Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Portland: A Food Biography” as Want to Read:
Portland: A Food Biography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Portland: A Food Biography

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The infant city called The Clearing was a bald patch amid a stuttering wood. The Clearing was no booming metropolis; no destination for gastrotourists; no career-changer for ardent chefs -- just awkward, palsied steps toward Victorian gentility. In the decades before the remaining trees were scraped from the landscape, Portland's wood was still a verdant breadbasket, overf ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Portland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Portland

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  10 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Portland: A Food Biography
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Heather Arndt Anderson knows how to make a subject that might otherwise be snore fest in someone else's hands (local food history) not only infinitely interesting but she also writes with the artfulness of someone who takes the the task of writing as seriously as she does her food. Which is to say, the book was compelling, interesting, fun, and an all around joy to read. I love her work. This book is a must-have for any self-respecting Portlander or anyone who has visited, is visiting, or one da ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought I was just going to skim this book, but it was so interesting that I read the whole thing in just a couple days. This is especially interesting if you are a long-time Oregonian. It's the perfect combination of food and history. ...more
Becky Straub
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Absolutely my kind of book. Portland, food, history. Yep. Makes me want to try to dig up some info about my own house and neighborhood.
Art Edwards
Heather Arndt Anderson came into her own with this one, which takes you back century or two into Portland gastronomy and brings you up to the present. Witty, down-to-earth, with a huge dollop of fun!
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tourists and Portlandia fans may have certain ideas about Portland's food scene. Visions of food carts, hippie vegan restaurants, grilled cheese buses, blue cheese ice cream shops, and mile-long brunch lines dance in their heads. Yes, those are all a part of Portland's bustling and dynamic culinary culture today--but how did it all begin?

In Portland: A Food Biography, Breakfast A History author and Portland native Heather Arndt Anderson starts from our fair city's not-so-humble beginnings, when
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you have a passion for food, anthropology, history, immigration stories, nutrition, restaurants, Huber’s Spanish Coffee, commerce, or alcohol making, or Portland, this book is for you! I’m putting it at the top of the suggestion list for next year’s book group schedule and will cheat if needed to get it picked. I’m so certain that all of the foodies, urban farmer types, and history lovers in the group will find it as fascinating as I do. Unlike many books published in a series, Arndt Anderson ...more
Ben Cornett
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a strangely compelling book about the history of Portland, told through the lens of food and the production of food. I tried to just skim it, but ended up reading the whole thing.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting history of food in PDX. I liked reading about food pre western contact. Copious footnotes.
The book does not shy away from discussing the underside, seamy history of Pdx.
The book really did not deal much with contemporary food, mostly glossed it over.
Probably interesting mainly to people with some Oregon/ Portland connection.
Nov 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Thorough history of Portland and the food produced and eaten from 1800's to present. ...more
Lisa Vannatta
rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2021
rated it liked it
Jun 23, 2016
J Smith
rated it it was amazing
Apr 06, 2015
Finn J.D.
rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2017
Julie Johanek
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2019
Heather Anderson
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: oregon, history, food, author
Bart King
rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2020
rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2016
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
A subject with potential, but the book is in desperate need of an editor. It suffers from the same problem that all graduate student histories initially have, which is too much information and too many tangential asides. Just because you discover a real neat fact in an archive, or during your research, you shouldn't include it unless it is pertinent to the narrative. ...more
rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2015
rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2015
rated it really liked it
May 16, 2016
rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2015
Kacy Smith Paterson
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2016
rated it liked it
May 13, 2015
Niki Ganong
rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)
  • Pashmina
  • Fangs
  • Anya's Ghost
  • City of Blades (The Divine Cities, #2)
  • The Book of Lost Things
  • The X-Files: Origins
  • Paw and Order (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #7)
  • The Cipher
  • City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3)
  • The Belly Dance Handbook: A Companion For The Serious Dancer
  • A Gift for a Ghost
  • Folklords
  • Lovecraft Country
  • A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1)
  • The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth
  • Duma Key
  • Basketful of Heads
See similar books…
Heather Arndt Anderson is a Portland, Oregon-based writer. She writes about food and culinary history.

Heather is the author of Berries: A Global History, Chillies: A Global History, Portland: A Food Biography (Baltimore: Rowman & Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy, 2014) and Breakfast: A History (Baltimore: AltaMira, 2013). She is a contributing writer to the magazines ,i.TASTE, Portlnad

Related Articles

  Discover lots of new and upcoming nonfiction reads this spring with our author interviews, articles, and book lists!   Interviews with...
4 likes · 2 comments