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Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits & Vegetables

by

Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits & Vegetables Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

From the exotic appeal of oranges to the joy of home-grown tomatoes, many fruits and vegetables have come to play key roles in our gardening, cooking, and eating habits. This book explores ten familiar cultivars—apples, bananas, corn, cranberries, peppers, oranges, pumpkins, tobacco, tomatoes, and watermelons—to show how they have become intimately entwined with the American way of life.

Through recipes and superstitions, jokes and urban legends, history and advertising, these foods have become unmistakably part of our popular culture. We might attend a county fair and see a blue ribbon awarded to a prize pumpkin, then take in a movie that evening where we see a cigarette dangling from Humphrey Bogart's lips or even witness The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Whether native or exotic, consumed daily or associated with festivities, these common comestibles have become food for  thought as well as for sustenance.

Rooted in America examines how these foods express our cultural values and carry meanings that derive from the contexts in which we place them. It offers a tour of the apple in American history and consciousness, from Johnny Appleseed to mass production; tells how fruit companies taught North Americans to eat bananas while teaching Central Americans to grow them; examines differing social status attached to eating corn; explores the aesthetic contribution of cranberries to plate and landscape; and reveals how hot peppers separate men from boys—and also European from non-European cultures.

All of the essays show how these foods have slipped into our minds and hearts as symbols of what we value about ourselves and the places we live. Rooted in America will delight readers with its insights into favorite foods—proving that, no matter what their origins, all are as American as apple pie.

David Scofield Wilson is emeritus professor and former director of American studies at the University of California, Davis, and author of In the Presence of Nature.

Angus Kress Gillespie is associate professor of American studies at Rutgers University and coeditor of American Wildlife in Symbol and Story, also from Tennessee.

Contributors:  Angus Kress Gillespie, Virginia S. Jenkins, Jay Mechling, Theresa Meléndez, Boria Sax, C. W. Sullivan III, Tad Tuleja, Patricia Turner, David Scofield Wilson.

About the Author

David Scofield Wilson is emeritus professor and former director of American studies at the University of California, Davis, and author of In the Presence of Nature.

Angus Kress Gillespie is associate professor of American studies at Rutgers University and coeditor of American Wildlife in Symbol and Story, also from Tennessee.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781572330535
Editor:
Wilson, David Scofield
Editor:
Gillespie, Angus Kress
Editor:
Wilson, David Scofield
Editor:
Gillespie, Angus Kress
Contribution by:
Gillespie, Angus Kress
Author:
Gillespie, Angus Kress
Author:
Wilson, David Scofield
Publisher:
University of Tennessee Press
Subject:
Vegetables
Subject:
Fruit
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology - Folklore
Subject:
Folk-lore, american
Subject:
Food in literature
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
United States Social life and customs.
Subject:
Food habits -- United States.
Subject:
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
19990931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Fruit Gardening
Home and Garden » Gardening » Vegetable
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling

Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits & Vegetables New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages University of Tennessee Press - English 9781572330535 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
From the exotic appeal of oranges to the joy of home-grown tomatoes, many fruits and vegetables have come to play key roles in our gardening, cooking, and eating habits. This book explores ten familiar cultivars—apples, bananas, corn, cranberries, peppers, oranges, pumpkins, tobacco, tomatoes, and watermelons—to show how they have become intimately entwined with the American way of life.

Through recipes and superstitions, jokes and urban legends, history and advertising, these foods have become unmistakably part of our popular culture. We might attend a county fair and see a blue ribbon awarded to a prize pumpkin, then take in a movie that evening where we see a cigarette dangling from Humphrey Bogart's lips or even witness The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Whether native or exotic, consumed daily or associated with festivities, these common comestibles have become food for  thought as well as for sustenance.

Rooted in America examines how these foods express our cultural values and carry meanings that derive from the contexts in which we place them. It offers a tour of the apple in American history and consciousness, from Johnny Appleseed to mass production; tells how fruit companies taught North Americans to eat bananas while teaching Central Americans to grow them; examines differing social status attached to eating corn; explores the aesthetic contribution of cranberries to plate and landscape; and reveals how hot peppers separate men from boys—and also European from non-European cultures.

All of the essays show how these foods have slipped into our minds and hearts as symbols of what we value about ourselves and the places we live. Rooted in America will delight readers with its insights into favorite foods—proving that, no matter what their origins, all are as American as apple pie.

David Scofield Wilson is emeritus professor and former director of American studies at the University of California, Davis, and author of In the Presence of Nature.

Angus Kress Gillespie is associate professor of American studies at Rutgers University and coeditor of American Wildlife in Symbol and Story, also from Tennessee.

Contributors:  Angus Kress Gillespie, Virginia S. Jenkins, Jay Mechling, Theresa Meléndez, Boria Sax, C. W. Sullivan III, Tad Tuleja, Patricia Turner, David Scofield Wilson.

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