Synopses & Reviews
Though the Roaring Twenties call to mind images of flappers dancing the Charleston and gangsters dispensing moonshine in back rooms, Sylvia Lovegren here playfully reminds us what these characters ate for dinner: Banana and Popcorn Salad. Like fashions and fads, food—even bad food—has a history, and Lovegren's Fashionable Food
is quite literally a cookbook of the American past.
Well researched and delightfully illustrated, this collection of faddish recipes from the 1920s to the 1990s is a decade-by-decade tour of a hungry American century. From the Three P's Salad—that's peas, pickles, and peanuts—of the post-World War I era to the Fruit Cocktail and Spam Buffet Party loaf—all the rage in the ultra-modern 1950s, when cooking from a can epitomized culinary sophistication—Fashionable Food details the origins of these curious delicacies. In two chapters devoted to "exotic foods of the East," for example, Lovegren explores the long American love affair with Chinese food and the social status conferred upon anyone chic enough to eat pu-pu platters from Polynesia. Throughout, Lovegren supplements recipes—some mouth-watering, some appalling—from classic cookbooks and family magazines, with humorous anecdotes that chronicle how society and kitchen technology influenced the way we lived and how we ate.
Equal parts American and culinary history, Fashionable Food examines our collective past from the kitchen counter. Even if it's been a while since you last had Tang Pie and your fondue set is collecting dust in the back of the cupboard, Fashionable Food will inspire, entertain, and inform.
Fashionable Food takes you on an outrageous trip through the culinary history of America in the twentieth century. Decade by decade, Sylvia Lovegren details the origins - and demise - of such curious gourmet delicacies as Banana and Popcorn Salad, Barbecued Bologna for Men a la Crisco, Baked Beans au Glow-Glow, and Tang Pie, alongside longer-lasting inventions such as Crepes Suzette, Quiche Lorraine, and Tiramisu. Recipes for these "creations" and many more are extracted from classic cookbooks and family magazines of the past and present, and included here are both prewar working-class holiday dishes and fancy haute-cuisine feasts - as well as every food fad in between. Lovegren's humorous text also chronicles the influences of society and kitchen technology that have completely changed the way we live - and the foods we have eaten - since the 1920s, when gas ranges replaced wood- or coal-burning stoves, the mechanical refrigerator made the icebox obsolete, food processing became big business, and women went to work.
About the Author
A culinary historian and food writer, Sylvia Lovegren
is an avid collector and reader of old cookbooks and has contributed to American Heritage
and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.
Table of Contents
1. The Twenties
Icebox cookery and Other Modern Ideas
2. The Thirties
Comforting Food in America
3. An Exotic Interlude, I
Chinese Food in America
4. The Forties
Oh, What a Hungry War!
5. The Fifties
Fabulous Foods for the Richest Country on Earth
6. The Sixties
7. An Exotic Interlude, II
Other Oriental Foods in America
8. The Seventies
Eating Our Way to Nirvana
9. The Eighties
For Richer, for Poorer: Status Food and Comfort Food
10. The Nineties
Fin de Siècle Cooking in the Fusion Decade
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