America Eats! On the Road with the WPA : the Fish Fries, Box Supper Socials, and Chitlin Feasts That Define by Pat Willard

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  • Shelmar on May 23, 2020

    A delightful collection of snippets about community food culture then (late 1930s - early 1940s) and now. Willard and the initial WPA project uses food as an excuse to socialize, to gather crowds and to reward good deeds and hard work. It's a bit slap-dashed, so the work does not merit enough oomph to be called either history or sociology. But the book is approachable and might tease the reader into exploring further. This book is best read snippet by snippet rather than whole hog, except for the whole hog snippet which should be read as a unit. I'd like to see someone else write a sequel in 2040. Grand Central Oyster Stew, p.275, good, but very rich.

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  • ISBN 10 1596916230
  • ISBN 13 9781596916234
  • Published Jul 07 2009
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 288
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publishers Text

What the Sterns did for road food, Pat Willard does for festive American group eating in this exploration of our national cuisine, with a never-before-published WPA manuscript as her guide.

In America Eats! Pat Willard takes readers on a journey into the regional nooks and crannies of American cuisine where WPA writers - including Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, and Nelson Algren, among countless others - were dispatched in 1935 to document the roots of our diverse culinary cuisine. With the unpublished WPA manuscript as her guide, Willard visits the sites of American food's past glory to rediscover the vibrant foundation of America's traditional cuisine. She visits a booyah cook-off in Minnesota, a political feast in Mississippi, a watermelon festival in Oklahoma, and a sheepherders ball in Idaho, to name a few. Featuring recipes and never-before-seen photos, including those from the WPA by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, and Marion Post Wolcott, America Eats! is a glowing celebration of American food, past and present.

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