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Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine
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Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Food expert and celebrated food historian Andrew F. Smith recounts--in delicious detail--the creation of contemporary American cuisine. The diet of the modern American wasn't always as corporate, conglomerated, and corn-rich as it is today, and the style of American cooking, along with the ingredients that compose it, has never been fixed. With a cast of characters includi ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published September 18th 2009 by Columbia University Press (first published August 28th 2008)
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Sep 17, 2012 Darren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modern-day American culture is often said to be shaped in part by its food. Yet the mass produced, conglomerate-dominated American food world and all of its variety is, by no means, truly representative of America past, present or maybe even the future.

In 30 distinct chapters or mini essays the author carefully dissects the broad range of American food history over time, mirrored by industrialisation, globalisation and a growing level of consumer choice (albeit owned by a small number of mega co
Amanda Keck
Oct 26, 2015 Amanda Keck rated it liked it
This book would have been better reading a chapter once in awhile rather than in one straight reading all the way through. Many chapters repeat themselves and it starts to get boring reading the same tidbits over and over again. Also, the format of each chapter was very elementary. It starts with a general overview, then each point is slightly expanded on, and then everything is stated for a third time in the chapter in a short conclusion. There is a postscript included in each chapter which is ...more
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Andrew Smith, food historian, identifies crucial moments in the development of American eating, including the opening of the Erie Canal, Civil War Borden sweetened condensed milk, Cracker Jacks and the World's Fair, McDonald's, Upton Sinclair's _Jungle_, the Food Network, Microwaves and the first biotech tomato.
Hilary Ryder
Nov 11, 2015 Hilary Ryder rated it liked it
The first half of the book is informative, interesting and entertaining. Who knew that America's love affair with canned food was due to the Civil war, or that the succession of the Southern states led directly to the building of the trans-continental railroad? But I could have done without the chapters on the Food Network and GMO food.
Aug 19, 2011 June rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Very easy to read even though it's written by an academic and published by an academic press. The book does an excellent job at making history interesting and accessible to the masses.
Dave Peticolas
What fun. Thirty vignettes in the history of U.S. eating and food production. Smith is rigorously neutral in portraying how we got to be eating the foods we eat now, and how we came to produce them in the modern industrial way.
Oct 22, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history, food
Interesting look at food and US history.
Theresa Donovan Brown
Mar 12, 2015 Theresa Donovan Brown rated it it was ok
Useful history. Well-chosen, if subjective, "turning points," but not a literary turn-on. A bit pedestrian in presentation.
Jun 25, 2013 Kate rated it it was ok
Reads like a dissertation without the cohesion, but I learned some cool facts.
Sep 16, 2009 Meredith rated it liked it
Lots of facts, but light on reflection. But I took a class with this guy, and he's an entertaining lecturer.
Sep 13, 2015 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
A very engaging series of 30 potted histories of turning points in American food history. I think this one will be interesting even to those who are not food obsessives.
May 05, 2010 AJ rated it liked it
Fluffy and easy-to-read, this book merges two things I love: history and food. An interesting look into 30 events that shaped the way we eat in the United States today.
Aug 17, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I really enjoyed reading this book. A great history lesson disguised as an entertaining trip down memory lane. Each of the 30 chapters covers a different significant event in American food history.
Cort rated it really liked it
May 24, 2011
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Nov 06, 2012
Frank M. Voegtlin
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Aug 08, 2014
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Andrew Francis Smith teaches food studies at the New School University in Manhattan. He has written more than three hundred articles in academic journals and popular magazines and has authored or edited seventeen books, including The Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America, a James Beard finalist in 2005. He has been frequently appeared on several television series, including the History ...more
More about Andrew F. Smith...

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