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Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink Hardcover – December 3, 2013
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
There are a couple of surprise omissions, iconic Midwest dishes such as City Chicken and Jo Jo Potatoes aren't in there, nor is Creole as an entry (I went looking for the difference between Cajun and Creole). One error I noted was that the author says Chicken Cacciatore (or pollo alla cacciatora in Italian) is an Italian American specialty that doesn't exist by this name in Italy. Pollo alla Cacciatore, however, was a recipe presented by Pellegrino Artusi in his cookbook in 1891, so was already widely enough known as a dish then in Italy. (Trivial, but still easy enough to have been verified.)
Overall, it's a fun and fact-filled book for anyone interested in American food history.