Synopses & Reviews
Kansas City Mo. home to Charlie Parker and the strains of modern jazz also rests at the culinary crossroads of America as culinary historian Broomfield observes in this straightforward survey part of the Big City Food Biography series. The city is located in the fertile Central Plain where the soil is ideal for cultivating grain and producing fields of grass where cattle can graze. Broomfield’s tale of the life of food in the region begins with the earliest contributions of native tribes such as the Kaw and their cultivation of maize and squash. Prior to the Civil War Kansas City’s food reflected the cuisine of the South including beaten biscuits pies gumbos fried chicken and catfish. In the 19th century a number of immigrant groups helped shape the city’s cuisine with Mexican tamales and chilis German beer Swiss confections and Italian minestrone and pastas. Broomfield offers a brief history of many of the markets and groceries that helped establish Kansas City as a center of culinary hospitality such as the E. Whyte Grocery Fruit amp; Wine Company; Wolferman’s Grocery; and the City Market. Broomfield’s guidebook also includes an overview of Kansas City’s signature dishes (with recipes) such as Myron Green’s cinnamon rolls and Harvey’s Westport Room Chicken Maciel. Readers will enjoy this entertaining in depth look at the foods that have made Kansas City famous. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
While some cities owe their existence to lumber or oil, turpentine or steel, Kansas City owes its existence to food. From its earliest days, Kansas City was in the business of provisioning pioneers and traders headed west, and later with provisioning the nation with meat and wheat. Throughout its history, thousands of Kansas Citians have also made their living providing meals and hospitality to travelers passing through on their way elsewhere, be it by way of a steamboat, Conestoga wagon, train, automobile, or airplane. As Kansas City's adopted son, Fred Harvey sagely noted, "Travel follows good food routes," and Kansas City's identity as a food city is largely based on that fact. Kansas City: A Food Biography explores in fascinating detail how a frontier town on the edge of wilderness grew into a major metropolis, one famous for not only great cuisine but for a crossroads hospitality that continues to define it. Kansas City: A Food Biography also explores how politics, race, culture, gender, immigration, and art have forged the city's most iconic dishes, from chili and steak to fried chicken and barbecue. In lively detail, Andrea Broomfield brings the Kansas City food scene to life.