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The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink: With More Than 500 Recipes for American Classics Hardcover – August 17, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Lebhar-Friedman (August 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867307846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867307849
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,616,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

We are what we eat—and American food is about as diverse as you can get. From the beignets of New Orleans to the cheesecakes of New York City (to drill further, Jewish, from the Lower East Side, or Italian, from Little Italy?), Americans enjoy a wide range of cuisines, which are chronicled in this easy-to-use and eminently readable book. Most of the entries in this revised edition have not changed from the previous, though many of the longer articles have been updated and expanded, and there are new entries for a few subjects, such as Molecular cuisine. Although it has been 14 years since the last edition was published, the most important revision has been the addition of biographies of people who contributed significantly to American cuisine. These biographies include obvious choices—such as Craig Claiborne and Julia Child—as well as those who greatly influenced the way Americans eat in more subtle but no less important ways, such as Upton Sinclair and Luther Burbank. This is an encyclopedia of nouns, not verbs, so though readers won’t find definitions of cooking actions, such as tempering chocolate, they will find a detailed account of the history of chocolate use in America. Recipes as representative or as original as possible for classic dishes are included in a different typeface after appropriate entries. The instructions are pared down, as the author assumes some expertise, but they provide a fascinating look at dishes readers may have heard of but never tried. Just as interesting are the notes on the etymology of the names of ingredients, foods, and drinks as they evolved in American cuisine. Some subjects contain subheadings, for example “Flour” lists and defines 18 particular types of flour and their usage. The index is extensive. This volume is entertaining and enlightening, suitable for any food historian or home cook who is interested in having an easy guide to the foods of the U.S. and quick access to the most authentic recipes for classic dishes and drinks. --Elaine Lindstrom --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

John Mariani began his career as a journalist at New York magazine in 1973. Since then, he has become one of America’s premier food writers. He is a columnist for Esquire and Bloomberg News, was nominated three times for the James Beard Journalism Award, and is the author of several highly regarded books on food, including references such as Mariani’s Coast-to-Coast Dining Guide, America Eats Out (winner of the IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award for reference), and most recently, How Italian Food Conquered the World. He is also the author of The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink andeditor of Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques, the primary Italian textbook at the Culinary Institute of America.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author


John Mariani is an author and journalist of 30 years standing, having begun his writing for New York Magazine in 1973. Since then, he has become known as one of America's premiere food writers (a three-time nominee for the James Beard Journalism Award) and author of several of the most highly regarded books on food in America today.
In 2012 Saveur Magazine won as ASME award for its "Italian-American" issue for which Mariani wrote the lead article. His first book, The Dictionary of American Food & Drink (Ticknor & Fields, 1983) was hailed as the "American Larousse Gastronomique" and was chosen "best reference book on food for 1983" by Library Journal. After a decade when the book was declared a "classic" of American food studies, Hearst Books issued a completely revised edition in 1994. In 1999 Lebhar-Friedman published a revised, expanded version entitled The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, of which he is currently writing the fifth edition, to be published by Bloomsbury.
Mariani' s second book. Eating Out: Fearless Dining in Ethnic Restaurants (Quill, 1985) was called by Food & Wine Magazine "a diner's manual to guerilla tactics for restaurant survival." His third book, Mariani's Coast-to-Coast Dining Guide (Times Books, 1986), which he edited, was widely acclaimed as the American counterpart to France's Guide Michelin. His next book, America Eats Out (William Morrow, 1991) won the International Association of Cooking Professionals Award for Best Food Reference Book. From 1989 through 1999 Mariani co-authored annual editions of Passport to New York Restaurants (Passport Press) and was editor of Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques (Italian Wine & Food Institute), which became the textbook for Italian cooking studies at the Culinary Institute of America, and he has written the food and restaurant sections of the Encyclopedia of New York City (The New-York Historical Society and Yale University Press, 1995) and contributed entries to Chronicle of America (Chronicle Publications).
Mariani's other books include The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier restaurant (Crown, 1997; revised 1999); Vincent's Cookbook (Tenspeed Press, 1995), with chef Vincent Guérithault; The Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink (Broadway Books, 1998) which was nominated for an IACP award; and, with Marie Rama, Grilling for Dummies (IDG Books), which first appeared in 1999 and was revised in 2009.
His newest books are How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2011), which just won the Goumand World Cookbooks Award for the USA 2011, and the Italian Cuisine Worldwide Award 2012. He co-authored Menu Design in America: 1850-1985 (Taschen Books, 2011). He was host for the TV series "Crazy for Food," which played on national PBS stations.
Mariani received his Phd in English from Columbia U. He lives in Tuckahoe NY with his wife, artist Galina Stepanoff-Dargery Mariani. He has two sons, Misha and Christopher.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sampson Hudson on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Mariani's comprehensive work includes many recipes, from the simplest to those involving many steps and considerable cooking experience and skill, from Colonial foods to present day dishes. I found this book fascinating, sat down and read it cover to cover, and rose up eager to try some of the recipes.

There were dozens of varieties of fish listed, including many I have never cooked or eaten. There were colorful colloquialisms, some of which would be familiar to modern readers, others from long-ago times.

A great general interest book, Mariani's work especially appeals to "foodies" ( one of the contemporary terms he defines). Readers will gain an appreciation for the bounty of the 21st century American table as well as an understanding of how our foremothers creatively improvised with basic ingredients like cornmeal and molasses.

This book is highly recommended as a page-turning overview of the surprising sophistication and palate-pleasing delights of American cuisine!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating Read, with classic recipes sprinkled throughout. If you are curious about American Food and Drink, you will enjoy this reference book!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carlisle B. Barnes Jr. on December 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very good in many ways and is well worth having in a cookbook library. However, it is not truly complete, and Mariani's "facts" are not invariably correct. Mariani is well traveled, but his heart and soul are in New York City, and it shows. He is of Italian ancestry, and it shows. Regardless, I am happy to own the book, and do, on occasion, refer to it.
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