For the past ten years, Jean Anderson has been on a quest: to search out the most popular recipes of the 20th century and to chronicle 100 years of culinary change in America. The result is a rich and fascinating look at where we've been, at the recipes our mothers and grandmothers loved, and at how our own tastes have evolved.
The more than 500 cherished recipes in these pages are mainstays of American home cooking, the recipes that have remained favorites year after year. For the smallest sampling:
California dip . . . Buffalo chicken wings . . . vichyssoise . . . tuna-noodle casserole . . . Swiss steak . . . frosted meat loaf . . . tamale pie . . . corn dogs . . . lobster rolls . . . classic green bean bake . . . perfection salad . . . green goddess salad . . . frozen fruit salad . . . chiffon cake . . . brownies . . . chocolate chip cookies . . . chocolate decadence
Beyond this collection is Jean's exploration of the diversity of our nation's cuisine and our adoption of such "foreign" dishes as pizza, gazpacho, lasagne, moussaka, and tarte tatin. Her painstakingly researched text includes extensive headnotes, thumbnail profiles of important people and products (from Fannie Farmer to James Beard and from electric refrigerators to the microwave), and a timeline of major 20th-century food firsts.
In recording popular recipes that might have been lost, in setting them in richly detailed historical context, Jean Anderson has written her masterwork. The American Century Cookbook may well be the most important new cookbook of the decade; it is certainly the book America will love.
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Thank goodness Jean Anderson's The American Century Cookbook is as much a culinary page-turner as a call to the kitchen, because most of the 20th century's favorites are killers according to modern nutritional standards. Try to be satisfied learning that chocolate brownies and meatloaf, as we know it, were born back when most cooks relied on a wood-burning stove, and resist the urge to whip up a Grasshopper Pie or batch of Cherry Winks. Be assured, though, all 500-plus recipes work to perfection, including the one for Perfection Salad, the gelatin mold that started it all back in 1905. Charting trends along with the origins of specific dishes, Jean Anderson shares the significance of landmark cookbooks, from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, to Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Cook Book, and Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Sea changes cited are the acceptance of foreign cuisines and the idea that cooking can be a pastime as well as a necessity. A few landmark recipes include Clam Dip, Gazpacho, Guacamole, Sloppy Joes, New York-Style Cheesecake, and Banana-Nut Bread. Find your favorites set in context by Anderson's painstaking research.About the Author:
A member of the James Beard Who's Who of Food and Wine in America, Jean Anderson is the author of more than twenty cookbooks, among them the award-winning Food of Portugal and the best-selling Doubleday Cookbook (with Elaine Hanna), which was named Cookbook of the Year in the R.T. French Taste-maker Awards. She writes regularly for Gourmet, Food & Wine, Family Circle, Bon Appètit, and other national magazines. Jean Anderson divides her time between Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and New York City.
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