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Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance
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Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Among Thomas Jefferson's flaws, according to Patrick Henry, was the manner in which "he has abjured his native victuals in favor of French cuisine." While Jefferson's years in Paris enhanced his fondness for French food, the offerings at Monticello incorporated Continental cuisine with more common Virginian fare, yieldin a celebrated blend of cultures and traditions. "Dini ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 13th 2011 by University of Virginia Press (first published May 30th 2005)
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When I was as my mama's house, Aspen and I saw an episode of Paula Deen in which she had a guest who was described as a Southern Food Historian. Intrigued by both food and history, I hopped online and inter-library-loaned a couple of his books. This book, the first I read, is fabulous and I simply have to get my own copy. Not only does it document the food grown at Monticello both by Jefferson and in the private gardens of his slaves, but the food imported from off the plantation, from Europe an ...more
This was right up my alley...history, cooking, and popular culture all rolled into one. Jefferson is, in all liklihood, the single most influential person in the way that the american food culture developed. An avid franco-phile and general food and drink enthusiast, he introduced Americans to a wider range of foods, dishes, and cooking techniques. I didn't know that Jefferson is responsible for bringing ice cream, macaroni and cheese, etc to the US before I read this book. For landscape histori ...more
Provides a wealth of information about Thomas Jefferson and the farms & kitchens at Monticello. The recipes, however, require techniques rarely used anymore, even in the scaled down version the authors provide. The ingredients are easy enough, or easily substituted for.
This is a very good balance of information and recipes. The book isn't just for food historians. It's full of lovely photographs and talks not only about the food, but of Jefferson and his family making it well-rounded. The recipes chosen for the book seems to keep modern tastes in mind and I probably wouldn't mind trying a couple of them (I have a long list of recipes to try someday...)
Bear in mind I don't cook. Much. But if I did, it would be so fun to try my hand (and kitchen) at these well-researched, historically accurate meals and dishes. I would say this book was a labor of love. The photographs are luminous and the narrative (pages and pages of it) fascinating.
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