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American Food Writing: an Anthology: With Classic Recipes Hardcover – April 19, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This exhaustive collection of essays, anecdotes, and recipes spans three centuries of American food writing, from Meriwether Lewis's account of killing "two bucks and two buffaloe" during his famous trek across the continent, to Michael Pollan's up-to-the-minute account of the politics of organic food. In between are countless gems: Alice B. Toklas's baroque recipe for lobster, Richard Olney's meditation on paté and Edna Lewis's poignant description of killing hogs on her family farm. Ably organized and edited by the former host of the PBS series Great Food, this collection features numerous accounts of foodways long since vanished in this country; take, for instance, Charlie Ranhofer's thorough analysis of the thirteen-course society dinner, complete with "removes or solid joints," "iced punch or sherbet," and "hot sweet entremets"; or Maria Sermolino's memories of the Italian meals served at her father's Greenwich Village restaurant back when spaghetti was still a novelty. Famous food writers are well represented here (James Beard and Calvin Trillin, M.F.K. Fisher and James Villas), but perhaps even more rewarding are the wonderful but lesser-known players on the American food scene; either Elizabeth Robins Pennell's discussion of the spring chicken or Eugene Walter's tale of gumbo alone would make this volume a treasure. With so many wonderful ingredients, this rich, delectable treat is a must-have for American foodies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
A cookbook author, memoirist, and longtime New York Times food columnist, Molly O'Neill has been a hardcore foodie for more years than most of us have been using utensils. In American Food Writing, O'Neill pleases just about everyone-food bullies and drive-thru junkies alike-with her diverse selections that draw on more than three centuries of writing about food. The essays and recipes provide entertaining reading, as well as a roadmap to how food and culture define each other in the march toward a "kitchen without walls." The book lacks a dominant theme (maybe not such a bad thing, depending upon where you sit at the table), and one critic bemoans a lack of writing on Eastern European and Slavic cuisine. Still, American Food Writing is more than a meal. Bon appétit.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
I have only two quibbles with Molly O'Neill's selections: First, she didn't include anything from her own Memoir, "Mostly True," which was not only hilarious in places but reveals her substantial culinary and writing talents. Second, she didn't include a selection from Robert Farrar Capon's "The Supper of the Lamb" -- a small cookbook with reminiscences, published in the 1970s and probably out of print by now.
I should add that I bought this particular copy of "American Food Writing" as a gift because I liked it so much.
--Catherine Carl Wakelyn