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The American History Cookbook Paperback – April 30, 2003
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Zanger's zealous pursuit of populist cookery covers a wide swathe of American history. Concentrating on resources in local food history, he avoids the usual homage to the divas of the American cookery and home economics movements, such as Fanny Farmer and Rose Knox. Instead, he covers Indian bean bread, Pilgrim succotash, New England back-burner standing dishes, slave and ship's galley cookery, school lunch standards, trestle-table specialties from the Amana and Oneida communities, and the favorite recipes of Henry Ward Beecher, Emily Dickinson, and Susan B. Anthony.
The more than 350 recipes for muffins, syllabub, leatherbritches beans, jelly cake, flapjacks, S-O-S, and stewed gizzards were selected from historical cookbooks and other sources because they "tell people's stories" and help illustrate something about U.S. history. Recipes and commentary are arranged in 50 chapters focusing on particular time periods and themes, such as "Temperance and Prohibition Recipes (1837-1930)." Zanger's presentation preserves both history and practicality with the original wording of each recipe followed by an approximation of current cooking styles and measures and substitutions for rare items with available ingredients. The work concludes with a generously annotated bibliography, and chronological, geographical, and subject and recipe indexes.
Enhancing the text are photos and line drawings that resurrect containers and implements long relegated to antique shops. This book is a must-have for food history collections. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"More than just another cookbook, Mark Zanger's American History Cookbook relies on historical commentary and recipes to trace the history and evolution of American cooking and culinary trends, from the first European contact with Native Americans to the 1970s." - Midwest Book Review Internet Bookwatch
"Sure to be a family favorite …. A unique compendium of authentic, historic American cuisine, The American History Cookbook is a superbly presented and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections!" - Wisconsin Bookwatch
"Could benefit American studies curricula at any level from middle school to college and also should speak to any adult interested in culinary history." - Gourmet
"Zanger's presentation preserves both history and practicality with the original wording of each recipe followed by an approximation of current cooking styles and measures and substitutions for rare items with available ingredients. … This book is a must-have for food history collections." - Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
"If you need to re-create a period with food, don't miss this volume." - Gale Free Resources Reference Reviews
"The American History Cookbook is sure to be a family favorite as its dishes such as Preble Cake, Walnut Oat Burgers, and Ground-Nut Soup continue to be enjoyed through the generations. A unique compendium of authentic, historic American cuisine, The American History Cookbook is a superbly presented and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections!" - Internet Bookwatch
"In these 350 recipes ranging between 1524 and 1977, Zanger not only explores the sources and character of diverse American foodways, he illuminates the practice of culinary history as well." - Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C.
Top customer reviews
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I like to open it in random places and just read it.
Mr. Zanger did a fabulous job putting this book together. The summaries are well written and the recipes seem to be easy and authentic, we've only made a few and they've turned out well.
That being said, this is one of my favorite cookbooks. I'm a cookbook addict (I have a bookshelf in my kitchen full of cookbooks). The thing I love so much about this book is reading it.
I'm not a history buff, but the history in this book is presented in a way I've never seen (history seen through the eyes of the hungry). I often pull this book off the bookshelf and randomly open it to read. This book stands on it's own as a book of history, and not just a cookbook.
Now that I have two young girls who are getting interested in cooking, I think I will introduce them to some of the recipes in this book. A prior reviewer said the recipes turn out well, so I'm excited to start trying them.
I particularly appreciate the fact that Zanger took the time to explain the methods and ingredients so that even beginner cooks (or children who are old enough to handle knives & hot stoves) could work their way through these recipes. He's always careful to explain how the recipes would have looked, tasted, or been cooked in the past, while teaching thet reader exactly how to accomplish the same result in a modern kitchen. Highly recommended.
This is an excellent book for homeschoolers hoping to put a new twist on history and teaching about people of the past. This is also a great resources for the cooks who have every other cookbook on their shelves.
This is a great book for anyone interested in history and food. It also would be great to use as a teaching tool along side American history lessons!