The Routledge History of American Foodways  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge History of American Foodways

ISBN 9780415717571
Published March 10, 2016 by Routledge
424 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge History of American Foodways provides an important overview of the main themes surrounding the history of food in the Americas from the pre-colonial era to the present day. By broadly incorporating the latest food studies research, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades in this crucial field.

The volume is composed of four parts. The first part explores the significant developments in US food history in one of five time periods to situate the topical and thematic chapters to follow. The second part examines the key ingredients in the American diet throughout time, allowing authors to analyze many of these foods as items that originated in or dramatically impacted the Americas as a whole, and not just the United States. The third part focuses on how these ingredients have been transformed into foods identified with the American diet, and on how Americans have produced and presented these foods over the last four centuries. The final section explores how food practices are a means of embodying ideas about identity, showing how food choices, preferences, and stereotypes have been used to create and maintain ideas of difference.

Including essays on all the key topics and issues, The Routledge History of American Foodways comprises work from a leading group of scholars and presents a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of food in American culture.

Table of Contents

Part I: Cooking Times

1. Pre-Colonial

2. Early American

3. Nineteenth Century

4. Twentieth Century

5. Contemporary Issues

Part II: Ingredients

6. Grains

7. Meat

8. Alcohol

9. Sugar

10. Fish

11. Fruits and Vegetables

Part III: Recipes

12. Kitchens

13. Holidays and Festivals

14. Restaurant Culture

15. Food Tourism

16. Food Policy

17. Food and the Environment

Part IV: Appetites

18. Food and Immigration

19. Food and Race

20. Food and Regionalism

21. Food and American Wars

22. Food and Gender

23. Food and Empire

24. Food and Entertainment

25. Food and Marketing


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Jennifer Jensen Wallach is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas.

Micahel D. Wise is Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas.


"The Routledge History of American Foodways is essential reading for readers of both the American experience and its complex regional and national food cultures. In this foundational work, editors Jennifer Jensen Wallach and Michael Wise bring together a powerhouse of thinkers to decode the fascinating intersection of food and American history from the continent’s first hunters and gatherers to today’s contemporary food activists. Here we uncover the essence of what it means to be American through our shared and contested food choices."

-Marcie Cohen Ferris, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"This comprehensive volume is the single best resource for the history of food in the United States. With it, a new generation of scholars is making its mark on the field of food studies."

-Jeffrey M. Pilcher, University of Toronto Scarborough

"Sweeping in scope yet meticulous in scholarship, these essays provide an essential and excellent overview of food in the United States. They thoughtfully analyze the most important topics to create a superb introduction to food studies. I can hardly wait to incorporate this work into my research and teaching."

-Rebecca Sharpless, Texas Christian University