Food is usually amongst the center in celebrating many holidays and traditions. A little knowledge about the origins of certain foods & dishes of our country can always be fun to share amongst friends, family, and other peers. A recommended book to serve this purpose would most certainly be The American Plate A Culinary History in 100 Bites by Libby H. O’connell. It gives one a quick historical look at the foods that many American’s have come to know and perhaps love over the years starting with American Indian Food before Columbus and ending with American Foods of Today.
I found it to be extremely interesting but not too surprising in how technology, economics, and social movements have transformed the ways we eat. It’s been a fun read and I believe the author did and excellent job in compiling the many facts and origin history over 100 dishes and bites. If one ever finds themselves needing to answer American food trivia questions, you’ll most definitely be set after reading through this book.
There are ten chapters followed by an epilogue. The chapters start in American Indian times and span through the times leading up to today. Amongst the history, there are recipes! There are 30 recipes to be precise which include soup, pies, desserts, sides, main dishes, and more from the known to perhaps the lesser known like beaver tail and roast turtle!
I was certainly thrilled with the addition of recipes and have noted those new to me and not so new foods to try. Being from the south, I certainly won’t be passing the chance to cook up the buttermilk fried chicken recipe. My husband has a love for pies so the Strawberry Rhubarb is also on my to bake list!
I homeschool my children and feel that this book would be excellent to use in our US History studies. We will read about specific foods during certain eras and also tie in our home economics in preparing a few of the recipes together! I like that illustrations and photos were included of certain foods as well as company advertisements and machines used to prepare it during certain times.
The information and writing is clear to understand and easy to follow. It’s been a delightful read. I really like I can pick a time or a specific food I am interested in and just read up on that. I don’t feel that this a book to just sit and completely read through all at once. Overall, I feel I will be coming back to the book again and again. I’m happy to have discovered this gem and will certainly be looking for more from this author in the future. I most certainly recommend it for anyone with a love for food or just aiming to learn a bit more about the United States of America and our choices of cuisine.
Interested in Purchasing? The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites is available in numerous formats on Amazon.com as well as other known retailers.