Cover image for The American history cookbook
The American history cookbook
Zanger, Mark.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xxiii, 459 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
"An Oryx book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX715 .Z36 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TX715 .Z36 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book uses historical commentary and recipes to trace the history of American cooking from the first European contact with Native Americans to the 1970s. Each of 50 chronologically arranged topical chapters contain 500-1,000 words of general commentary followed by descriptions and clear, step-by-step instructions for 3-4 recipes. The recipes are drawn from a wide variety of historical cookbooks and other historical sources.

The topics cover broad periods (e.g., Settlers and Indians, Early American Spring Meals, Health Food in Victorian America); particular events (e.g., Civil War South, The Great Depression); and particular trends or movements (e.g., Railroad Food, School Lunch, The Labor Movement). Also presented are engaging special topics such as Patriotic Cakes, Abolitionist Recipes, Communal Experiments, and Modern Health Food. The book is indexed by year of publication of recipes, states, and broad subjects.

Author Notes

Mark H. Zanger is a veteran Boston journalist and 20-year restaurant critic for the Boston Phoenix , under the name Robert Nadeau. He is the author of The American Ethnic Cookbook for Students (2001).

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Zanger's zealous pursuit of populist cookery covers a wide swathe of American history. Concentrating on resources in local food history, he avoids the usual homage to the divas of the American cookery and home economics movements, such as Fanny Farmer and Rose Knox. Instead, he covers Indian bean bread, Pilgrim succotash, New England back-burner standing dishes, slave and ship's galley cookery, school lunch standards, trestle-table specialties from the Amana and Oneida communities, and the favorite recipes of Henry Ward Beecher, Emily Dickinson, and Susan B. Anthony. The more than 350 recipes for muffins, syllabub, leatherbritches beans, jelly cake, flapjacks, S-O-S, and stewed gizzards were selected from historical cookbooks and other sources because they tell people's stories and help illustrate something about U.S. history. Recipes and commentary are arranged in 50 chapters focusing on particular time periods and themes, such as Temperance and Prohibition Recipes (1837-1930). Zanger's presentation preserves both history and practicality with the original wording of each recipe followed by an approximation of current cooking styles and measures and substitutions for rare items with available ingredients. The work concludes with a generously annotated bibliography, and chronological, geographical, and subject and recipe indexes. Enhancing the text are photos and line drawings that resurrect containers and implements long relegated to antique shops. This book is a must-have for food history collections. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
1. First Nations and Early Settlers (1200-1674)p. 1
2. Early Colonial Dishes (1524-1674)p. 15
3. The Twenty-One Colonies (1710s-1790s)p. 27
4. The American Revolution (1776-1784)p. 49
5. Patriotic Cakes (1795-1860)p. 57
6. Early American Meals--Spring (1792-1852)p. 67
7. Early American Meals--Summer (1800s-1856)p. 83
8. Early American Meals--Fall (1803-1855)p. 97
9. Early American Meals--Winter (1780s-1866)p. 107
10. The World of Masters and Slaves (1800-1862)p. 115
11. Origins and Early Recipes of Popular Foods (1802-1876)p. 135
12. Pioneers (1803-1850s)p. 145
13. Early American Health Food (1827-1857)p. 153
14. Abolitionist Recipes (1827-c.1910)p. 159
15. The First American Celebrities (1827-1877)p. 169
16. The Age of Jackson (1820s-1852)p. 177
17. Cooking for Children (1837-1861)p. 189
18. Temperance and Prohibition Recipes (1837-1930)p. 193
19. American Steak and Potatoes (1841-1896)p. 203
20. Communal Experiments (1842-1975)p. 211
21. Eating on American Ships (1854-1910)p. 217
22. Camping Out (1856-1886)p. 223
23. Irish Immigration (1859-1877)p. 227
24. Civil War--North (1860-1865)p. 231
25. Civil War--South (1860s-1872)p. 239
26. Political and Topical Cakes and Cookies (1865-1899)p. 245
27. Military Outposts during the Indian Wars (1870s-1884)p. 259
28. Settlers and Homesteaders (1873-1911)p. 263
29. Late Victorian Health Food (1875-1904)p. 271
30. Colonial Revival (1876-1896)p. 277
31. Cooking by Kids (1877-1921)p. 283
32. Women's Suffrage (1878-1927)p. 291
33. National Unity versus Diversity (1878-1902)p. 299
34. Origins and Early Recipes of Popular Foods (1877-1936)p. 311
35. Trains, Cars, and Trailers (1882-1939)p. 321
36. Labor versus Capital (1892-1983)p. 329
37. The Women's Exchange Movement (1895-1972)p. 339
38. Camping in the Twentieth Century (1906-1963)p. 345
39. School Lunch (1912-1960s)p. 351
40. World War I (1916-1919)p. 357
41. Health Food in the Twentieth Century (1912-1973)p. 367
42. Cities and City Politics (1922-1931)p. 375
43. Recent Cooking by Kids (1922-1957)p. 379
44. Radio Recipes (1928-1936)p. 385
45. The Great Depression (1930-1940)p. 391
46. World War II (1941-1945)p. 397
47. The Cold War (1948-1973)p. 405
48. The Civil Rights Movement and Its Opponents (1950s-1970)p. 415
49. The Vietnam War and Its Opponents (1962-1975)p. 421
50. The 1970s (1971-1975)p. 427
Annotated Select Bibliographyp. 433
Chronological Index of Recipesp. 439
Index of Recipes by Statesp. 443
Subject and Recipe Indexp. 447