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Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea (The Food Series) Paperback – December 29, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


"During antebellum times, genteel Northerners linked the peanut to rowdyism. In the South, peanuts were considered food fit only for slaves...This 'nutty tale ' follows the legume 's journey to becoming a dietary staple. In the process, Smith examines what the peanut 's story can tell us about larger social and historical issues." Science News

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Product Details

  • Series: The Food Series
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Reprint edition (December 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252073282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252073281
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew F. Smith has taught food studies at the New School since 1996. His various courses have included food controversies, food history, food writing and culinary luminaries. He is the author or editor of twenty-eight books, including the award-winning Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013), Sugar: A Global History (Reaktion, April 2015) and Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City (Oxford University Press, November 2015). He is currently under contract to write a three-volume reference work on food controversies related to the environment, health and the economy. He serves as the editor for the "Edible Series" and the "Food Controversies Series" at Reaktion Books in the United Kingdom. He has written more than five hundred articles in academic journals, popular magazines and newspapers, and has served as a consultant to several television series, including the six-episode series, "Eat: The Story of Food," that aired on the National Geographic Channel in the fall of 2014. Formerly, he directed the Center for Teaching International Relations at the University of Denver, and has directed several national and international non-for-profit organizations. For more about him, visit his website:

Andrew F. Smith has delivered more than fifteen hundred presentations on various educational, historical, and international topics, and has organized seventy-three major conferences. He has been frequently interviewed by and quoted in newspapers, journals and magazines, such as the New York Times, New Yorker, Reader's Digest, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Fortune Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. I have been regularly interviewed on radio and television, including National Public Radio and the Food Network.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alan W. Petrucelli on February 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you ever thought peanuts went out in style when Jimmy and Roslyn left the little ol' White House, think again. Peanuts are big. Real big. And here's the book to prove it. Andrew Smith's "Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea" is an unexpected delight. It's part history, part cookbook, and totally digestible. One nibble and you cannot put it down. (Sort of like those teeny treats themselves.) In this, the first-ever culinary history of the protein-riddled legume, Smith offers much food for thought ... in antebellum America, the peanuts was considered unfit for consumption except by slaves and the poor. But as Americans grew more sophisticated, as Americans realized the power and punch that's packed within those figure-eight shells, the peanut became a star at circuses, fairs and theaters. Street vendors hawked them; people gobbled them up. Warm. Cold. In a buttery paste. On bread. By the handfuls. Then there are the people beyond the nut: nutty expert George Washington Carver, John Harvey Kellogg (an early advocate of vegetarianism who extolled the virtues of peanut butter) and a couple of Italian immigrants peanut vendors who created an empire with the name of Planters. Eat this one up!
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