Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

American Food Writing An Anthology [Hardcover]

Molly Oneill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 50.00
Price: CDN$ 31.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: CDN$ 18.50 (37%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Tuesday, April 22? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover CDN $31.50  

Book Description

April 17 2007
In a groundbreaking new anthology, celebrated food writer Molly O'Neill gathers the very best from over 250 years of American culinary history. This literary feast includes classic accounts of iconic American foods: Henry David Thoreau on the delights of watermelon; Herman Melville, with a mouth-watering chapter on clam chowder; H. L. Mencken on the hot dog; M.F.K. Fisher in praise of the oyster; Ralph Ellison on the irresistible appeal of baked yam; William Styron on Southern fried chicken. American writers abroad, like A. J. Liebling, Waverly Root, and Craig Claiborne, describe the revelations they found in foreign restaurants; travellers to America, including the legendary French gourmet J. A. Brillat-Savarin, discover such native delicacies as turkey, Virginia barbecue, and pumpkin pie. Great chefs and noted critics discuss their culinary philosophies and offer advice on the finer points of technique; home cooks recount disasters and triumphs. A host of eminent American writers, from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whitman to Thomas Wolfe, Willa Cather, and Langston Hughes, add their distinctive viewpoints to the mix.

American Food Writing celebrates the astonishing variety of American foodways, with accounts from almost every corner of the country and a host of ethnic traditions: Dutch, Cuban, French, Italian, Jewish, Chinese, Irish, Indian, Scandinavian, Native American, African, English, Japanese, and Mexican. A surprising range of subjects and perspectives emerge, as writers address such topics as fast food, hunger, dieting, and the relationship between food and sex. James Villas offers a behind-the-scenes look at gourmet dining through a waiter's eyes; Anthony Bourdain recalls his days at the Culinary Institute of America; Julia Child remembers the humble beginnings of her much-loved television series; Nora Ephron chronicles internecine warfare among members of the "food establishment;" Michael Pollan explores what the label "organic" really means.

Throughout the anthology are more than 50 classic recipes, selected after extensive research from cookbooks both vintage and modern, and certain to instruct, delight, and inspire home chefs.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This exhaustive collection of essays, anecdotes, and recipes spans three centuries of American food writing, from Meriwether Lewis's account of killing "two bucks and two buffaloe" during his famous trek across the continent, to Michael Pollan's up-to-the-minute account of the politics of organic food. In between are countless gems: Alice B. Toklas's baroque recipe for lobster, Richard Olney's meditation on paté and Edna Lewis's poignant description of killing hogs on her family farm. Ably organized and edited by the former host of the PBS series Great Food, this collection features numerous accounts of foodways long since vanished in this country; take, for instance, Charlie Ranhofer's thorough analysis of the thirteen-course society dinner, complete with "removes or solid joints," "iced punch or sherbet," and "hot sweet entremets"; or Maria Sermolino's memories of the Italian meals served at her father's Greenwich Village restaurant back when spaghetti was still a novelty. Famous food writers are well represented here (James Beard and Calvin Trillin, M.F.K. Fisher and James Villas), but perhaps even more rewarding are the wonderful but lesser-known players on the American food scene; either Elizabeth Robins Pennell's discussion of the spring chicken or Eugene Walter's tale of gumbo alone would make this volume a treasure. With so many wonderful ingredients, this rich, delectable treat is a must-have for American foodies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this comprehensive anthology from the Library of America, veteran food journalist O'Neill brings together some of the most significant short food writing from across the whole spectrum of American culinary history. From the eighteenth century, Joel Barlow offers a poem celebrating a breakfast specialty. A brief account of cooking at the outset of the nineteenth century comes from Henry Adams' renowned history. James Beard, Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, and other contemporary icons record the great American food revolution of recent decades. Excerpts and articles from other writers bring the anthology up to date with concerns about food origins and sound nutrition. Good food writing being an effective tonic to arouse one's appetite, O'Neill has peppered the text with historical and modern recipes beyond those that appear within the texts themselves. A valuable subject index expedites locating topics efficiently within this very diverse set of readings. Knoblauch, Mark
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!" July 8 2007
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Food, glorious food! Eat right through the menu." Readers will be tempted to follow that lyrical advice when they discover the mouth-watering recipes in American Food Writing, a veritable historic and cultural feast that traces our love affair with food from Thomas Jefferson's favorite ice cream to Michael Pollen's comments on the upsurge of interest in organic foods.

