James McWilliams's A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped PDF

By James McWilliams

ISBN-10: 0231129920

ISBN-13: 9780231129923

ISBN-10: 0231503482

ISBN-13: 9780231503488

Sugar, red meat, beer, corn, cider, scrapple, and hoppin' John all turned staples within the nutrition of colonial the United States. The methods americans cultivated and ready meals and the values they attributed to it performed a huge function in shaping the identification of the baby country. In A Revolution in consuming, James E. McWilliams provides a colourful and lively travel of culinary attitudes, tastes, and strategies all through colonial the US. faced by means of unusual new animals, crops, and landscapes, settlers within the colonies and West Indies came upon new how one can produce meals. Integrating their British and eu tastes with the calls for and bounty of the rugged American surroundings, early american citizens built a number of local cuisines. From the kitchen tables of commonplace Puritan households to Iroquois longhouses within the backcountry and slave kitchens on southern plantations, McWilliams portrays the grand type and inventiveness that characterised colonial food. As colonial the United States grew, so did its palate, as interactions between ecu settlers, local american citizens, and African slaves created new dishes and attitudes approximately nutrition. McWilliams considers how Indian corn, as soon as proposal by way of the colonists as "fit for swine," grew to become a fixture within the colonial vitamin. He additionally examines the ways that African slaves inspired West Indian and American southern food. whereas a mania for all issues British used to be a unifying characteristic of eighteenth-century food, the colonies found a countrywide beverage in locally brewed beer, which got here to represent cohesion and loyalty to the patriotic reason within the progressive period. The beer and alcohol additionally instigated unheard of exchange one of the colonies and additional built-in colonial conduct and tastes. Victory within the American Revolution initiated a "culinary statement of independence," prompting the antimonarchical behavior of simplicity, frugality, and frontier ruggedness to outline American food. McWilliams demonstrates that this used to be a shift no longer rather a lot in new materials or cooking tools, as within the means american citizens imbued foodstuff and food with values that proceed to form American attitudes to today. (4/29/05)

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Additional info for A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Arts and Traditions of the Table)

Example text

Sugar played the most significant role in forcing nearly 11 million Africans to the New World between 1500 and 1800. No description can capture the cruelty of this historical reality. Nevertheless, by the early seventeenth century, at a time when the English were settling the North American colonies that would eventually become the United States, sugar and slavery had done nothing less than define life in the British West Indies. White gold and black slaves, once the stuff of Spanish dreams, quickly turned the British West Indies into England’s most profitable colonial region.

An equally durable, more nutritious, and even more prolific crop than cassava, maize contributed to the expansion and health of the entire West African population. Two types of maize dominated. The flint, or “hard,” variety first came to Spain with Columbus and then worked its way to Africa via Italy, the Levant, and Egypt; from there it went up the Nile, across the Sudan, and into the savanna regions of Africa. The “soft” varieties, or flour maize, arrived on the African coast with the 31 Portuguese.

And thus it was through importation rather than natural increase that the slave population grew immensely throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries while the white and Native American populations proportionally diminished. As the demography of the British West Indies changed to meet the growing labor demands of a growing industry intent on meeting Europe’s sweet tooth, the culinary practices just sketched began to become the exclusive domain of slaves. And as slaves came to comprise up to 90 percent of the population on some British American islands, they made agricultural and cooking decisions that automatically shaped the region’s overall culinary habits.

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A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Arts and Traditions of the Table) by James McWilliams

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