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A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for…
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A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Arts and… (original 2005; udgave 2005)

af James McWilliams (Forfatter)

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931229,485 (3.92)1
Sugar, pork, beer, corn, cider, scrapple, and hoppin' John all became staples in the diet of colonial America. The ways Americans cultivated and prepared food and the values they attributed to it played an important role in shaping the identity of the newborn nation. In A Revolution in Eating, James E. McWilliams presents a colorful and spirited tour of culinary attitudes, tastes, and techniques throughout colonial America. Confronted by strange new 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 American cuisine. McWilliams demonstrates that this was a shift not so much in new ingredients or cooking methods, as in the way Americans imbued food and cuisine with values that continue to shape American attitudes to this day.… (mere)
Medlem:13west
Titel:A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Arts and Traditions of the Table)
Forfattere:James McWilliams (Forfatter)
Info:Columbia University Press (2005), 400 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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A revolution in eating : how the quest for food shaped America af James E. McWilliams (2005)

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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 early settlers of New England almost died of starvation in a land teeming with game, fish, and edible plants. Town bred, some of them did not even know how to bait a hook to catch their dinner. We all know the story of Squanto and the his generous sharing of the life-giving qualities of corn to the early settlers. What Mr. McWilliams adds is that the Puritans’ complete conviction that they were God’s annointed made them more than leery of incorporating anything “savage” into their lives – and that included some of the food they reluctantly ate to keep alive during those first thorny years. The quick importation of black slaves from West Africa also greatly influenced the new American cuisine, and very quickly the foodstuffs of the Americas became the linchpin of the slave trade. Dried cod from New England fed the slaves in the Caribbean, whose back-breaking labor produced sugar cane and its by-product of molasses, which was then shipped back to New England and made into rum for domestic use and international trade, and then rum was shipped in New England “bottoms” to West Africa, where it quickly became the most desirable item for African chiefs who traded war captives to the whites in exchange for this liquid gold. Aside from this nefarious chapter in American and world history, McWilliams traces the influence of many early immigrant groups to American food culture. A fascinating, clearly written, and riveting book. ( )
1 stem RachelfromSarasota | Jun 9, 2008 |
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Sugar, pork, beer, corn, cider, scrapple, and hoppin' John all became staples in the diet of colonial America. The ways Americans cultivated and prepared food and the values they attributed to it played an important role in shaping the identity of the newborn nation. In A Revolution in Eating, James E. McWilliams presents a colorful and spirited tour of culinary attitudes, tastes, and techniques throughout colonial America. Confronted by strange new 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 American cuisine. McWilliams demonstrates that this was a shift not so much in new ingredients or cooking methods, as in the way Americans imbued food and cuisine with values that continue to shape American attitudes to this day.

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