American cooking has never been static. Lohman, an historical gastronomist on the staff of the New York Tenement Museum, examines the appearance of eight ingredients on the culinary scene and asks what their advent suggests about the country’s history at the time of their appearance. Researching black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha sauce, she has found tales of explorers, cultivators, cooks, immigrants, scientists, entrepreneurs and opportunists whose efforts would shape the food of those who came after. This is a very accessible survey that is still capable of surprising those with broad food history experience. And for those interested in taking a first plunge, it’s quite a good place to begin. With recipes.
Line drawings. Hardcover. $26.99
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