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Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate
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Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  117 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
The rollicking biography of Clementine Paddleford: “a go- anywhere, taste-anything, ask-everything kind of reporter who traveled more than 50,000 miles a year in search of stories. . . . matched as a regional-food pioneer only by James Beard.” (R. W. Apple , Jr., The New York Times)

In Hometown Appetites, an award-winning food writer and a leading university archivist come
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 18th 2008 by Gotham (first published 2008)
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Susan
Dec 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book about Clementine Paddleford, mid-20th century food critic/observer, is a fascinating study of a driven woman creating the beginnings of the modern food revolution. I started reading this out of interest in the "food revolution" but quickly became engrossed in Paddleford's life and travels. I recommend this for anyone with an interest in food writing, an interest in American journalism, or an interest in strong women.
Jen
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, biography
An informative and fascentating biography of a woman I had never heard of, but am now completely obsessed with. (Wish I could afford her famous book, now out of print.) Any self-respecting Food Network fan MUST read this book!
Elevate Difference
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it
In 1960, Clementine Paddleford published How America Eats, a compilation of twelve years of her columns in the New York Herald Tribune and This Week magazine. During her lifetime, Paddleford traveled over 800,000 miles in pursuit of recipes from home cooks, restaurant owners, and small family businesses. Paddleford gathered stories and advice from home cooks all over the United States and documented her pursuits.

During her time at the New York Herald Tribune, Paddleford’s readership reached twel
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Liz
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hometown Appetites is the story of Clementine Paddleford, now largely forgotten, but who was, in her day, the best-known food editor in the country, and a true celebrity. She wrote for the New York Herald Tribune and for "This Week", a Sunday magazine insert that went out all over the country. At the time, most food columns were restaurant reviews, or exotic recipes for the sophisticate. Clementine Paddleford, herself a Midwest farm girl, was more interested in the nuts-and-bolts daily cooking o ...more
Shippseattle
Nov 10, 2008 marked it as to-read
The rollicking biography of Clementine Paddleford: a go- anywhere, taste-anything, ask-everything kind of reporter who traveled more than 50,000 miles a year in search of stories. . . . matched as a regional-food pioneer only by James Beard. (R. W. Apple , Jr., The New York Times)<...more [close] The rollicking biography of Clementine Paddleford: a go- anywhere, taste-anything, ask-everything kind of reporter who traveled more than 50,000 miles a year in search of stories. . . . matched as a ...more
Jeweleye
Feb 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Hometown Appetites is a fairly interesting bit of Americana about Clementine Paddleford, the "forgotten" food writer from the 1920s to the 1960s. Paddleford wrote about food and the people who prepared it in Studs Terkel style. Every recipe she published in her column had a story to go with it. After 12 years and 800,000 miles, she published the recipes and the stories in a book called How America Eats.

