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"The Food of a Younger Land" by Mark Kurlansky


Kim Shook
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From the publisher:

A remarkable portrait of American food before World War II, presented by the New York Times-bestselling author of Cod and Salt.

Award-winning New York Times-bestselling author Mark Kurlansky takes us back to the food and eating habits of a younger America: Before the national highway system brought the country closer together; before chain restaurants imposed uniformity and low quality; and before the Frigidaire meant frozen food in mass quantities, the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional.

I am listening to this now and finding it absolutely fascinating. Is anyone else reading this book?

Edited by heidih
shorten quote to fit copyright guideline (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I read this this summer and really, really enjoyed it. It made me wish for a similar government program when I was unemployed! My grandmother and I discussed several of the articles, so it was also a great way to engage multiple generations.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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Just read it - and loved it! I sat down with it on the Friday after Thanksgiving and happened to read about Nebraska farmwives feeding the itinerant threshing crews. That gigantic Thanksgiving meal I was so proud of making, and taking a well-deserved rest after? They did it three times a day, several days in a row!

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Well, I finished it and really liked it a lot. All of the information was fascinating and I sure wish that we still used public money to promote and research the unique cultures that still exist and may not for long in our country.

Was anyone a little jarred by the abrupt ending? The introduction was so interesting that I expected something similar to wrap up the book and it just....stopped.

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Well, I finished it and really liked it a lot. All of the information was fascinating and I sure wish that we still used public money to promote and research the unique cultures that still exist and may not for long in our country.

Was anyone a little jarred by the abrupt ending? The introduction was so interesting that I expected something similar to wrap up the book and it just....stopped.

Kim, That did bother me. It seems to be a recurring theme on the Amazon comments as well. Kurlansky did such a great job in the intros, and the pieces he picked were so interesting, that the end did seem abrupt. I'm probably also going to read this book, America Eats!. The author, Pat Willard, went to many of the places the WPA writers also visited and tried to find out if the same foods were available today. I'm hoping that it wraps up the project a bit more.

I also have a secret, niggling little voice that makes me want to try and find the missing Missouri recipes that were to be saved for a separate cookbook. You know, when I have a lot of extra time to go searching through the MO Library/Historical Society! :raz:

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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Well, I finished it and really liked it a lot. All of the information was fascinating and I sure wish that we still used public money to promote and research the unique cultures that still exist and may not for long in our country.

Was anyone a little jarred by the abrupt ending? The introduction was so interesting that I expected something similar to wrap up the book and it just....stopped.

Kim, That did bother me. It seems to be a recurring theme on the Amazon comments as well. Kurlansky did such a great job in the intros, and the pieces he picked were so interesting, that the end did seem abrupt. I'm probably also going to read this book, America Eats!. The author, Pat Willard, went to many of the places the WPA writers also visited and tried to find out if the same foods were available today. I'm hoping that it wraps up the project a bit more.

I also have a secret, niggling little voice that makes me want to try and find the missing Missouri recipes that were to be saved for a separate cookbook. You know, when I have a lot of extra time to go searching through the MO Library/Historical Society! :raz:

Oooh! That sounds like a book I would love. Thanks for linking it - I just reserved it at my library!

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