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The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in Americaby Andrew F. Smith
Synopses & Reviews
The history of food and drink in America is an exciting tale of unexpected twists and turns that are even more amusing than the oft-repeated myths. It is a story filled with hot-shot inventors, high-flying promoters, risk-taking growers, efficiency-conscious processors, hard-hitting advertisers, and lip-smacking consumers — all of whom have contributed to transforming lowly American food into a worldwide culinary delight.
In 800 intriguing articles (from over 200 contributors), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America covers the significant events, inventions, and social movements in American history that have affected the way Americans view, prepare, and consume food and drink. In an AZ format, this two-volume set details the regions, people, ingredients, foods, drinks, publications, advertising, companies, historical periods, and political and economic aspects pertinent to American cuisine. With contributions from academia, industry, and the culinary world, the Encyclopedia provides a far-ranging yet cohesive account of American history and culture from a gastronomic perspective. From the extravagant feasts of Diamond Jim Brady in the Gilded Age to the fad diets and the health consciousness of today, the status and cultural significance of American food and drink has transformed throughout the years.
With interesting anecdotes, informative sidebars, and generous bibliographies, the Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America will captivate readers — from scholars and food lovers everywhere — in this journey through American culinary history.
Special price: $195 until January 31, 2005. $250 thereafter.
"Whether readers make a living studying culinary traditions or just enjoy eating, they'll find this book a marvel. A trove of in-depth information on every aspect of American food and drink — such as holiday food traditions, the Slow Food movement and vegetarianism — the book strives to place its subject in historical and cultural context and succeeds brilliantly. Smith, who teaches culinary history at the New School University, compiles 800 articles and 400 illustrations in a colossal package, resembling Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany in the same way that the kitchen at the Four Seasons resembles the galley of a Manhattan apartment. Under 'C,' we find 'Chickpeas,' 'Child, Julia,' 'Clambake,' 'Cola Wars,' 'Community-Supported Agriculture' and 'Cooperatives'; while 'T' offers entries on 'Taco Bell,' 'Tea,' 'Thanksgiving,' 'Transportation of Food' and 'Tupperware.' Readers will be hooked upon opening either of the work's two volumes and flipping to any page. Among the offerings are a Nation article from 1879 that delights in fathers who'd mortify their daughters in social situations by joking about the 'frivolousness of napkins'; an entry on the french dip sandwich crediting a Los Angeles sandwich shop owner with inventing the item in 1918 (he accidentally dropped a roll into the roast drippings as he prepared a beef sandwich for a customer); a piece on Rastus, the fictional chef whose image has appeared on Cream of Wheat packages since 1896; and a fascinating exploration of Southern regional cookery. For food lovers of all stripes, this work inspires, enlightens and entertains. B&w illus. Forecast: With the right media coverage, this could see booming bookstore, library and cooking school sales. Oxford kicked things off with a symposium and reception at the Institute of Culinary Education in October." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Andrew F. Smith teaches culinary history at The New School University in Manhattan and is the General Editor for the University of Illinois Press's Food Series. He has written several food-related books, including The Tomato in America, Pure Ketchup, Popped Culture, and Souper Tomatoes. A consultant to several food television productions (airing on the History Channel and the Food Network), Mr. Smith resides in New York.
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