A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America

Columbia University Press, 2005 M06 1 - 380 páginas
A colorful, spirited tour of culinary attitudes, tastes, and techniques throughout colonial America.
Confronted by unfamiliar animals, plants, and landscapes, settlers in the colonies and West Indies found new ways to produce food. Integrating their British and European tastes with the demands and bounty of the rugged American environment, early Americans developed a range of regional cuisines. From the kitchen tables of typical Puritan families to Iroquois longhouses in the backcountry and slave kitchens on southern plantations, McWilliams portrays the grand variety and inventiveness that characterized colonial cuisine. As colonial America grew, so did its palate, as interactions among European settlers, Native Americans, and African slaves created new dishes and attitudes about food. McWilliams considers how Indian corn, once thought by the colonists as “fit for swine,” became a fixture in the colonial diet. He also examines the ways in which African slaves influenced West Indian and American southern cuisine.
While a mania for all things British was a unifying feature of eighteenth-century cuisine, the colonies discovered a national beverage in domestically brewed beer, which came to symbolize solidarity and loyalty to the patriotic cause in the Revolutionary era. The beer and alcohol industry also instigated unprecedented trade among the colonies and further integrated colonial habits and tastes. Victory in the American Revolution initiated a “culinary declaration of independence,” prompting the antimonarchical habits of simplicity, frugality, and frontier ruggedness to define the cuisine of the United States—a shift that imbued values that continue to shape the nation’s attitudes to this day.
“A lively and informative read.” —TheNew Yorker

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A REVOLUTION IN EATING: How the Quest for Food Shaped America

Crítica de los usuarios  - Kirkus

A new history of American eating guaranteed to tempt all foodies.Why don't Americans eat blood pudding? Who created pumpkin pie, popcorn and rum, and how did such tasty treats come to be staples of ... Leer comentario completo

LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - RachelfromSarasota - LibraryThing

One of the most difficult adaptations the American settlers made was that of changing their eating habits. Used to mutton, beef, few if any vegetables, and the occasional salted or fresh fish, the ... Leer comentario completo


Getting to the Guts of American Food
The Bittersweet Culinary History of the English West Indies
The Greatest Accomplishment of Colonial New England
Living High and Low on the Hog in the Chesapeake Bay Region
The Fruitless Search for Culinary Order in Carolina
Refined Crudeness in the Middle Colonies
The British Invasion
Finding Common Bonds in an Alcoholic Empire
A Culinary Declaration of Independence
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James E. McWilliams is associate professor of history at Texas State University-San Marcos. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, among other publications, and he is the author of Building the Bay Colony: Local Economy and Society in Early Massachusetts.

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