June DPL Non-Fiction Book Club 2021
Book: How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture by Jennifer Wallach
How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture, by food and social historian Jennifer Wallach, sheds a new and interesting light on American history by way of the dinner table. It is, at once, a study of America’s diverse culinary history and a look at the country’s unique and unprecedented journey to the present day. While undeniably a “melting pot” of different cultures and cuisines, America’s food habits have been shaped as much by technological innovations and industrial progress as by the intermingling and mixture of ethnic cultures. By studying what Americans have been eating since the colonial era, we are further enlightened to the conflicting ways in which Americans have chosen to define themselves, their culture, their beliefs, and the changes those definitions have undergone over time. Understanding the American diet is the first step toward grasping the larger truths, the complex American narratives that have long been swept under the table, and the evolving answers to the question: What does it mean to be American?