Charles Ranhofer (1836 - 1899) was the chef at Delmonico's in New York City for some 30 years. If anyone could describe how to serve an epicurean feast he could and did. Thoreau, of course, had quite different ideas about our daily bread, we read: "I learned from my two years experience that it would cost incredibly little trouble to obtain one's necessary food.....that a man may use as simple a diet as the animals, and yet retain health and strength."

Not every man's idea of dinner, I imagine.

Jade Snow Wong (1922 - 2006) gives instruction on how to shop on a budget for the very best in meat and produce, and how to cook rice. One of my favorite entries is Julia Child's reminiscence about her television series. However, picking favorite isn't an easy task in this 784 page volume that holds among others praise of the oyster by M.F.K. fisher, and William Styron's delight in Southern Fried Chicken.

Laced throughout this volume are comments by notable chefs, critics, and home cooks plus 50 recipes, both vintage and modern. Seldom has food been discussed so thoroughly and invitingly as it is in American Food Writing.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous collection of wonderful pieces on food as well as dozens of recipes from history June 27 2007
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoy reading good writing about food more than just about any other kind of writing, but not only for the obvious reason that I enjoy eating food. Sure, we all eat. And some of us enjoy food maybe more than most. But writing about food is something else and has many happy reasons to recommend it. The first being that one can enjoy reading good writing about all kinds of food without taking in even one calorie. I emphasize good writing because much of what passes for food writing is just filler stuff that is dashed off to fill pages in magazines between the advertisements.

But when an author gets to the soul of the food being written about, well, something very special happens for the reader. Food writing can open up new vistas for the adventurous food lover. We can learn about foods and dishes we had never expected or anticipated. We can get fresh takes on dishes we thought we knew. It can take us back in time and show us the roots of where we came from. Even the way they wrote their recipes can be instructive. We notice what they assumed the person using the recipe would assume as understood, the kinds of ingredients and equipment they assumed would be on hand, and what was new and different that had to be carefully spelled out.

Food writing also makes for wonderful anthropology. What people ate when and where provides wonderful insights into who the people were, what they valued, what was available to them, their technology, those with whom they traded, and their connections to those who came later (the way the dishes and foods evolved and changed over time). Too often we make the lazy assumption that the past was much like the present, but not as modern. In fact, it is often very different. And we assume those who came before as less sophisticated at our own peril.

When we take a close look at the past we are often given the lesson again and again how perfectly these people used and adapted what was available and were just as motivated to get what wasn't on hand. In fact, they had to prepare for seasons of want, something we have no experience of in present day America. They were every whit as intelligent as we suppose ourselves to be. A great journalist can also be a kind of short form anthropologist by using reporting about food to make their points about culture and to inform her readers about the current state of things.

Another wonderful source of great food writing is in the hands of a skilled fiction writer. Food can be used to reveal character, give them context, or even show them out of place and in discomfort. It can move the plot or provide a necessary space in the action or allow the author some time for a leisurely disquisition and let their gift for language and food flow (always a delight).

This wonderful anthology has superb examples of all these kinds of writing about food and much more. Molly O'Neill has done us a wonderful service by providing us with dozens of examples of food writing at its best from Thomas Jefferson recipe for ice cream through Michael Pollan's 2006 piece "My Organic Industrial Meal" and everything in between. I cannot even list all the authors, but urge you to trust that your favorites are likely represented as well as those you might not expect.

Along with all the essays, articles, excerpts from novels and other books on food, and even letters, there are also about fifty recipes from Jefferson's ice cream through Lady Bird Johnson's Pedernales Chili (as given by Robb Walsh). Of course, there are also instructions for cooking in many of the articles, as well. The recipes are set off in the table of context by a star so you can see them easily and flip to them for use or enjoyable reading.

This is another fine volume from the Library of America and to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude (along with the author) for their support of such quality projects.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!" July 8 2007
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Food, glorious food! Eat right through the menu." Readers will be tempted to follow that lyrical advice when they discover the mouth-watering recipes in American Food Writing, a veritable historic and cultural feast that traces our love affair with food from Thomas Jefferson's favorite ice cream to Michael Pollen's comments on the upsurge of interest in organic foods.

