American Taste: A Celebration of Gastronomy Coast to Coast

Overview

In this book I purport to portray the multifaceted, ever-evolving hedonistic lifestyle of one hungry American for whom all wanderings are measured in terms of the next meal. This is not a cookbook, although recipes are included when?and only when?they serve to illustrate or reinforce a particular topic. Rather, it reflects an approach to gustatory adventure in America, a suggested means whereby those who, like me, love to nourish themselves well can begin to really develop and improve their own taste in all ...

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Overview

In this book I purport to portray the multifaceted, ever-evolving hedonistic lifestyle of one hungry American for whom all wanderings are measured in terms of the next meal. This is not a cookbook, although recipes are included when—and only when—they serve to illustrate or reinforce a particular topic. Rather, it reflects an approach to gustatory adventure in America, a suggested means whereby those who, like me, love to nourish themselves well can begin to really develop and improve their own taste in all things pertaining to food and drink. Some cookbooks are important as basic tools, to be sure, but the time has come for Americans to devote their attention to aspects of our gastronomy other than how to prepare flounder, chicken breasts, and chocolate cake a hundred different ways.
—James Villas, from his Introduction

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A landmark.  It encompasses an admirable range of thoughts on food ranging from fried chicken and barbecues to Bourbon to game and caviar.  A banquet for your library."—Craig Claiborne
 
"Ameican Taste makes us savor the thought of good food, good living, and the joys of the good life.  A delicious volume!"—James Beard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599219288
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,415,251
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James Villas was the food & wine editor of Town & Country for twenty-seven years and is the author of more than a dozen cookbooks and books on food, two of them James Beard Award nominees. His work has appeared in Esquire, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Saveur, the New York Times and the Atlantic Monthly. He won a James Beard Award for journalism and received Bon Appétit’s Food Writer of the Year Award in 2003. 

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Table of Contents

Foreword James Beard VII

Introduction X

I Whistling Dixie 1

Understanding Fried Chicken 2

Creole, Cajun, Choctaw 13

Star-Spangled Bourbon 29

My Pig Beats Your Cow 42

Goat-Roping Grub 50

II Confronting American Gourmania 67

America's Passion, America's Guilt 68

Burger Truth 73

Clawed King of the Deep 79

Stews, Ragoûts, Burgoos 88

Reinventing the Sandwich 98

Sour Milk with a College Education 109

Upgrading Hash 115

Rum's Back! 127

III Sharpening the Blade 137

Beyond Meat Loaf 138

Take a Leaf of Lettuce and 150

Some Like It Cold 160

The Summer Coolers 167

Vegetable Aristocrat 178

Dressing for Dinner 189

Dessert Cookies with a Pedigree 198

IV Serious Eating 205

Raw Elegance 206

American Caviar 214

Discovering Great American Cheeses 228

Mousse, Beautiful Mousse 236

Game Is the Name 244

Regal Roasts 259

Long Live The Coach House 269

V A Gourmand Fights Back 283

Cry, the Beloved Country Ham 284

I Made My Own Wine 292

Cornflakes Be Damned! 301

Blessed Are We Who Serve 309

When Lucullus Dines with Lucullus 323

Games Restaurants Play 330

Postscript: "But Why Aren't You Fat!" 338

Index of Recipes 343

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