Genre: Nonfiction, Culinary History
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
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This unique culinary history of America offers a fascinating look at our past and uses long-forgotten recipes to explain how eight flavors changed how we eat.
The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population which makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In Eight Flavors, Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.
She begins in the archives, searching through economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records. She pores over cookbooks and manuscripts, dating back to the eighteenth century, through modern standards like How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Lohman discovers when each of these eight flavors first appear in American kitchens—then she asks why.
Eight Flavors introduces the explorers, merchants, botanists, farmers, writers, and chefs whose choices came to define the American palate. Lohman takes you on a journey through the past to tell us something about our present, and our future. We meet John Crowninshield a New England merchant who traveled to Sumatra in the 1790s in search of black pepper. And Edmond Albius, a twelve-year-old slave who lived on an island off the coast of Madagascar, who discovered the technique still used to pollinate vanilla orchids today. Weaving together original research, historical recipes, gorgeous illustrations and Lohman’s own adventures both in the kitchen and in the field, Eight Flavors is a delicious treat—ready to be devoured.
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
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Last week, high-powered coffee buyer Amy O'Hara was trekking through the Ethiopian cloud forest on the verge of a discovery that could save the coffee bean from extinction. This week, she's unexpectedly fired.
Suddenly Amy's days are no longer filled with meetings and upscale tastings, but with put-together PTA moms, puke-ridden playdates, and dirty dishes. Her husband has locked himself in the garage in order to write the Great American Screenplay, while both kids are steaming mad at her because she insists on dressing them like normal people and won't give up sending them to school with healthy lunches.
It's becoming clear that Amy may just be the world's most incompetent mother, and she's beginning to wonder if the only thing she's good for is bringing home the bacon. When salvation appears in the form of a movie-mogul ex-boyfriend who wants to employ her husband and rekindle their relationship, Amy starts to find she's sorely tempted . . .
One thing is certain: whatever happens, she's going to need a lot more caffeine.
Genre: Food and Drink
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
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In a recent survey, over 22 million Americans identified their eating habits as "vegetarian-inclined." They haven't given up meat, but understand that we need to rethink the way we plan meals. These millions of people are always on the hunt for new, creative ways to work more of them into their diets. Food Network star Nikki Dinki is here to fill this need. She's not a vegetarian; she's not a vegan; Nikki is simply a great chef and healthy eater who plans her meals with the meat on the side!
Inside are no fewer than 100 recipes to put meat in the passenger seat. You won't miss the beef in these Eggplant Meatballs; you'll marvel that pasta can be made from a parsnip using just a peeler; and you'll never want traditional nachos again after trying Nikki's Cabbage Nachos.
Meat on the Side is for home cooks looking to make the shift to healthier, vegetable-focused meals; couples where one person is vegetarian and the other is not; vegetarians looking for new ways to eat vegetables; and for the family that wants unique recipes that are guaranteed to get their children to eat healthier.
Genre: Food and Drink, Nonfiction, Culinary History
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
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How did chicken achieve the culinary ubiquity it enjoys today? It’s hard to imagine, but there was a point in history, not terribly long ago, that individual people each consumed less than ten pounds of chicken per year. Today, those numbers are strikingly different: we consumer nearly twenty-five times as much chicken as our great-grandparents did.
Collectively, Americans devour 73.1 million pounds of chicken in a day, close to 8.6 billion birds per year. How did chicken rise from near-invisibility to being in seemingly "every pot," as per Herbert Hoover's famous promise?
Emelyn Rude explores this fascinating phenomenon in Tastes Like Chicken. With meticulous research, Rude details the ascendancy of chicken from its humble origins to its centrality on grocery store shelves and in restaurants and kitchens. Along the way, she reveals startling key points in its history, such as the moment it was first stuffed and roasted by the Romans, how the ancients’ obsession with cockfighting helped the animal reach Western Europe, and how slavery contributed to the ubiquity of fried chicken today.
In the spirit of Mark Kurlansky’s Cod and Bee Wilson's Consider the Fork, Tastes Like Chicken is a fascinating, clever, and surprising discourse on one of America’s favorite foods.
Here, I will share with you my 3.5, 4- and 5-star reads. Let's fangirl together!