Food and Cookery in the Atlantic World: A Reading List

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 1:47pm -- baglio

Readers and Foodies alike; Rejoice! This reading list will entice your mind, as well as your tummy! Take a look into the history of Food in the Atlantic World, and how it shaped the way we enjoy the culinary world today. From the first settlers in the new world to the victory gardens that helped win two World Wars, food has been a major institution in shaping history in the Atlantic World. These titles will range from what New Englanders ate to how explorers of the sea sustained themselves; all of which is still important to how we eat today.

 

 

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

By, Bee Wilson

Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious--or at least edible. But these tools have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson takes readers on a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of objects we often take for granted. Technology in the kitchen does not just mean the Pacojets and sous-vide machines of the modern kitchen, but also the humbler tools of everyday cooking and eating: a wooden spoon and a skillet, chopsticks and forks. Blending history, science, and personal anecdotes, Wilson reveals how our culinary tools and tricks came to be and how their influence has shaped food culture today. The story of how we have tamed fire and ice and wielded whisks, spoons, and graters, all for the sake of putting food in our mouths, Consider the Fork is truly a book to savor.

 

The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice

By, Michael Krondl 

The Taste of Conquest offers up a riveting, globe-trotting tale of unquenchable desire, fanatical religion, raw greed, fickle fashion, and mouthwatering cuisine–in short, the very stuff of which our world is made. In this engaging, enlightening, and anecdote-filled history, Michael Krondl, a noted chef turned writer and food historian, tells the story of three legendary cities–Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam–and how their single-minded pursuit of spice helped to make (and remake) the Western diet and set in motion the first great wave of globalization. Sharing meals and stories with Indian pepper planters, Portuguese sailors, and Venetian foodies, Krondl takes every opportunity to explore the world of long ago and sample its many flavors. Along the way, he reveals that the taste for spice of a few wealthy Europeans led to great crusades, astonishing feats of bravery, and even wholesale slaughter.

 

Northern Hospitality: Cooking by the Book in New England

 By, Keith Stavely,‎ Kathleen Fitzgerald 

If you think traditional New England cooking is little more than baked beans and clam chowder, think again. In this enticing anthology of almost 400 historic New England recipes from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century, you will be treated to such dishes as wine-soaked bass served with oysters and cranberries, roast shoulder of lamb seasoned with sweet herbs, almond cheesecake infused with rosewater, robust Connecticut brown bread, zesty ginger nuts, and high-peaked White Mountain cake. Beginning with four chapters placing the region's best-known cookbook authors and their works in nuanced historical context, Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald then proceed to offer a ten-chapter cornucopia of culinary temptation. Readers can sample regional offerings grouped into the categories of the liquid one-pot meal, fish, fowl, meat and game, pie, pudding, bread, and cake. Recipes are presented in their original textual forms and are accompanied by commentaries designed to make them more accessible to the modern reader. Each chapter, and each section within each chapter, is also prefaced by a brief introductory essay. From pottage to pie crust, from caudle to calf's head, historic methods and obscure meanings are thoroughly―sometimes humorously―explained. 


Olde New England's Sugar & Spice And Everything

By, Robert Cahill

This is a unique, interesting and often humorous book on how various foods were developed in America, or accquired, often by devious means, in order to fill the bellies and please the pallets of our ancestors. The toil, drudgery and improvising of the Pilgrim and Puritan female cooks is included. New England was America's first "Bread Basket" and the "Sacred Cod" and "Blessed Bean" were the first staples. Chapters in the book include: "The Great Tomato War," "America's First Fruits," and "Candy, Coffee and the Creature."

 

 

Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York

By, William Grimes

New York is the greatest restaurant city the world has ever seen.

In Appetite City, the former New York Times restaurant critic William Grimes leads us on a grand historical tour of New York's dining culture. Beginning with the era when simple chophouses and oyster bars dominated the culinary scene, he charts the city's transformation into the world restaurant capital it is today. Appetite City takes us on a unique and delectable journey, from the days when oysters and turtle were the most popular ingredients in New York cuisine, through the era of the fifty-cent French and Italian table d'hôtes beloved of American "Bohemians," to the birth of Times Square--where food and entertainment formed a partnership that has survived to this day. Enhancing his tale with more than one hundred photographs, rare menus, menu cards, and other curios and illustrations (many never before seen), Grimes vividly describes the dining styles, dishes, and restaurants succeeding one another in an unfolding historical panorama: the deluxe ice cream parlors of the 1850s, the boisterous beef-and-beans joints along Newspaper Row in the 1890s, the assembly-line experiment of the Automat, the daring international restaurants of the 1939 World's Fair, and the surging multicultural city of today. By encompassing renowned establishments such as Delmonico's and Le Pavillon as well as the Bowery restaurants where a meal cost a penny, he reveals the ways in which the restaurant scene mirrored the larger forces shaping New York, giving us a deliciously original account of the history of America's greatest city. Rich with incident, anecdote, and unforgettable personalities, Appetite City offers the dedicated food lover or the casual diner an irresistible menu of the city's most savory moments.


