Ethnic American Food Today.
Ed. by Lucy M. Long.
2v. 2015. 980p. illus. Rowman & Littlefield, $170
(9781442227309); e-book, $169.99 (9781442227316).
Food is much more than something
edible—food encompasses memory, culture, tradition. This encyclopedia offers an
overview of ethnic and immigrant food cultures found in contemporary mainstream
American society. The entries in this work
recognize and honor food as more than just
nourishment for the body.
More than 200 nations and cultures are
Fermented: A Beginner’s Guide to
represented across the two volumes, includ-
ing Afghanistan, Amish, Central Asia, Cook
Islands, Gypsy, Isle of Man, Puerto Rico,
and Yemen. Each signed entry follows the
same format, which includes the cultural
background and brief immigration history
of the associated ethnic group, a description
of traditional “foodways”—the activities
surrounding the food or eating—and a dis-
cussion of the place of those foods in the
current American food scene, including not-
ed restaurants and chefs, as necessary. Recipes
representing iconic foods are given in most
entries. As would be expected, entries range
in length (e.g., 1 page for Azerbaijan; 10
pages for Italy) and end with notes and selec-
tions for further reading. Navigational matter
includes a list of nations by continent, a list
of maps, and an index. There are no photo-
graphs. This would be an excellent addition
to academic and larger public libraries, espe-
cially those where there is an interest in food
and ethnic culture. —Rebecca Vnuk
Making Your Own Sourdough, Yogurt,
Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kimchi, and More.
By Charlotte Pike.
Nov. 2015. 160p. illus. Kyle, $24.95 (9781909487376).
The centuries-old practice of food fermentation is superhot today. Pike takes full
advantage of that trend, offering recipes for
comforting favorites as well as boundary-stretching fermented drinks and fare. She
stresses the ease of fermentation and sets
forth the health benefits of fermented foods,
along with listing must-have equipment,
ingredients, and types of fermented foods.
There is a basic sauerkraut recipe, sure, but
also yogurt pancakes and stir-fried chicken
with noodles and (fermented) black-bean
sauce. She includes steps for making homemade kombucha, a fermented sweet tea that
is quite expensive at the supermarket. And
she’ll have you making a whole-milk yogurt,
as well as a vegan coconut-milk version, like
a pro. This book is an inviting, nonthreatening introduction to the art and science of
fermentation. —Heather Lalley
Foods That Changed History: How Foods
Shaped Civilization from the Ancient
World to the Present.
By Christopher Cumo.
2015. 464p. ABC-CLIO, $100 (9781440835360). 641.3.
Learning about foods and their importance in history offers insight into topics as
varied as religious movements, literature,
economics, technology, and the human condition. This volume addresses the myriad
ways in which foods have shaped the world
we inhabit, from prehistory to the present.
Nearly 100 entries cover all manner of foodstuffs, from both natural sources (think corn,
eggs, peanuts) and products of the industrial
age (such as Spam and Coca-Cola). But the
entries do not merely describe a food; they
cover history and culture: how the potato
changed lives in northern Europe, particu-
Come sit down at Mary McCartney’s table for a delicious
vegetarian meal! Mary’s photographs vividly capture more
than 75 recipes, inspired by her mother and grandmother,
that loved ones can enjoy together.
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;;;.;; (;;;.;; Can), in hardcover • October ;;;;
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