Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State

Overview

The Wisconsin Historical Society published Harva Hachten's The Flavor of Wisconsin in 1981. It immediately became an invaluable resource on Wisconsin foods and foodways. This updated and expanded edition explores the multitude of changes in the food culture since the 1980s. It will find new audiences while continuing to delight the book’s many fans. And it will stand as a legacy to author Harva Hachten, who was at work on the revised edition at the time of her death in April ...

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The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State

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Overview

The Wisconsin Historical Society published Harva Hachten's The Flavor of Wisconsin in 1981. It immediately became an invaluable resource on Wisconsin foods and foodways. This updated and expanded edition explores the multitude of changes in the food culture since the 1980s. It will find new audiences while continuing to delight the book’s many fans. And it will stand as a legacy to author Harva Hachten, who was at work on the revised edition at the time of her death in April 2006.

While in many ways the first edition of The Flavor of Wisconsin has stood the test of time very well, food-related culture and business have changed immensely in the twenty-five years since its publication. Well-known regional food expert and author Terese Allen examines aspects of food, cooking, and eating that have changed or emerged since the first edition, including the explosion of farmers' markets; organic farming and sustainability; the "slow food" movement; artisanal breads, dairy, herb growers, and the like; and how relatively recent immigrants have contributed to Wisconsin's remarkably rich food scene.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Wisconsin food is an ethnic feast, an appetizing assemblage of all the Badger State's numerous migration strata. This revised edition updates Harva Hachten's eighties classic. To create that 400-recipe cookbook, Hachten tapped the expertise of hundreds of home cooks of every possible ethnic and religious origin: Norwegian, British, German, African-American, Italian, Latvian, Jewish. In addition to being a unique kitchen resource, The Flavor of Wisconsin is also a fascinating read: Its essays about Wisconsin food and cooking traditions provide a whole new dimension to the state's history.
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

When journalist Hachten joined Wisconsin's State Historical Society in 1973, she inherited a regional cookbook project; after 10 years of work, Hachten produced a comprehensive cookbook attached to an important, definitive account of the immigrant pioneer experience and the evolving view of food and community in the Midwest. In this update, Wisconsin food columnist Allen expands the opus without upstaging Hatchen or muting her voice, taking the development of Wisconsin cuisine from wild gooseberry gathering and Native American gardens to current, ballooning demands for organic produce. Many engaging diversions crop up, including fascinating day-to-day accounts of pioneer life; after a tragically difficult transatlantic voyage (little fresh water, inedible food), future Wisconsin was more than welcoming, and settlers began recreating their native dishes as soon as it was economically feasible. Early settlers from Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and elsewhere gave the state iconic foods such as pasty (for meat pies) and the beloved brat, as well as community traditions like the fish fry. The 450 recipes, including traditional dishes like Bohemian Sausage and Lutefisk alongside homey favorites like Aunt Nellie's Drop Cookies, are the icing on this already-satisfying cake.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture

"Besides superbly chronicling the recent changes in Wisconsin's foodways, Allen has strengthened the text's culinary history throughout and at the same time revamped the book's format. Some of the original as well as new text is presented in sidebars, and subheadings have been added, which provide both a fresh look and a much more readable book. This incredible compilation ought to be in every home, library, and classroom in the state, and in the hands of culinary historians and other foodies everywhere. What would Harva Hachten think about the new edition? I'm betting she'd be proud as punch"

— Joan Peterson

The Onion's A.V. Club - Madison

"Allen's latest update [to 'The Flavor of Wisconsin'] is likely to cause swooning and shortness of breath in Madison's very active foodie community, as its additions primarily focus on sexy hot-button topics like the popularity of farmers' markets, organic farming and sustainability, and the slow-food movement."

— Jason Albert

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870202049
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Publication date: 1/1/1981
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Harva Hachten earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a reporter, editor, and journalism proressor before joining the Wisconsin Historical Society as supervisor of publications in 1973. Along with The Flavor of Wisconsin, Hachten wrote Kitchen Safari, an African cookbook, which was rereleased in 1998 as Best of African Regional Cooking. In the 1980s she was a columnist for Madison Magazine and taught feature writing at the University of Wisconsin. Hachten lived in Madison; she passed away in April 2006.

Terese Allen, a Wisconsin native and former chef, writes about the pleasures and benefits of regional foods, seasonal cooking, and culinary folklore. She has written several books on Wisconsin's food traditions, including Wisconsin's Hometown Flavors (Trails Books, 2003), Fresh Market Wisconsin (Amherst Press, 1993), Wisconsin Food Festivals (Amherst Press, 1995), Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), and The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook (Amherst Press, 1991). A food columnist for Madison's Isthmus newspaper and a former contributing editor of Wisconsin Trails magazine, Terese is also food editor for Organic Valley, the country's largest organic farmers' cooperative. She chairs southern Wisconsin's groundbreaking REAP Food Group and is a founding member and past president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW). 

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