Joanna's Reviews > The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution

The United States of Arugula by David Kamp
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's review
Mar 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: bookgroup, books-on-food
Read from March 18 to 20, 2011

Reads like a gossipy insider history of celebrity chefs and their cookbooks, presenting them chronologically as American tastes and enthusiasms for food trends developed. I took great delight in recognizing many of the cookbooks that I shelved in my days as a bookseller. I enjoyed learning more about them and how they were inspired. I also enjoyed the snippets of restaurant life and chef training and inspirations. Having read more focused works about many of these people before, the breezy style of this made me feel like I was waving merrily to old friends and then zipping by five or ten I had never met before. This worked well for me, but I can see how the constant name dropping might feel overwhelming to some. There is also a strong reliance on footnotes used to flesh out the narrative. I am not a big fan of footnotes, but I found these to be interesting/entertaining and I don't really think there was a better way to handle them. Overall, this was a fun read for me and I learned quite a bit. Also, it made me want to eat. A lot.
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