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Hardcover Lewis Carroll Collectibles. Hardcover Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll Classics Hardcover Children. I'm sure there are more in-depth cultural studies, but Carroll did a good job of tying in the cultural movements and philosophies of American society through the centuries and showing how it affected prevailing attitudes about food.

The chapter about snacking was especially entertaining and interesting to me, including the fact that pretzel sales went way, way down in the years of Prohibition, or that the Victorians well, whatever we would call Americans of that era considered snacking outside I'm sure there are more in-depth cultural studies, but Carroll did a good job of tying in the cultural movements and philosophies of American society through the centuries and showing how it affected prevailing attitudes about food.

The chapter about snacking was especially entertaining and interesting to me, including the fact that pretzel sales went way, way down in the years of Prohibition, or that the Victorians well, whatever we would call Americans of that era considered snacking outside of the prepared family meals to be a bit sinful, and disrespectful to the family.

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Dec 20, MaryJo rated it really liked it. Unlike some food books that trace the story of a single food or ingredient, the book traces the story of what Americans eat from the arrival of the Europeans to New England to the present.

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Thus the book spends quite a bit of time talking about dinner, lunch, and breakfast before getting the chapter number 7 out of 8 about sna Unlike some food books that trace the story of a single food or ingredient, the book traces the story of what Americans eat from the arrival of the Europeans to New England to the present. Thus the book spends quite a bit of time talking about dinner, lunch, and breakfast before getting the chapter number 7 out of 8 about snacking.

The take home from reading the book is that, despite all the rules and reasons we may have been exposed to about why we eat what when, it is all pretty arbitrary. At least, rules and reasons put forward may be less significant than changes in food production, work habits, and lifestyles of American eaters. I found particularly interesting the early chapters on colonial meals— chairs, tables, utensils were all pretty minimal for most people, and also the chapter on breakfast.

It is fascinating to see how health claims were attached to such different patterns of eating! In fact, throughout the book one sees how food choices are closely attached to normative evaluations about what is healthy or moral or proper.

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It is no surprise that class strivings of the upwardly mobile are also tied to food choices. Although this is a subtext, it is one of the more interesting parts of the story. This will seem like an awful pun but this was a really meaty read. The book looks at the history of American meals and snacking and parallels the history of America itself. Meals met the needs to the times — from large, sustaining fueling for long farm days to quick, portable eats suitable for factory and other city workers.

There were a few points where the work dragged a bit but I think that was less due to the writing then the fact there were sections that I already knew a bit about. Well res This will seem like an awful pun but this was a really meaty read. Great read for anyone interested in cultural culinary history or who just likes reading about food.


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May 01, Maxine rated it liked it Shelves: agriculture , food , food-writing , academic , americana , cooking , history , library , book-pledge The topic of this book is utterly fascinating - and there were some surprises in it, in regards to what you would assume to be a fact of history, but that isn't actually true. However, this was written in a very dry and academic tone - it could have done with a co-author, one who is a bit better at writing narrative non-fiction. Dec 19, Diane Mueller rated it liked it. I love to learn interesting facts about odd things and that is what keep me reading to the bitter end.

Yet I found this to be one of the greatest books I ever read for insomnia. I could not get through a chapter without falling asleep. It was dry and it bounced all over the place. Lots of interesting facts but the format could of been much better. Oct 19, Adam Avery rated it it was amazing. Fantastically fun read full of food fact nuggets to share with friends.

May 16, Anson Cassel Mills rated it really liked it. The thesis of this fine, well-researched discussion of American foodways is that modern dining behaviors are relatively modern. Some of the later chapters seemed a bit labored to my taste, though there are interesting treats and tidbits throughout. The author has included a helpful summary of her arguments in th The thesis of this fine, well-researched discussion of American foodways is that modern dining behaviors are relatively modern. Jun 01, Mickeym rated it liked it Shelves: kindle-books , non-fiction.

I learned a lot of interesting things in this book I had no idea that tables and chairs were very uncommon at the dawn of our country, and that the Victorians believed snacking was a sin , but the final chapter or so of the book came off kind of It was talking about the rise of obesity, our obsession with snacking, and so on. Definitely things that tie into this book, but again, kind of preachy. Also, a good half of the book is foot-notes, and references and so it wasn't really the le I learned a lot of interesting things in this book I had no idea that tables and chairs were very uncommon at the dawn of our country, and that the Victorians believed snacking was a sin , but the final chapter or so of the book came off kind of Also, a good half of the book is foot-notes, and references and so it wasn't really the length I thought it was.

Nov 11, Rogue Reader rated it really liked it Shelves: food-writing. Carroll started out writing of snacks and ended up with the full meal, all three of them and more. Nicely positions economic and industrial changes with respect to food, meal times and eating habits. International in scope but a US focus. A quick read with lots of footnotes, a great bibliography and a couple of photos. It was a fine read, but it was sprawling.

It seemed as though it was intended to be chronological in how it followed the trajectory of how meals evolved, but somehow became organized by type of meal. A bit rushed and not well laid out, but there were some interesting tidbits.

Three squares :the invention of the American meal /Abigail Carroll. – National Library

Jun 23, Kristi rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed this look at what, how, when and why Americans eat what we do and did. For me, it was just the right mix of scholarly evidence without becoming bogged down in footnotes. So interesting! Jan 20, Lisa rated it it was amazing. This is a fascinating and readable history of the evolution of the American meal pattern. The emergence of lunch and snacking, the change from grabbing on the go to sitting down together to grabbing on the go, and the use of psychology and biology to get us to eat more make for enjoyable reading.

Interesting content, but a pretty unexciting narrative style. The author really needed a better editor. May 22, Kylie Briggs rated it liked it. Interesting but felt I don't know, disjointed - not as engrossing as some other books I have read onn this topic.


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Good lunch reading but a little slow in places. Over-long academic thesis on the "American" meal. This seemed like a great topical book about the meals that US or "American" as the author uses. Why three meals? How did it become to be? How will the meal change? It started off really well, apparently as a project on the concept of the "snack. Unfortunately while this could have been so much more, this book really reads like an too long thesis or magazine ar Over-long academic thesis on the "American" meal. Unfortunately while this could have been so much more, this book really reads like an too long thesis or magazine article that had been padded to fill out the book.

I knew it was bad when I began flipping pages and seeing just walls and walls and walls of text. More pictures scattered throughout the book instead of the usual set in about midway through the text would have been helpful.

The Meaning of Meals

For example, the author discusses the evolution of bowls and plates from bread to actual wooden pieces. However, they don't look like what we use today, obviously, so some sort of illustration would have been great.

It also would have been helpful if the approach had been different: for some reason the author sticks mostly meal by meal breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and mostly a historical retelling. As other reviewers note, there is a focus on how the British and French influenced meals but very little discussion about immigrants and how the foods and customs they brought changed and developed mealtimes and the content of the meals themselves.

I couldn't help but compare this to another recent food book I read, Soul Food.