American Food Writing: an Anthology with Classic Recipes

By, Molly O'Neill

In a groundbreaking new anthology, celebrated food writer Molly O’Neill gathers the very best from over 250 years of American culinary history. This literary feast includes classic accounts of iconic American foods: Henry David Thoreau on the delights of watermelon; Herman Melville, with a mouth-watering chapter on clam chowder; H. L. Mencken on the hot dog; M. F. K. Fisher in praise of the oyster; Ralph Ellison on the irresistible appeal of baked yam; William Styron on Southern fried chicken. American writers abroad, like A. J. Liebling, Waverly Root, and Craig Claiborne, describe the revelations they found in foreign restaurants; travellers to America, including the legendary French gourmet J. A. Brillat-Savarin, discover such native delicacies as turkey, Virginia barbecue, and pumpkin pie. Great chefs and noted critics discuss their culinary philosophies and offer advice on the finer points of technique; home cooks recount disasters and triumphs. A host of eminent American writers, from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whitman to Thomas Wolfe, Willa Cather, and Langston Hughes, add their distinctive viewpoints to the mix..

 

Food in the Gilded Age: What Ordinary Americans Ate

By, Robert Dirks

The Gilded Age is renowned for a variety of reasons, including its culture of conspicuous consumption among the newly rich. In the domain of food, conspicuous consumption manifested itself in appetites for expensive dishes and lavish dinner parties. These received ample publicity at the time, resulting later on in well-developed historical depictions of upper-class eating habits. This book delves into the eating habits of people of lesser means. Concerning the African American community, the working class, the impoverished, immigrants, and others our historical representations have been relatively superficial. The author changes that by turning to the late nineteenth century’s infant science of nutrition for a look at eating and drinking through the lens of the earliest food consumption studies conducted in the United States. These were undertaken by scientists, mostly chemists, who left their laboratories to observe food consumption in kitchens, dining rooms, and various institutional settings. Their insistence on careful measurement resulted in a substantial body of detailed reports on the eating habits of ordinary people. This work sheds new light on what most Americans were cooking and eating during the Gilded Age.


Food at Sea: Shipboard Cuisine from Ancient to Modern Times

By, Simon Spalding

Food at Sea: Shipboard Cuisine from Ancient to Modern Times traces the preservation, preparation, and consumption of food at sea, over a period of several thousand years, and in a variety of cultures. The book traces the development of cooking aboard in ancient and medieval times, through the development of seafaring traditions of storing and preparing food on the world’s seas and oceans. Following a largely chronological format, Simon Spalding shows how the raw materials, cooking and eating equipments, and methods of preparation of seafarers have both reflected the shoreside practices of their cultures, and differed from them. The economies of whole countries have developed around foods that could survive long trips by sea, and new technologies have evolved to expand the available food choices at sea.


America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking

By, Keith Stavely,‎ Kathleen Fitzgerald

From baked beans to apple cider, from clam chowder to pumpkin pie, Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald's culinary history reveals the complex and colorful origins of New England foods and cookery. Featuring hosts of stories and recipes derived from generations of New Englanders of diverse backgrounds, America's Founding Food chronicles the region's cuisine, from the English settlers' first encounter with Indian corn in the early seventeenth century to the nostalgic marketing of New England dishes in the first half of the twentieth century.

 

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

By, James E. McWilliams

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. 


Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking

By, Kate Colquhoun

From the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution, the Romans to the Regency, few things have mirrored society or been affected by its upheavals as much as the food we eat and the way we prepare it. In this involving history of the British people, Kate Colquhoun celebrates every aspect of our cuisine from Anglo-Saxon feasts and Tudor banquets, through the skinning of eels and the invention of ice cream, to Dickensian dinner-party excess and the growth of frozen food. Taste tells a story as rich and diverse as a five-course dinner.

 

Cultivating Victory: The Women's Land Army and the Victory Garden Movement

By, Cecilia Gowdy-Wygant

 During the First and Second World Wars, food shortages reached critical levels in the Allied nations. The situation in England, which relied heavily on imports and faced German naval blockades, was particularly dire. Government campaigns were introduced in both Britain and the United States to recruit individuals to work on rural farms and to raise gardens in urban areas. These recruits were primarily women, who readily volunteered in what came to be known as Women’s Land Armies. Stirred by national propaganda campaigns and a sense of adventure, these women, eager to help in any way possible, worked tirelessly to help their nations grow “victory gardens” to win the war against hunger and fascism. In vacant lots, parks, backyards, between row houses, in flowerboxes, and on farms, groups of primarily urban, middle-class women cultivated vegetables along with a sense of personal pride and achievement. 

 

Corn and Capitalism: How a Botanical Bastard Grew to Global Dominance

By, Arturo Warman

Exploring the history and importance of corn worldwide, Arturo Warman traces its development from a New World food of poor and despised peoples into a commodity that plays a major role in the modern global economy. The book, first published in Mexico in 1988, combines approaches from anthropology, social history, and political economy to tell the story of corn, a "botanical bastard" of unclear origins that cannot reseed itself and is instead dependent on agriculture for propagation. Beginning in the Americas, Warman depicts corn as colonizer. Disparaged by the conquistadors, this Native American staple was embraced by the destitute of the Old World. In time, corn spread across the globe as a prodigious food source for both humans and livestock. Warman also reveals corn's role in nourishing the African slave trade. Through the history of one plant with enormous economic importance, Warman investigates large-scale social and economic processes, looking at the role of foodstuffs in the competition between nations and the perpetuation of inequalities between rich and poor states in the world market. Praising corn's almost unlimited potential for future use as an intensified source of starch, sugar, and alcohol, Warman also comments on some of the problems he foresees for large-scale, technology-dependent monocrop agriculture.