The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites by Libby H. O'Connell

By Libby H. O'Connell

"Like many miniencyclopedias, this one is studded with usually interesting facts." –Kirkus

From the executive historian at HISTORY® comes a wealthy chronicle of the evolution of yankee delicacies and tradition, from sooner than Columbus's arrival to today.

Did you recognize that the 1st graham crackers have been designed to lessen sexual wish? Or that american citizens have attempted fad diets for nearly 200 years? Why can we say such things as "buck" for a greenback and "living excessive at the hog"? How have economics, expertise, and social events replaced our tastes? discover those and different attention-grabbing points of yankee nutrition traditions within the American Plate.

Dr. Libby H. O'Connell takes readers on a mouth-watering trip via America's culinary evolution into the colourful array of meals we have fun with this present day. In a hundred tantalizing bites, starting from blueberries and bagels to peanut butter, challenging cider, and Cracker Jacks, O'Connell unearths the spectacular ways in which cultures and contributors have formed our nationwide vitamin and proceed to steer how we cook dinner and eat.

Peppered all through with recipes, pictures, and tidbits on dozens of meals, from the miraculous origins of Hershey Bars to the unusual cuisine our ancestors loved, corresponding to roast turtle and grilled beaver tail. Inspiring and extremely gratifying, the yankee Plate indicates how we will be able to use the tastes of our shared prior to rework our future.

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Extra resources for The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites

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Maize and pumpkins grew out on the farm fields because they took up a lot of room. Most of the foodstuffs grown in the small gardens near a dwelling originated in Old World potagers, small kitchen gardens often symmetrically planted. Carrots, cabbage, green peas, leeks, spinach, beets, radishes, turnips, garlic, onions—­these common vegetables joined New World beans and a wide variety of herbs in the garden bed. Many of the common vegetables in these small plots kept well in cellars even after frost.

But for most white people in early America, food was abundant and cheap by European standards. indd 25 8/25/14 4:30 PM 26 || T HE A MERIC AN P L ATE agricultural society to a market economy, exporting foodstuffs, tobacco, timber, and furs across the Atlantic and down to the Caribbean Islands. And with the discovery and use of these new foods and products, the inklings of American cuisine began to emerge. bite 11 Jamaican Pepper or Allspice (Pimenta dioica) When Columbus set off from Spain in 1492, he was in search of a shortcut to India, the source of a highly priced luxury item for which rich Europeans had clamored for centuries: pepper.

But they had no access to cane sugar or honey. So they invented maple syrup, a truly ancient food that we still encounter in our truly modern lives. The expensive amber syrup we pour on our pancakes is the concentrated sap of the indigenous sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and its relatives that grow in the northeast and upper midwest woodlands of today’s United States. Food historians believe that American Indians used maple sugar to enhance their cuisine much the way contemporary Europeans added salt to make their food more palatable.

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