In a lively account of the American tuna industry over the past century, celebrated food writer and scholar Andrew F. Smith relates how tuna went from being sold primarily as a fertilizer to becoming the most commonly consumed fish in the country. In American Tuna, the so-called chicken of the sea” is both the subject and the backdrop for other facets of American history: U.S. foreign policy, immigration and environmental politics, and dietary trends.
Smith recounts how tuna became a popular low-cost high-protein food beginning in 1903, when the first can rolled off the assembly line. By 1918, skyrocketing sales made it one of America’s most popular seafoods. In the decades that followed, the American tuna industry employed thousands, yet at at mid-century production started to fade. Concerns about toxic levels of methylmercury, by-catch issues, and over-harvesting all contributed to the demise of the industry today, when only three major canned tuna brands exist in the United States, all foreign owned. A remarkable cast of characters fishermen, advertisers, immigrants, epicures, and environmentalists, among many others populate this fascinating chronicle of American tastes and the forces that influence them.
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Tuna are fast swimmers, but their journey into the heart of American culture and cuisine has been long and circuitous. With authority and grace, Andrew Smith charts the course of these big, beautiful, fearsome-looking creatures to our shores, from early disrepute to lunchbox ubiquity to gastronomic reverence and off into the cold, dark waters of near extinction. His fish tale is compelling, informative, and ultimately as meaty as his subject.” Colman Andrews, Editorial Director of TheDailyMeal.com
"In American Tuna, Andrew Smith poses, and answers, a provocative series of question on the history, life, and environment of this most magnificent fish. A compelling and timely read." Anne Willan, author of The Cookbook Library and The Country Cooking of France
The indefatigable and prolific Andrew Smith has caught a big one this time. In this lively social history he shows us why the regal blue fin captured the appetite and imagination of 20th century America in the way that the royal cod captured the colonial imagination. More please!" Molly O’Neill, author of One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking
Tuna is not only America’s favorite fish, but an all-American champion food. How that came to be, how the tuna industry rose from being a local ethnic industry to a food giant, how that impacted the fish, their ecology and very survival, is the subject of this excellent and highly readable study by Andrew F. Smith. It is, literally, just about everything you want to know when opening a can to make a tuna salad sandwich. Bruce Kraig, author of Hot Dog: A Global History
From the master of the single subject food book comes another work, destined to become a classic. Smith has an uncanny ability to trace the changing fortune of an ingredient, following the vicissitudes of fate and fashion and turning it into a great story a fisherman’s tale in this case, though with no exaggeration. Expect surprises at every turn, as Smith hauls in this huge subject.” Ken Albala, author of Beans: A History
Andrew F. Smith teaches Food Studies at the New School University in New York. He is the author of Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat, Potato: A Global History, and Eating History: 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, among many other books. For more information, please visit www.andrewfsmith.com.
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Descrizione libro University of California Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0520261844 Ships promptly. Codice libro della libreria ETC3985TCGG062717H0670A
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