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The Minnesota Ethnic Food Book Paperback – October 15, 1986

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This effort of two folklorists and a home economist (Hoover) combines a study of the past and present "foodways" of 14 ethnic groups in Minnesota with representative recipes. The authors gauge the effects of time, changes in the groups' economic and social status and recent immigration on traditional eating and cooking practices. The fascinating subject is, unfortunately, limited by the book's plodding narrative style. As it stands, the work is serviceable; it preserves much lore about the eating and cooking habits of Minnesota's blacks, Italians, Ojibways, Germans, Hmongs of Laos and other ethnic groups, along with some of their characteristic, easily adaptable recipes. Many offerings are familiar: Jewish challah, Greek baklava, Italian meatballs, German sauerbraten. Chefs who are experienced in ethnic cuisines and have a folklorist bent may find it of interest to see how a Minnesotan of Swedish descent adapts kram pudding, a rural recipe originally made from wild berries and fruits, to an urban environment by substituting frozen-concentrated fruit juices. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

""The authors have created a smorgasbord, a sampler, a banquet of ethnic foodways in Minnesota."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press; 1st edition (October 15, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873511980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873511988
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have owned this book since it was originally published by the Minnesota Historical Society back in the '80's. The publisher's name should give a clue that it is not a gourmet cookbook - it is the history of the various ethnic peoples that make up Minnesota, both modern and those that came at the turn of the last century. The bonus is a treasure trove of recipes that the immigrants brought to the area. The recipes reflect the times when the new arrivals worked long hours, little money, and in some cases, particularly during the Depression, little food.
I personally found the South Slav section very interesting as it included recipes from my Slovenian heritage - the Cabbage Rolls (Sarma s Kislim Zeljem) are great.
As a testament to the usefulness of this book, I really could use a fresh copy of it - mine is a bit tattered, worn, and food splattered.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was't only Norwegian cooking! It covered a broad array of nationalities with histories of all of them and the regions of the state they resided.
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Format: Paperback
This is the only book I have ever returned. It makes general statements about Minnesota's ethnic groups which I found to be inaccurate and very offensive. Apparently poverty is the inspiration for most ethnic recipes here in Minnesota. The recipes seemed untested, randomly chosen, and did not accurately reflect Minnesota's ethnic heritage. There was no reference to our land or the plethora of produce that comes from the Midwest. In fact, it was difficult to find recipes in this book that would provide one serving of vegetables, much less a variety of produce. If you want to know how to make ten different dishes out of white flour and various types of fat, or if you would like your ethnic background to be marginalized, then this is the book for you.
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