The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink

The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink

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by Andrew F. Smith
     
 

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A sweeping reference work on food and drink in America, with fascinating entries on everything from the history of White Castle to the origin of the Bloody Mary, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink provides more than a thousand concise, authoritative, and exuberant entries, beautifully illustrated with hundreds of historical photographs and sixteen

Overview

A sweeping reference work on food and drink in America, with fascinating entries on everything from the history of White Castle to the origin of the Bloody Mary, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink provides more than a thousand concise, authoritative, and exuberant entries, beautifully illustrated with hundreds of historical photographs and sixteen pages of color plates.

This entertaining and informative reference serves up everything you could ever want to know about American consumables and their impact on popular culture and the culinary world. The Companion offers delightful entries on fast food, celebrity chefs, fish, sandwiches, regional and ethnic cuisine, food science, and historical food traditions. Readers will find fascinating discussions of Applejack and apple pie, barbecue and baked Alaska, Dairy Queen and Delmonicos, lemonade and licorice, mayonnaise and marshmallow fluff, Popcorn and pretzels, spinach and Spam, vegetarianism and Velveeta. The volume also includes informative lists of food websites, museums, periodicals, organizations, and festivals.

Ideal for the food enthusiast and food scholar alike, it is equally appetizing for anyone fascinated by Americana, capturing our culture and history through what we love most - food!

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Smith (culinary history & professional food writing, New Sch.) edited The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America(OEFDA), which he uses as the main ingredient in his latest culinary reference work; but by adding subjects not found in that book, he creates a useful and entertaining new literary dish. The approximately 1000 A-to-Z entries, each ranging from a paragraph to several pages in length, are written by 200-plus experts. Complemented by 200 mostly black-and-white illustrations, they cover everything from foods (e.g., the cauliflower, the tomato) to companies (e.g., Borden, Nabisco) to biographies of such famous individuals as cookbook authors Fannie Farmer and Eliza Leslie. Most entries contain a bibliography of additional sources, and there are some valuable appendixes dedicated to food-themed festivals, organizations, museums, and web sites. Similar information can be found in other standard culinary reference sources-e.g., the classic Larousse Gastronomiqueand The Oxford Companion to Food(2006. 2d ed.)-but Smith's work creates its own valuable niche not only by combining all these subjects and more into one book but also by focusing on the ways in which they are specifically connected to American food culture and history.
—John Charles

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-This encyclopedic work is a shorter version of Smith's acclaimed two-volume TheOxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America(2004), in terms of breadth of coverage and article length. More than 200 professional food writers, chefs, and professors contributed nearly 1000 alphabetically arranged, signed entries that each include a bibliography, and range from "Chuck E. Cheese Pizza" to "Nestlé" and "Irradiation" to "Reese's Peanut Butter Cups" (with a sidebar on "Reese's Pieces" and E. T.). Most articles are briefer rewrites of those in the Encyclopedia, while others have been included as is. Longer entries include pieces that give historical overviews of specific eras ("Colonial Period to the Revolutionary War," "World War II"). Entries devoted to name brands and franchises abound. Briefly captioned archival reproductions (most previously published in the Encyclopedia) appear throughout. Two eight-page sections of color plates inserted for visual appeal contain no direct references to or from corresponding entries. Historical and cultural context is addressed within individual entries and reinforced through an opening topical outline that assigns them to one or more of 17 subject categories ("Ethnic and Cultural Cuisines," "Food and Society"). Appendixes include food and drink bibliographies and lists of food-related festivals, museums, periodicals, organizations, and Web sites. Clearly written and concisely presented, this volume will be an affordable multidisciplinary resource for large collections that do not own The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America(2004).-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, PrairieVillage, KS

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
"Nearly 700 pages of Americana on the table, this reference work is the gift for the culinary student, chef or Food Network groupie on your list. It's fun to flip through - 'the mimosa is one of America's first designer cocktails' - or burrow into (the 'pies and tarts' entry goes on for three pages)."—The Denver Post

"Clearly written and concisely presented, this volume will be an affordable multidisciplinary resource"—School Library Journal

"When it comes to American food, there's no better resource than the new Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.This monster-size tome weighs enough to work your biceps and contains more than 1,000 entries that should answer every last one of your culinary curiosities."-New York Post

"Amateur and professional food historians will join lovers of culinary trivia in alternately marveling and chuckling over The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, which tells just about everything you ever wanted to know on the subject, and then some.... Overall, it's a fun and informative read."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Whether you want to learn for learning's sake, dazzle friends with observations on the cocktail you're holding ("Did you know that Bourbon is a style of whiskey that can legally be made only in the United States?") or beef up your chances on a game show ("I'll take 'Drive-Ins' for $100, Alex"), editor Andrew F. Smith's efforts should not fail to deliver. Many reference books fall short because they're, well, b-o-r-i-n-g. This one isn't."—Chicago Tribune

"Unique, fascinating, fun and indispensable, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink is a must for anyone interested in the food culture of America, from the professional chef to the food writer to the lover of the table."—Jacques Pépin, star of Fast Food My Way and author of The Apprentice

"Here are the facts. This impressive Oxford Companion presents a complex subject without fuss or frills."—Anne Willan, director of La Varenne at Château du Fëy, author of La Varenne Pratique and The Good Cook


"I've always wondered what American food and drink was exactly. Now that I've read the Oxford Companion, it's clear and understandable. And what a story! Filled with unusual twists and turns and peopled with ordinary and extraordinary cooks, chefs, farmers, inventors, scientists, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs, I found it, like good food, quite irresistible."—Burt Wolf

"Erudite, witty, and stuffed with gems"—The Daily Telegraph (London)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195307962
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/09/2007
Series:
Oxford Companions Series
Pages:
736
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Andrew F. Smith teaches culinary history and professional food writing at The New School University in Manhattan. He serves as a consultant to several food television productions (airing on the History Channel and the Food Network), and is the General Editor for the University of Illinois Press' Food Series. He also edited the highly acclaimed 2-volume Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and has written several books on food, including The Tomato in America, Pure Ketchup, and Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America.

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Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book recently as a gift, and I've already spent some delightful hours with it. It's a great reference work, but it's fun just to page through and read entries that catch your fancy - everything from Julia Child to tv dinners. For people who enjoy food and cooking, and also for history buffs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very fascinating book, and a perfect one to give to anyone who is extremly interested in food. Not just from the typical preparation and consuming of food, but also from the historical, scientific, and cultural aspects--the 'intellectual' approach to the vast world of food and the culinary arts! Just like a great meal--you just can't get enough of your fill of it! I've got to get my own copy of this book! Thank You, Andrew F. Smith for writing this great book! Highly recommended!