Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia. By Andrew F. Smith. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013. 3 vols. acid free $310 (ISBN: 978-161069-232-8). E-book available (978-1-61069-233-5), call for pricing.

Food and Drink in American History is food writer and teacher Andrew F. Smith's latest encyclopedic exploration of the culinary tastes and habits of the American people, having previously edited The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (Oxford University Press, 2004; 2nd edition 2013). Like the latter work, Food and Drink in American History follows an A--Z format tracing the historical developments of the American diet through individual articles, "American" in both works being almost exclusively the United States.

Food and Drink in American History is the product of a single author, though two other contributors are listed and acknowledged for the use of their work in 13 of the 664 entries. The 1,300 entries in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America 2nd edition are the collaborative work of some 350 contributors, including Andrew F. Smith.

Unique to Food and Drink in American History are 285 recipes culled from cookbooks and other sources used as historical illustrations of specific ingredients, techniques, or food ways associated with a particular article as, for example, the recipe for "Corn Dodgers" that illustrates the encyclopedia's article on "Fair Food" (303). One Hundred twenty-nine reprinted primary source documents such as George Washington's notice "To the Inhabitants of the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware" making arrangements for provisioning the Continental Army through its winter encampment (1067) reinforce the historical place of food in American life, as do the eleven articles tracing continuity and change in the American diet from PreColumbian food through the latest decade of the current century. …

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