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In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. From the test labs at Dole foods to the food truck lobby to the 20 seconds of Sex and the City that forever changed the fate of the cupcake, Sax reveals the money and influence behind what you eat for breakfast.
In sections on how food trends are created, what makes them explode, and why they matter, Sax travels America in search of the farmers, planners, and chefs who help decide what you will spend three hours waiting for on a SoHo sidewalk. The Tastemakers is full of entertaining stories and useful bits of wisdom for maintaining your sanity in the complex world of food choices.
“Sax has done his homework—and probably put on a few pounds. A solid overview of trendsetting foods brought to life with colorful examples.”—Kirkus
“Sax declares, food trends, though sometimes annoying, deepen and expand our cultural palate, spur economic growth, provide broad variety in our diets, and promote happiness.”—Publishers Weekly
“David Sax has written a fascinating and surprising story of why we eat what we eat. It’s a tale of overhyped chia seeds, rebranded fish, and unseen influencers. I will never again look at a grocery store aisle or my restaurant entree the same way.”—A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy
“With forensic specificity, and, better still, a terrific sense of fun, David Sax explains precisely how foods du jour such as cupcakes, Greek yogurt, and Korean tacos ‘happened.’ The trends may seem silly, but The Tastemakers is not. Sax has given this gastro-exuberant time the whizzy, full-gallop treatment it deserves.” —David Kamp, bestselling author of The United States of Arugula
“They say there’s no accounting for taste, but David Sax makes sense of the mysterious forces that shape our personal food preferences, through stories so absorbing and witty that I wasn’t even sorry to discover that my taste buds are hardly my own. I devoured The Tastemakers like an oat bran muffin in 1989—or a chia-seed muffin today.”—Karen Leibowitz, author of Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant