Thursday, May 5, 2011

Over the Counter # 53

The latest book to catch my eye as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner this week is Fashionable Food - Seven decades of Food Fads by Sylvia Lovegren. C'mon we all have them - those questionable recipes from our childhood. I cannot eat jello salad of any description to this day. Barbecued bologna anyone?

From the publisher University of Chicago Press:

"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."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)


bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a fun book!

Anonymous said...

I'll have to see if my library has this book. It looks like a "fun", if unappetizing, blast from the past. And I say this to you from the place (Austin, TX) that hosts the annual Spamarama. Truly. I've never been. I'll never go. Ever. :-)

Luanne said...

Kathy and Kay - it was fun - I did see many awful recipes I remembered eating, but you know, some of them really weren't too bad!

Dorte H said...

We certainly have food fads, and it is probably just as funny to read about those as to see what we wore twenty or thirty years ago.

Angie @ By Book or By Crook said...

This looks like a blast from te past! Unfortunately, my library doesn't carry it :(

Luanne said...

Dorte - That's a great comparison -they're both fads that are funny 20 and 30 years later.

Angie - drat - the only other thiing I can think of is to ask your library if they do interlibrary loans.