Synopses & Reviews
A sweeping reference work on food and drink in America, with fascinating entries on everything from the history of White Castle to the origin of the Bloody Mary, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink
provides more than a thousand concise, authoritative, and exuberant entries, beautifully illustrated with hundreds of historical photographs and sixteen pages of color plates.
This entertaining and informative reference serves up everything you could ever want to know about American consumables and their impact on popular culture and the culinary world. The Companion offers delightful entries on fast food, celebrity chefs, fish, sandwiches, regional and ethnic cuisine, food science, and historical food traditions. Readers will find fascinating discussions of Applejack and apple pie, barbecue and baked Alaska, Dairy Queen and Delmonicos, lemonade and licorice, mayonnaise and marshmallow fluff, Popcorn and pretzels, spinach and Spam, vegetarianism and Velveeta. The volume also includes informative lists of food websites, museums, periodicals, organizations, and festivals.
Ideal for the food enthusiast and food scholar alike, it is equally appetizing for anyone fascinated by Americana, capturing our culture and history through what we love most - food!
"Nearly 700 pages of Americana on the table, this reference work is the gift for the culinary student, chef or Food Network groupie on your list. It's fun to flip through - 'the mimosa is one of America's first designer cocktails' - or burrow into (the 'pies and tarts' entry goes on for three pages)."--The Denver Post
"Clearly written and concisely presented, this volume will be an affordable multidisciplinary resource"--School Library Journal
"When it comes to American food, there's no better resource than the new Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.This monster-size tome weighs enough to work your biceps and contains more than 1,000 entries that should answer every last one of your culinary curiosities."-New York Post
"Amateur and professional food historians will join lovers of culinary trivia in alternately marveling and chuckling over The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, which tells just about everything you ever wanted to know on the subject, and then some.... Overall, it's a fun and informative read."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Whether you want to learn for learning's sake, dazzle friends with observations on the cocktail you're holding ("Did you know that Bourbon is a style of whiskey that can legally be made only in the United States?") or beef up your chances on a game show ("I'll take 'Drive-Ins' for $100, Alex"), editor Andrew F. Smith's efforts should not fail to deliver. Many reference books fall short because they're, well, b-o-r-i-n-g. This one isn't."--Chicago Tribune
"Unique, fascinating, fun and indispensable, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink is a must for anyone interested in the food culture of America, from the professional chef to the food writer to the lover of the table."--Jacques Pépin, star of Fast Food My Way and author of The Apprentice
"Here are the facts. This impressive Oxford Companion presents a complex subject without fuss or frills."--Anne Willan, director of La Varenne at Château du Feÿ, author of La Varenne Pratique and The Good Cook
"I've always wondered what American food and drink was exactly. Now that I've read the Oxford Companion, it's clear and understandable. And what a story! Filled with unusual twists and turns and peopled with ordinary and extraordinary cooks, chefs, farmers, inventors, scientists, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs, I found it, like good food, quite irresistible."--Burt Wolf
"Erudite, witty, and stuffed with gems"--The Daily Telegraph (London)
About the Author
Andrew F. Smith
teaches culinary history and professional food writing at The New School University in Manhattan. He serves as a consultant to several food television productions (airing on the History Channel and the Food Network), and is the General Editor for the University of Illinois Press' Food Series. He also edited the highly acclaimed 2-volume Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America
and has written several books on food, including The Tomato in America, Pure Ketchup
, and Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America.