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...
PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPrologue1. Oliver Evans's Automated Mill2. The Erie Canal3. Delmonico's4. Sylvester Graham's Reforms5. Cyrus McCormick's Reaper6. A Multiethnic Smorgasbord7. Giving Thanks8. Gail Borden's Canned Milk9. The Homogenizing War10. The Transcontinental Railroad11. Fair Food12. Henry Crowell's Quaker Special13. Wilbur O. Atwater's Calorimeter14. The Cracker Jack Snack15. Fannie Farmer's Cookbook16. The Kelloggs' Corn Flakes17. Upton Sinclair's Jungle18. Frozen Seafood and TV Dinners19. Michael Cullen's Super Market20. Earle MacAusland's Gourmet21. Jerome I. Rodale's Organic Gardening22. Percy Spencer's Radar23. Frances Roth and Katharine Angell's CIA24. McDonald's Drive-In25. Julia Child, the French Chef26. Jean Nidetch's Diet27. Alice Waters's Chez Panisse28. TVFN29. The Flavr Savr30. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spin-OffsEpilogueBibliography