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Other titles in the Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History series:
Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)by Andrew F. Smith
Synopses & Reviews
Food expert and celebrated food historian Andrew F. Smith recounts--in delicious detail--the 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.
"With an incisive style, food writer and editor Smith (Hamburger: A Global History) cuts deep into the origins of modern American culture with 30 succinct servings of U.S. food history. Beginning with Oliver Evan's automated mill in 1784 and ending with the present-day development of food conglomerates like Kraft Foods, Smith offers ample context for the way Americans currently consume (and think about) food. Easy-to-digest prose and modest portions make these stories compulsively readable, and reveal new angles on old stories, like Sarah Hale's successful efforts to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, the first food magazine (recently-shuttered Gourmet), to a recurring examination of the American obsession with French cuisine. Exhaustively researched by a professional expert, Smith can be slowed by lists of names and numbers (especially in the mergers section), but anyone interested in food will learn much, especially about the serious consequences of decisions regarding our food supply." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Following in the footsteps of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and other popular texts that trace the origins of our food, Andrew F. Smith describes thirty remarkable events that have reinvented the American diet. Filled with eccentric characters and delicious surprises, Eating History tells the story of the bold inventors, savvy restaurateurs, ruthless advertisers, mad scientists, adventurous entrepreneurs, celebrity chefs, and relentless health nuts who changed how America eats.
The United States began as an agriculturally independent nation, with most citizens growing and consuming their own food. Over the past two hundred years, however, Americans have cultivated an entirely different approach to crops and consumption. Advances in food processing, transportation, mechanization, regulation, nutrition, and science have introduced highly complex and mechanized methods of production, and the proliferation of cookbooks, cooking shows, and professionally designed kitchens have made meals more commercially, politically, and culturally potent. To better understand these trends, Smith shares the major moments of their creation. He also shows how in revisiting this history we might reclaim the independent, locally sustainable roots of American food.
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