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July 10 , 2010

Food and Drink in American History

A "Full Course" Encyclopedia


The expression "you are what you eat" certainly applies to Americans, not just in terms of our physical health, but also in the myriad ways that our taste preferences, eating habits, and food culture are intrinsically tied to our society and history. This standout reference work comprises two volumes containing more than 600 alphabetically arranged historical entries on American foods and beverages, as well as dozens of historical recipes for traditional American foods; and a third volume of more than 120 primary source documents. Never before has there been a reference work that coalesces this diverse range of information into a single set.

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McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc once said, “It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun.” The hamburger has been a staple of American culture for the last century, both a source of gluttonous joy and a recurrent obstacle to healthy eating. Now the full beauty of the burger in all its forms is explored in…

The entries in this set provide information that will transform any American history research project into an engaging learning experience. Examples include explanations of how tuna fish became a staple food product for Americans, how the canning industry emerged from the Civil War, the difference between Americans and people of other countries in terms of what percentage of their income is spent on food and beverages, and how taxation on beverages like tea, rum, and whisky set off important political rebellions in U.S. history.

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