Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens

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Penguin Publishing Group, 2011 - Cooking - 323 pages
3 Reviews
In 1879, Mark Twain paused during a tour of Europe to compose a fantasy menu of the American dishes he missed the most. He was sick of European hotel cooking, and his menu, made up of some eighty regional specialties, was a true love letter to American food. When food writer Andrew Beahrs first read Twain's menu in the classic work A Tramp Abroad, he noticed the dishes were regional in the truest sense of the word--drawn fresh from grasslands, woods, and waters in a time before railroads had dissolved the culinary lines between regions. These dishes were all local, all wild, and all, Beahrs feared, lost in the shift to industrialized food. In Twain's Feast, Beahrs sets out to discover whether eight of these forgotten specialties can still be found on American tables, tracing Twain's footsteps as he goes. He finds pockets of the country where Twain's favorite foods still exist or where intrepid farmers, fishermen, and conservationists are trying to bring them back. He reminds us what we've lost as these wild foods have disappeared from our tables, and what we stand to gain from their return.--From publisher description.

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User Review  - dele2451 - LibraryThing

A terrific examination of literary great Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain and his tremendous appetite for river life and the outstanding regional foods of early America. Read full review

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User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

I can't honestly rate this. I received this from the First Reads ARC giveaway program on I was excited to read something outside my usual genres. Well, I'm sincerely sorry - it was just ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Andrew Beahrs is the author of two novels, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Gastronomica, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Writer's Chronicle, among other publications. He lives in California with his family.

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