Charles Ranhofer (1836 - 1899) was the chef at Delmonico's in New York City for some 30 years. If anyone could describe how to serve an epicurean feast he could and did. Thoreau, of course, had quite different ideas about our daily bread, we read: "I learned from my two years experience that it would cost incredibly little trouble to obtain one's necessary food.....that a man may use as simple a diet as the animals, and yet retain health and strength."

Not every man's idea of dinner, I imagine.

Jade Snow Wong (1922 - 2006) gives instruction on how to shop on a budget for the very best in meat and produce, and how to cook rice. One of my favorite entries is Julia Child's reminiscence about her television series. However, picking favorite isn't an easy task in this 784 page volume that holds among others praise of the oyster by M.F.K. fisher, and William Styron's delight in Southern Fried Chicken.

Laced throughout this volume are comments by notable chefs, critics, and home cooks plus 50 recipes, both vintage and modern. Seldom has food been discussed so thoroughly and invitingly as it is in American Food Writing.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Anthology Aug. 23 2007
By Carol Goter Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have not completed reading this book. That is part of its virtue. One can pick it up and read enjoyably for 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch because the samples/chapters are quite short- many in the 3 to 5 page range. I know that I will finish reading it eventually, because the writing as well as the topics are so interesting. One gets a feel for earlier times when reading the initial chapters. I found it fascinating that in the 1830's (if I am remembering the decade correctly) that members of a wealthy family living in Philadelphia and New Orleans would ship foodstuffs, e.g, oranges, to each other between the two cities. If you are a foodie, like good writing, and are interested in history, you will enjoy this book.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Gristle July 30 2007
By takingadayoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was so sure I would love this book that I bought it brand new, sight unseen. Library of America, Molly O'Neill, over 700 pages of food writing. How could it miss?

After slogging throught the first 300 pages (the book is chronologically arranged), I finally came to the modern era of food writing. Many of my favorites were here: Nora Ephron, Julia Child, Calvin Trillin, David Sedaris. From here on in, the selections are more interesting, if uneven. I guess it's a matter of taste, but of all the extreme adventures Ruth Reichl wrote of in her marvelous Garlic & Sapphires, the sushi restaurant chapter didn't strike me as the one to pick. The consecutive pieces on Craig Claibornes' $4,000 meal in Paris followed by Russell Baker's parody of it are classic and so is David Sedaris's menu essay. But I wonder if Michael Pollan's food writing will hold up over time. I must admit I couldn't make my way through much of his book, Omnivore's Dilemma, from which a chapter is excerpted for this collection. It's just so darned earnest.

But my main gripe about American Food Writing is the writing that wasn't there. In a book of American Food Writing that makes room for writers remembering food from the old country, why is there nothing at all from the most American food writers of all, Jane and Michael Stern? Is there any food more American than diner food? And how about those other very American food pastimes, the hot dog eating contest (or pie eating contest or twinkie eating contest, etc.) and the chili cookoff? Amy Sutherland has an excellent book on cookoffs that might have provided an entertaining chapter. What about food blogs - Julie Powell, for instance?

There have been some great books of food writing recently like Julia Child's My Life in France, Jane and Michael Stern's Two for the Road, and David Kamp's The United States of Arugula. And the annual Best Food Writing edited by Holly Hughes hasn't let me down yet.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort Food for Thought Sept. 11 2007
By Catherine C. Wakelyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
These essays are witty and informative -- an unintended cultural history of our national relationship with our collective palates. I read a number of them aloud to my partner while he did the driving on an extended automobile trip.
I have only two quibbles with Molly O'Neill's selections: First, she didn't include anything from her own Memoir, "Mostly True," which was not only hilarious in places but reveals her substantial culinary and writing talents. Second, she didn't include a selection from Robert Farrar Capon's "The Supper of the Lamb" -- a small cookbook with reminiscences, published in the 1970s and probably out of print by now.
I should add that I bought this particular copy of "American Food Writing" as a gift because I liked it so much.
--Catherine Carl Wakelyn
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xac61e438)

Look for similar items by category


Feedback