It's All-American Food // Lost Recipes

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Joined May 2, 2003
Has anyone seen It's All-American Food by David Rosengarten? I'm looking for a book representative of traditional regional dishes in the States, both high and low-culture. Thought this might be interesting.

Also wondering about Lost Recipes by Marion Cunningham.

Opinions, anyone?

thanks! -- lamington
 
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Joined Jul 6, 1999
both these books are available abebooks. My favourite book search site:)
 
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Thanks Judy, but I'm looking for opinions of them from our esteemed fellow ChefTalkers:)

--lamingtons
 
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Joined Apr 14, 2003
I haven't read either, but the november issue of Saveur had a review of " Lost Recipes" by Marion Cunningham. The gist was that the book takes recipes from the 50's, some true to the era (using canned soup, dry milk, etc) and some with a few added touches. They go on to say that some of the recipes were excellent, but others were not- my favorite quote in the review was "I may be able to go home again, but would I want to eat everything I found there?". Most books, cookbooks and otherwise, seem to be hit or miss based on personal preferences, but what concerned me the most was the comments that some of the recipes were sloppy- some recipes omitted baking temperatures; one started with instructions for a vinaigrette that was never mentioned again; one called for a 8x3 casserole dish.

Please remember, I have not read this book, so I cannot give you my personal bias. I also don't know how good/poor Saveur reviews are on average (this was my first issue). I hope I helped a little.
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2001
Lamington:

Your description of what you are looking for suggests that you might want to look at The American Century Cookbook by Jean Anderson. It is a combination of food history and cookbook, that gives some historical information about the origin of many popular recipes from the 20th century, along with recipes for those dishes. I found this so interesting - since along with food, I'm also a social history buff - that after reading through it myself, I went out and bought copies for my sister and several of my friends that are cooking enthusiasts. The recipes in it are obviously not cutting edge, and they are not especially regional, but they fall into the category of "old favorites," which is what I understand Rosengarten's and Cunningham's books to contain. I found that Amazon.com carries it after doing a Google search for the title.

If you are interested in something thick, and with a more regional orientation (and also not cutting edge, since it was published in 1980) the New York Times American Heritage Cookbook might also help you out. I didn't look to see if Ebay might have a copy, but with a 1980 pub. date, it's obviously out of print.

BR
 
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