Food In Colonial And Federal America

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The success of the new settlements in what is now the United States depended on food. This book tells about the bounty that was here and how Europeans forged a society and culture, beginning with help from the Indians and eventually incorporating influences from African slaves. They developed regional food habits with the food they brought with them, what they found here, and what they traded for all around the globe. Their daily life is illuminated through descriptions of the typical meals, holidays, and special occasions, as well as their kitchens, cooking utensils, and cooking methods over an open hearth. Readers will also learn how they kept healthy and how their food choices reflected their spiritual beliefs.

This thorough overview endeavors to cover all the regions settled during the Colonial and Federal. It also discusses each immigrant group in turn, with attention also given to Indian and slave contributions. The content is integral for U.S. history standards in many ways, such as illuminating the settlement and adaptation of the European settlers, the European struggle for control of North America, relations between the settlers from different European countries, and changes in Native American society resulting from settlements.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The success of the early American settlements depended in large part upon food: it's availability and its bounty helped build the early colonies and built regional food habits which blended immigrant foods with new American ingredients. Food in Colonial and Federal America traces these food influences in early American history, reviewing relationships between Native Americans and early settlers which were forged by food, considering how food was handled daily and for special occasions, and surveying immigrant group contributions to food use. An excellent history evolves."


MBR Bookwatch

"This scholarly treatment of food culture as it reflects the daily life and values of early Americans starts with a chronology from 1567- 1825. A New England food historian, who publishes Food History News, traces the evolution of regional American cuisine from homeland and indigenous cultures. Oliver examines food preparation and the influences of health, nutrition, and religious beliefs (Christian, Jewish, and African slave) on menus."


SciTech Book News

"Food in Colonial and Federal America, by Sandra L. Oliver examines American foodways through 1825 and shows how imported English, Dutch, Spanish, French, and African tastes blended with Native American foods and agricultural practices to form regional cuisines. Oliver looks at specific foods, food preparation (basically variations on fireplace technology), regional eating habits, and colonial concepts of diet and nutrition. A good primer for historical reenactors as well as students of food technology."


College & Research Libraries News

"Cuisine and history go hand in hand here. Bountiful food led, in part, to the successful beginning and growth of a new nation. As Oliver so deftly shows, America grew up as a fast-food nation. Indeed, by the early 1800s, Americans had a desire, for convenience and speed in food preparation, and an inclination to eat hastily. A beginning chronology takes readers from 1567 with the settlement by the Spanish in Florida, to 1825 when wheat from the West was available, through the Erie Canal, to the East. An extensive introduction follows, explaining the different trials and tribulations of Spanish, English, and Dutch settlers, as well as those of Native Americans of the period….Extensive notes follow each chapter, and the book concludes with a brief glossary and ample bibliography….This offering is perfect for students who need information on this aspect of our history."


School Library Journal

"Detailed accounts of food gathered, grown, and prepared in the early days of European settlement in America create an interesting perspective on our country's early history."


Curriculum Connections

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313329883
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Series: Food in American History
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

SANDRA L. OLIVER has been a food historian for 30 years, is the author of Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Food in the 19th Century (1995), and is the Publisher/Editor of Food History News, a quarterly newsletter. She is also a food columnist for New England publications.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Foodstuffs 39
3 Food preparation : cooking and cooks 89
4 Eating habits 125
5 Concepts of diet and nutrition 195
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