Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine
Food expert and celebrated food historian Andrew F. Smith recountsin delicious detailthe creation of contemporary American cuisine. The diet of the modern American wasn't always as corporate, conglomerated, and corn-rich as it is today, and the style of American cooking, along with the ingredients that compose it, has never been fixed. With a cast of characters including bold inventors, savvy restaurateurs, ruthless advertisers, mad scientists, adventurous entrepreneurs, celebrity chefs, and relentless health nuts, Smith pins down the truly crackerjack history behind the way America eats.
Smith's story opens with early America, an agriculturally independent nation where most citizens grew and consumed their own food. Over the next two hundred years, however, Americans would cultivate an entirely different approach to crops and consumption. Advances in food processing, transportation, regulation, nutrition, and science introduced highly complex and mechanized methods of production. The proliferation of cookbooks, cooking shows, and professionally designed kitchens made meals more commercially, politically, and culturally potent. To better understand these trends, Smith delves deeply and humorously into their creation. Ultimately he shows how, by revisiting this history, we can reclaim the independent, locally sustainable roots of American food.
Easy-to-digest prose and modest portions make these stories compulsively readable, and reveal new angles on old stories.Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Clear and engaging... erudite and entertaining... Recommended.
Eating History covers an enormous amount of ground and is something of a mini-encyclopedia with many entries, each densely packed with information. Smith is a talented storyteller, so the copious facts and figures are presented well, nicely sprinkled with interesting anecdotes.
...a great read...
1. Oliver Evans's Automated Mill
2. The Erie Canal
4. Sylvester Graham's Reforms
5. Cyrus McCormick's Reaper
6. A Multiethnic Smorgasbord
7. Giving Thanks
8. Gail Borden's Canned Milk
9. The Homogenizing War
10. The Transcontinental Railroad
11. Fair Food
12. Henry Crowell's Quaker Special
13. Wilbur O. Atwater's Calorimeter
14. The Cracker Jack Snack
15. Fannie Farmer's Cookbook
16. The Kelloggs' Corn Flakes
17. Upton Sinclair's Jungle
18. Frozen Seafood and TV Dinners
19. Michael Cullen's Super Market
20. Earle MacAusland's Gourmet
21. Jerome I. Rodale's Organic Gardening
22. Percy Spencer's Radar
23. Frances Roth and Katharine Angell's CIA
24. McDonald's Drive-In
25. Julia Child, the French Chef
26. Jean Nidetch's Diet
27. Alice Waters's Chez Panisse
29. The Flavr Savr
30. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spin-Offs