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Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History
     

Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History

by William Woys Weaver
 

This extraordinary collection, a trove of enchanting designs, appealing colors, and forgotten motifs that stir the imagination, features an unprecedented assortment of ephemera, or paper collectibles, related to food. It includes images of postcards, match covers, menus, labels, posters, brochures, valentines, packaging, advertisements, and other materials from

Overview


This extraordinary collection, a trove of enchanting designs, appealing colors, and forgotten motifs that stir the imagination, features an unprecedented assortment of ephemera, or paper collectibles, related to food. It includes images of postcards, match covers, menus, labels, posters, brochures, valentines, packaging, advertisements, and other materials from nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Internationally acclaimed food historian William Woys Weaver takes us on a lively tour through this dazzling collection in which each piece tells a new story about food and the past. Packed with fascinating history, the volume is the first serious attempt to organize culinary ephemera into categories, making it useful for food lovers, collectors, designers, and curators alike. Much more than a catalog, Culinary Ephemera follows this paper trail to broader themes in American social history such as diet and health, alcoholic beverages, and Americans abroad. It is a collection that, as Weaver notes, will “transport us into the vicarious worlds of dinners past, brushing elbows with the reality of another time, another place, another human condition.”

Editorial Reviews

Epicurious.com

“A food lover’s print version of the Antiques Roadshow. . . Perfect for the foodie collector and history buff.”
Wall Street Journal

“ The 352 color plates, accompanied by informed, diverting text [tell] us much about who we've been as well as what we've eaten . . . and drunk.”
John Mariani's Virtual Gourmet
“Every page has at least two or three stories you'll want to repeat over a good meal.”
College & Research Libraries News - George M. Eberhart

“Weaver provides insightful commentary.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The artwork . . . . is a wonder to behold, filled with colorful examples of culinary imagination. The text is as fascinating as the pictures.”
Gastronomica - Denise Ramzy

“A lovely coffee-table book to open serendipitously, or a thoughtful reference for those who wish to dive in more deeply.”
John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet

“Every page has at least two or three stories you'll want to repeat over a good meal.”
Library Journal
Weaver (director, Keystone Ctr. for the Study of Regional Foods & Food Tourism), a veteran voice on culinary Americana who has penned 14 books including two Julia Child Award winners (Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking), presents an unsurpassed chronicle of a portion of American culinary history through paper collectibles. Gorgeous full-color representations of each piece give readers VIP access to the best of Weaver's personal collection. His materials include the obvious wrappers, menus, and almanacs of yore but also surprises like sheet music and valentines. Fascinating examples from Prohibition demonstrate its colossal impact on American society, from public service announcements on paper fans warning of the dangers of moonshine to the genesis of baking soda biscuit recipes. What makes this book special is Weaver's careful, engaging contextualization of each piece, giving the reader a comprehensive understanding of how the ephemera fit into everyday life. Verdict Highly recommended. This book has extremely broad appeal and will entice anyone interested in antiques and collectibles, American history, advertising, or vintage cookery.—Carolyn M. Schwartz, Westfield State Univ. Lib., MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520259775
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/18/2010
Series:
California Studies in Food and Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,090,238
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.95(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A food lover's print version of the Antiques Roadshow. . . Perfect for the foodie collector and history buff."—Epicurious.com

" The 352 color plates, accompanied by informed, diverting text [tell] us much about who we've been as well as what we've eaten . . . and drunk."—Wall Street Journal

"What makes this book special is Weaver's careful, engaging contextualization of each piece, giving the reader a comprehensive understanding of how the ephemera fit into everyday life." STARRED REVIEW—Library Journal

"Every page has at least two or three stories you'll want to repeat over a good meal."—John Mariani's Virtual Gourmet

"The artwork . . . . is a wonder to behold, filled with colorful examples of culinary imagination. The text is as fascinating as the pictures."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Meet the Author


William Woys Weaver is Director of the Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods and Food Tourism. He has written fourteen books, including Heirloom Vegetable Gardening and Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking, both of which received Julia Child awards. A contributing editor to Gourmet, Weaver has also served as Associate Editor and Art Editor for The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. He has appeared on many national programs, including “Good Morning America” and NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

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