The World on a Plate: A Tour through the History of America's Ethnic Cuisine

Overview

The World on a Plate is the story of how immigrant families have changed and influenced our food and created a uniquely American culinary pastiche. Joel Denker, a longtime food and travel writer and a scholar of American folklore, conducted fascinating interviews with a range of ethnic-food merchants in crafting a history of our colorful food makers?the grocers, vendors, manufacturers, importers, restaurateurs?and the products they have given us.
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Overview

The World on a Plate is the story of how immigrant families have changed and influenced our food and created a uniquely American culinary pastiche. Joel Denker, a longtime food and travel writer and a scholar of American folklore, conducted fascinating interviews with a range of ethnic-food merchants in crafting a history of our colorful food makers—the grocers, vendors, manufacturers, importers, restaurateurs—and the products they have given us.
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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review

“[Denker] manages to capture the minute details of food—sights, smells, tastes—that are notoriously difficult to convey in words. Denker likewise brings to life the activities of often flamboyant individuals, the business people and clever risk takers who discerned, correctly, that markets could be created for ‘exotic’ foods.”—Hasia R. Diner, American Historical Review

— Hasia R. Diner

Joan Nathan
“A lively journey through the history of ethnic food in America. Anyone interested in knowing how Indian, Jewish, Lebanese, Italian, and Asian foods got their start will not want to miss this book. A must for food history buffs.”— Joan Nathan, author of Jewish Cooking in America and The Foods of Israel Today
Betty Fussell
“The anomalies of America's most common foods are as striking as their diverse origins. Denker traces a fascinating route from Greek diners to Mexican chili joints to Pakistani kebab houses to reveal the history of popular foodways that make up the polyglot culinary culture of America.”—Betty Fussell, American food historian
American Historical Review - Hasia R. Diner
“[Denker] manages to capture the minute details of food—sights, smells, tastes—that are notoriously difficult to convey in words. Denker likewise brings to life the activities of often flamboyant individuals, the business people and clever risk takers who discerned, correctly, that markets could be created for ‘exotic’ foods.”—Hasia R. Diner, American Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803260146
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Series: At Table Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Denker has taught American history and other topics at George Washington University, Rutgers University, University of Essex (England), and other colleges and universities. He is the author of Capital Flavors: Exploring Washington’s Ethnic Restaurants and has written about ethnic food for the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Enquirer, and the Washingtonian.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Invitation to a Journey 1
1 That's Amore: Italian Food in America 5
2 From the Fertile Crescent: Yogurt Peddlers and Falafel Kings 27
3 "Cheezborga, Cheezborga, Cheezborga, No Coke, Pepsi": The Greek Restaurant Odyssey 45
4 The "Heartburn of Nostalgia": Jewish Food in America 65
5 From Chow Mein to Singapore Noodle: Inventing Chinese Food 89
6 Currying Favor: Indian and Pakistani Food 115
7 Papaya and Plantain: Latin Cooking in America 135
Sources 163
Index 187
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