I first heard about Paddleford when NPR interviewed one of the authors of this biography. Tha
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Deb Shambrook
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was interesting reading about the life of one of the first food writers in America. Clementine Paddleford made it in a man's world.
Cathy Farrell
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked this up off the bargain table, just for the heck of it. (Besides, who could resist the name Clementine Paddleford?) It surprised me how much I enjoyed it. I'd never heard of Clementine, who was really the first nationwide foodie star (WAY before the word "foodie" had been coined). She kind of amazing, traveling the country and describing food to people all over.
Since reading this, I periodically check for some of her books when I'm in used bookstores, since she's long since out of prin
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Marcia Squire
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lively, much needed biography of the once-famous New York Herald Tribune food editor Clementine Paddleford, who overcame a serious disability -- her larynx was removed after a bout with cancer, leaving her with a hole in her throat and a strange voice -- to become a major force in American culinary history. A daring and dramatic personality, Paddleford traveled to every corner of the United States, sampling regional specialties in apartment kitchens, at hobo campfires and in exclusive restaura ...more
Karen
Aug 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Along with some great recipes from mid-century America, Hometown Appetites chronicles a fascinating and almost lost personality who was key to the food scene. Unlike chefs Child and Claiborn, Paddleford was almost like a food archeologist, traveling around America to find what people were really eating. Less appealing here is some of the writing, which feels repetitive at places, as if the authors feel the need to remind us what happened in the last chapter. Still, this is entertaining and enjoy ...more
Alison
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had vaguely heard of Clementine Paddleford, but hadn't realized the scope of her influence in the food writing world, especially from about 1940-1955 or so. This was a well-written, interesting biography of her life and career, and makes me want to read her major book, America Eats. There's no Kindle edition unfortunately and used copies are a little pricey. The book does include recipes from time to time, illustrating the kind of food that Paddleford specialized in - American regional cuisine ...more
Laura Perry
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is not often that I would declare a book was delightful, but Hometown Appetites was just that. Clementine Paddleford was, probably, the first food writer (not a restaurant critic, but a food writer) in the US and maybe in the world. She traveled all over the United States, writing about local specialties, hometown cooks and ate many a hometown meal. Long before Anthony Bourdain or Jonathon Gold, she was documenting how American ate. She'd go anywhere and eat anything. The book is filled with ...more
Aubree Bowling
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was really interesting--it grabbed my attention because I liked that Paddleford is from my hometown. And she wrote about food, which I love to read about and find interesting. But I also found it to be a good picture of the life of a career woman that began working in the 1920's. I found it a bit sad that in that era a woman who wanted to work at a promising career couldnt' really "have it all" and be married, too.
Cara
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alexander argues that Clementine Paddleford was America's first food writer, and makes a good case for it in Hometown Appetites. Independent and ambitious, Paddleford made it her mission to put regional food in the public eye and publicize the stories of the cooks behind it. I also found it fascinating to read about how the ingredients we use and our expectations for what food should look and taste like has changed since Paddleford's time.
Elise
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Boy, I really wanted to like this book. But it was just so uninteresting. Not a biography I would recommend. What Paddleford did was extraordinary. Her personal life is very veiled, however, and her cutting of corners--like her enthusiastic endorsement of ready-made products, her occasional fibbing on a story--is glossed over. Of course, those two aspects would have added a lot of interest to this boring, steadfastly chronological story.
Shauna Mckelly
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of food, food criticism or the lives of interesting female journalists. Before Rachel Ray, Emeril Lagasse, James Beard or Julia Child became household names, there was Clementine Paddleford. This book not only delves into her extensive and impressive resume, the book also includes more than fifty recipes from Paddleford's files.
Damon
Jul 11, 2009 rated it liked it
America's curiosity about food & recipes from all over the country was practically founded by this woman, Clementine Paddleford. On it's own, it's a tale of a strong willed woman from Kansas, determined to make it in the all male world of newspaper writing. Plus the recipes and you have a tribute to generations past and a peek into the kitchens of your grandmother and her peers.
Rob Banks
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story about some I'd never heard of before reading this book. Because she started near me in Kansas, it was of special interest. Amazing the impact she had on what became a national obsession with food and yet was almost forgotten.
Andrea
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Clementine was a very interesting lady, at a time when women were still expected to stay at home, she was a career journalist who championed the housewives and farmwives of America. The writing is journalistic, but a fast read.
Meg
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
A delightful look at a little-known American character. Excellent role-model, career writer and great human being. Clementine was amazing, glad to "get to know her" through this book. Wish someone would make a movie about this gal!
Carrie
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a great introduction to someone I knew nothing about - Clementine Paddleford, a smart and ambitious Kansas farm girl, who grew up to be a journalist with the New York Herald-Tribune, travelling the world and writing about food. Pretty amazing life, she had.
Lynne
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Before "foodies" and food critics became such a "thing", there was Clementine Paddleford. She traveled the USA joining a diverse population at their mealtimes. Interesting story with some old timey recipes that may or may not be good.
Lisa Kelsey
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the history of food writing, regional cooking or even early women journalists
I really enjoyed rediscovering Clementine Paddleford. It's always nice when someone this interesting gets rescued from obscurity. Anyone interested in the history of food writing, regional cooking or even early women journalists would enjoy this well-written biography.
Beth
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was written by a professor I had in college. Congratulations, Kelly!
Cynthia
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am the co-author of this book, so I am bias.
Jrabach
May 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Started off great, but it petered out.
Christiane
Jun 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This kind of thing is right up my alley, but, as with most biographies, I found it a little on the dull side, prose-wise.
Gina Bégin
Dec 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
Heard about it from an NPR show (the Splendid Table?)- talks about how Americans ate in the first half of the 20th century. I love old-fashioned food, so I'm looking forward to reading this.
Michelle
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
very facinating and factual story about a food writer you may not know...
Fishface
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a fun read about a fascinating character, and most of the recipes included are going into my collection. Yum!
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