Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads

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University of Chicago Press, Jun 1, 2005 - Cooking - 455 pages
14 Reviews
Though the Roaring Twenties call to mind images of flappers dancing the Charleston and gangsters dispensing moonshine in back rooms, Sylvia Lovegren here playfully reminds us what these characters ate for dinner: Banana and Popcorn Salad. Like fashions and fads, food—even bad food—has a history, and Lovegren's Fashionable Food is quite literally a cookbook of the American past.

Well researched and delightfully illustrated, this collection of faddish recipes from the 1920s to the 1990s is a decade-by-decade tour of a hungry American century. From the Three P's Salad—that's peas, pickles, and peanuts—of the post-World War I era to the Fruit Cocktail and Spam Buffet Party loaf—all the rage in the ultra-modern 1950s, when cooking from a can epitomized culinary sophistication—Fashionable Food details the origins of these curious delicacies. In two chapters devoted to "exotic foods of the East," for example, Lovegren explores the long American love affair with Chinese food and the social status conferred upon anyone chic enough to eat pu-pu platters from Polynesia. Throughout, Lovegren supplements recipes—some mouth-watering, some appalling—from classic cookbooks and family magazines, with humorous anecdotes that chronicle how society and kitchen technology influenced the way we lived and how we ate.

Equal parts American and culinary history, Fashionable Food examines our collective past from the kitchen counter. Even if it's been a while since you last had Tang Pie and your fondue set is collecting dust in the back of the cupboard, Fashionable Food will inspire, entertain, and inform.

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Review: Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads

User Review  - Sara - Goodreads

Unfortunately, my copy was not "delightfully illustrated". I love food books. I love history of food books. I really love history of American food books. This book is a quick read, mainly because so ... Read full review

Review: Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads

User Review  - Rj - Goodreads

Sadly, really just a collection of dated recipes from period cookbooks. No real context or discussion. Read full review

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Lovegren, Sylvia: Fashionable Food
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About the author (2005)

A culinary historian and food writer, Sylvia Lovegren is an avid collector and reader of old cookbooks and has contributed to American Heritage and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.

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