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The World on a Plate: A Tour through the History of America's Ethnic Cuisine (At Table) Paperback – October 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Denker] manages to capture the minute details of food—sights, smells, tastes—that are notoriously difficult to convey in words. Denker likewise brings to life the activities of often flamboyant individuals, the business people and clever risk takers who discerned, correctly, that markets could be created for ‘exotic’ foods.”—Hasia R. Diner, American Historical Review
(Hasia R. Diner American Historical Review)

“A lively journey through the history of ethnic food in America. Anyone interested in knowing how Indian, Jewish, Lebanese, Italian, and Asian foods got their start will not want to miss this book. A must for food history buffs.”— Joan Nathan, author of Jewish Cooking in America and The Foods of Israel Today
(Joan Nathan)

“The anomalies of America's most common foods are as striking as their diverse origins. Denker traces a fascinating route from Greek diners to Mexican chili joints to Pakistani kebab houses to reveal the history of popular foodways that make up the polyglot culinary culture of America.”—Betty Fussell, American food historian
(Betty Fussell)

About the Author

Joel Denker has taught American history and other topics at George Washington University, Rutgers University, University of Essex (England), and other colleges and universities. He is the author of Capital Flavors: Exploring Washington’s Ethnic Restaurants and has written about ethnic food for the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Enquirer, and the Washingtonian.
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Product Details

  • Series: At Table
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803260148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803260146
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,144,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joel Denker, the author, is a history professor and very serious food hobbyest and writer. But don't be put off by the history professor background. The World on a Plate is, thankfully, intended for the general reader, not to bolster Denker's reputation among his academic colleagues. This is not a comprehensive or heavily analytical work. Rather, the book is an enjoyable, quick read that tells us a variety of stories, many with human interest, of the introduction of foods to the United States that originated in other countries and cultures. Did you know that a German restaurant owner in Texas, William Gebhardt, deserves a substantial amount of credit for bringing chili flavored dishes to the general public? That was a surprise to me. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in cooking and food. The only disappointment was that it ended abruptly on page 162. I wanted more.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Irving on October 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
One of the other reviews mentions that this book isn't overly analytical. That's an understatement - this book barely holds together as a book, and there's no narrative through-line to the book. It's a collection of uneven essays and certain parts are quite a bit more detailed than others. The author pretty much acknowledges this in the introduction. There's simply not enough meat here - it's a loose collection of fun facts and information that seems assembled from other secondary sources. Put in comparison to other recent books on American food -- anything by Michael Pollan, The United States of Arugula, etc. this is pretty weak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lenore Chicka on January 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent service, prompt delivery, excellent conditon
as described, packaged well.
Would use again.
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