The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food : Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, when the Nation's Food was Seasonal, Regional, and Traditional : from the Lost WPA Files

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Mark Kurlansky
Penguin, 2009 - Cooking - 397 pages
24 Reviews

A remarkable portrait of American food before World War II, presented by the New York Times-bestselling author of Cod and Salt.

Award-winning New York Times-bestselling author Mark Kurlansky takes us back to the food and eating habits of a younger America: Before the national highway system brought the country closer together; before chain restaurants imposed uniformity and low quality; and before the Frigidaire meant frozen food in mass quantities, the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional. It helped form the distinct character, attitudes, and customs of those who ate it.

In the 1930s, with the country gripped by the Great Depression and millions of Americans struggling to get by, FDR created the Federal Writers' Project under the New Deal as a make-work program for artists and authors. A number of writers, including Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, and Nelson Algren, were dispatched all across America to chronicle the eating habits, traditions, and struggles of local people. The project, called "America Eats," was abandoned in the early 1940s because of the World War and never completed.

The Food of a Younger Land unearths this forgotten literary and historical treasure and brings it to exuberant life. Mark Kurlansky's brilliant book captures these remarkable stories, and combined with authentic recipes, anecdotes, photos, and his own musings and analysis, evokes a bygone era when Americans had never heard of fast food and the grocery superstore was a thing of the future. Kurlansky serves as a guide to this hearty and poignant look at the country's roots.

From New York automats to Georgia Coca-Cola parties, from Arkansas possum-eating clubs to Puget Sound salmon feasts, from Choctaw funerals to South Carolina barbecues, the WPA writers found Americans in their regional niches and eating an enormous diversity of meals. From Mississippi chittlins to Indiana persimmon puddings, Maine lobsters, and Montana beavertails, they recorded the curiosities, commonalities, and communities of American food.

  

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Review: The Food of a Younger Land: The WPA's Portrait of Food in Pre-World War II America (The Food of a Younger Land)

User Review  - Jeni Enjaian - Goodreads

Disclaimer: I did not listen to the last section of the book thanks to forgetting to stop my iPod when I put it away. I wasn't really into the book especially not enough to try to figure out where I ... Read full review

Review: The Food of a Younger Land: The WPA's Portrait of Food in Pre-World War II America (The Food of a Younger Land)

User Review  - Mike - Goodreads

"True Barbecue, like true love, cannot be bought but must always be given." This wisdom and much more bursts forth from The Food of a Younger Land. Kurlansky does justice to the WPA's food writing ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Eating in Vermont roaldus Richmond
26
Rhode Island May Breakfasts walter hackett
32
New York Literary Tea jerry felsheim
40
Drugstore Lunch edward obrien
50
North Whitefield Maine Game Supper donald mccormick
56
Vermont SugaringOff roaldus Richmond
62
An Editorial Memorandum on Clams james francisdavis
70
Nebraska Buffalo Barbecue
212
Wisconsin SourDough Pancakes
218
Wisconsin and Minnesota Lutefisk
228
Indiana Pork Cake hazel m nixon
235
Comments to Parker T Van de Mark November 4 1941
243
Oregon Salmon Barbecue Joseph Mclaughlin
280
A Washington Community Smelt Fry carboll Kennedy
286
Foraging in Montana edward b Reynolds
292

New York Indoor ClamBake m m e t e v i e r
76
Rhode Island Clam Chowder walter hackett
77
Oyster Stew Supreme at Grand Central New York
83
Beans james francis davis
89
Mississippi Food eudorawelty
101
Recipes from Prominent North Carolinians katherine palmer
109
Foods Along U S 1 in Virginia eudora rams ay richardson
117
DiddyWahDiddy zora neale hurston
123
Alabama Footwashing at Lonely Dale jack kytle
129
South Carolina Backwoods Barbecue
135
Exotic Florida
142
Mississippi Chitlins
156
The Baked Fish of Alabamas Coast f r a n c 01 s lesoere d i a r d
169
Grandma Smiths Mississippi Hoecake
182
Alabama Cane Grindings and Candy Pullings gerthacouric
186
Mississippi Pear Wine clarence kerns
193
Nebraskans Eat the Weiners hanschristensen
202
Washington State Hot School Lunches
298
Western Revolving Tables edward b Reynolds
305
An Oregon Protest Against Mashed Potatoes
311
Iowa Picnic in Los Angeles johnmoste
324
A Los Angeles Sandwich Called a Taco don d o i a n
330
A California Grunion Fry charlesj sullivan
332
Funeral Cry Feast of the Choctaws
340
Notes on Oklahoma Pioneer Eating
352
Oklahoma Scrambled Eggs and Wild Onions
359
Oklahoma Kush
365
Partial Cook Books Edited andor Published in Oregon
371
Mississippi Cook Books
377
Bibliography Offering Further Sources for Menus Receipts and Eating
386
Divinity Chocolates of Kentucky 180
392
The Possum Club of Polk County Arkansas 140
395
Minnesota Booya Picnic 249
396
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About the author (2009)

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Food of a Younger Land, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World; Salt: A World History; 1968: The Year That Rocked the World; and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. He lives in New York City.

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