveness. It is a tale filled with extraordinary characters, old legends, and new revelations. It describes how Attila the Hun and his men 'gallop cured' their meat, how cooks became chemists and chemists became cooks, how men made or lost fortunes, and how some even lost their lives - like seventeenth-century statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon, whose death was caused by an experiment with a frozen chicken, or the worker in an early canning factory, killed 'most ridiculously and ignobly' by an exploding tin of turkey. From the primitive techniques of drying and salting to the latest methods that have allowed us to feed men in space, 'Picked, Potted, and Canned' gives us insight into the histories, cultures, and ingenuity of people inventing new ways to 'cheat the seasons'.