Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us

Harvest. Mar. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780358008668. $25. COOKING
Created through the work of the American Food History Project at the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian delivers “history by the forkful” in this addictive read. To start, readers delve into the history of the nation’s food identities through an examination of the culinary traditions and contributions of Indigenous peoples and enslaved Black cooks and the influences of the many waves of immigrations to and across the United States. Readers are then presented with a state-by-state journey across the country, learning about famous regional dishes such as Illinois’ Italian beef and Alabama’s lane cake. This trip is enhanced with fact bubbles and primary sources, bold food photography, and recipes sprinkled throughout. Additional chapters featuring food fads add nostalgia and humor while the chapter on personalities who shaped our cuisine is filled with unexpected facts. While this title will help with the occasional reference question, it will become a favorite among history buffs and foodies alike as they ramble through all the places, events, trends, and contributors that made up the nation’s foodways.
VERDICT Suffused with facts, fun, and recipes, food and history enthusiasts will love this book.
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