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    Round Up: Food History

    by Meghan Kowalski on 2023-11-15T09:00:00-05:00 | 0 Comments

    Thanksgiving is just around the corner. How we observe this day varies by community, family, and individual. Generally, however, this day is known for a cornucopia of food - some of which is enjoyed only once a year. But how did the Thanksgiving meal come to be? Food history is a fascinating subject. Food is not just sustenance and nutrition, it plays a role in culture, science, geography, economics, ethnography, and more.

    If you're looking to learn more about food history, check out these great resources.


    Library Recommendations

    • Credo Reference - Explore the history and cultural impact of food and specific ingredients
    • Opposing Viewpoints in Context - Explore everything from food waste and safety to genetically modified crops and local food movements
    • AGRICOLA - See the collections of the National Agricultural Library - this resource includes information all the way back to the 15th Century
    • Science Full Text Select - Find lots of information about food related science
    • LIFE photo archive - A collection of 10 million images showcasing lots of food related celebrations and traditions


    A Few Books

    Cover ArtFood History Almanac by Janet Clarkson
    The Food History Almanac covers 365 days of the year, with information and anecdotes relating to food history from around the world from medieval times to the present. The daily entries include such topics as celebrations; significant food-related moments in history from the fields of science and technology, exploration and discovery, travel, literature, hotel and restaurant history, and military history; menus from famous and infamous meals across a wide spectrum, from extravagant royal banquets to war rations and prison fare; birthdays of important people in the food field; and publication dates for important cookbooks and food texts and "first known" recipes. Food historian Janet Clarkson has drawn from her vast compendium of historical cookbooks, food texts, scholarly articles, journals, diaries, ships' logs, letters, official reports, and newspaper and magazine articles to bring food history alive. History buffs, foodies, students doing reports, and curious readers will find it a constant delight. An introduction, list of recipes, selected bibliography, and set index, plus a number of period illustrations are added value.
    Cover ArtWriting Food History by Kyri W. Claflin (Editor); Peter Scholliers (Editor)
    The vibrant interest in food studies among both academics and amateurs has made food history an exciting field of investigation. Taking stock of three decades of groundbreaking multidisciplinary research, the book examines two broad questions: What has history contributed to the development of food studies? How have other disciplines - sociology, anthropology, literary criticism, science, art history - influenced writing on food history in terms of approach, methodology, controversies, and knowledge of past foodways? Essays by twelve prominent scholars provide a compendium of global and multicultural answers to these questions. The contributors critically assess food history writing in the United States, Africa, Mexico and the Spanish Diaspora, India, the Ottoman Empire, the Far East - China, Japan and Korea - Europe, Jewish communities and the Middle East. Several historical eras are covered: the Ancient World, the Middle Ages, Early Modern Europe and the Modern day. The book is a unique addition to the growing literature on food history. It is required reading for anyone seeking a detailed discussion of food history research in diverse times and places.
    Cover ArtTortillas, Tiswin, and T-Bones by Gregory McNamee
    In this entertaining history, Gregory McNamee explores the many ethnic and cultural traditions that have contributed to the food of the Southwest. He traces the origins of the cuisine to the arrival of humans in the Americas, the work of the earliest farmers of Mesoamerica, and the most ancient trade networks joining peoples of the coast, plains, and mountains. From the ancient chile pepper and agave to the comparatively recent fare of sushi and Frito pie, this complex culinary journey involves many players over space and time. Born of scarcity, migration, and climate change, these foods are now fully at home in the Southwest of today--and with the "southwesternization" of the American palate at large, they are found across the globe. McNamee extends that story across thousands of years to the present, even imagining what the southwestern menu will look like in the near future.
    Cover ArtThe Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge
    A people's history of Southern food that reveals how the region came to be at the forefront of American culinary culture and how issues of race have shaped Southern cuisine over the last six decades. THE POTLIKKER PAPERS tells the story of food and politics in the South over the last half century. Beginning with the pivotal role of cooks in the Civil Rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South's journey from racist backwater to American immigration. He traces how the food of the poorest Southerners has become the signature trend of modern American haute cuisine.
    Cover ArtA History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell
    A riveting narrative history of food as seen through 100 recipes, from ancient Egyptian bread to modernist cuisine. We all love to eat, and most people have a favorite ingredient or dish. But how many of us know where our much-loved recipes come from, who invented them, and how they were originally cooked? In A History of Food in 100 Recipes, culinary expert and BBC television personality William Sitwell explores the fascinating history of cuisine from the first cookbook to the first cupcake, from the invention of the sandwich to the rise of food television. A book you can read straight through and also use in the kitchen, A History of Food in 100 Recipes is a perfect gift for any food lover who has ever wondered about the origins of the methods and recipes we now take for granted.





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