Monday, June 07, 2010

Food of a Younger Land

I wanted to like this book, but just couldn't get in to it. America Eats was a planned depression-era book documenting regional food and eating habits in the United States. Due to Pearl Harbor, the book was never fully edited and published. However, plenty of content was written and submitted. This book attempts to assemble that in a relatively coherent tome. Unfortunately, it ends up as disjointed goulash.

The author includes bits of his current voice bringing things to our days, but also includes essays bringing 19th century food in to the times of the depression. A few essays are included, as our tidbits about the authors. It is organized along geographic regions, though the different regions are of various qualities.

In all, the author tries to do too much, and just ends up with a mess. It would take a lot more work to get it in to a coherent volume. Perhaps a better bet would be to "un-novelize" it, and just include a random selection of the best recipes and essays without the excess commentary.

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