How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2013 - History - 241 pages
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How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture, by food and social historian Jennifer Wallach, sheds a new and interesting light on American history by way of the dinner table. It is, at once, a study of America's diverse culinary history and a look at the country's unique and unprecedented journey to the present day. While undeniably a "melting pot" of different cultures and cuisines, America's food habits have been shaped as much by technological innovations and industrial progress as by the intermingling and mixture of ethnic cultures. By studying what Americans have been eating since the colonial era, we are further enlightened to the conflicting ways in which Americans have chosen to define themselves, their culture, their beliefs, and the changes those definitions have undergone over time. Understanding the American diet is the first step toward grasping the larger truths, the complex American narratives that have long been swept under the table, and the evolving answers to the question: What does it mean to be American?
 

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Contents

1 The Cuisine of Contact
1
2 Food and the Founding
33
3 Foodways in an Era of Expansion and Immigration
57
4 Technology and Taste
89
5 Gender and the American Appetite
111
6 The Pious or Patriotic Stomach
143
7 Food Habits and Racial Thinking
169
8 The Politics of Food
195
A Note on Sources
211
Index
231
About the Author
241
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About the author (2013)

Jennifer Jensen Wallach is associate professor of history at the University of North Texas. She is the author, most recently, of Richard Wright: From Black Boy to World Citizen.

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