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The cultural and physical landscape of the Great Black Swamp is a monument to the hardship and perseverance of the people who drained and settled the region. They transformed densely forested wetlands into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the nation. Commercial crops of corn, soy, tomatoes and wheat are dominant in the fertile loam of southeastern Michigan, northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. However, each immigrant group calling this place home brought its own culinary traditions--from pickled eggs to peanut butter pie. With a foreword by Lucy Long of the Center for Food and Culture, author Nathan Crook explores the landscape, history, culture and representative cuisines that make eating here a unique and memorable experience.
About the Author
Bowling Green resident Nathan C. Crook, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor of English and Agricultural Communication at The Ohio State University's agricultural campus in Wooster. He researches and writes about the myriad uses of food as a community identifier and a mode of communication. Lucy Long, PhD, is the executive director of the Center for Food and Culture, based in Bowling Green, Ohio. The organization's mission is to to promote an understanding of the power of food to connect individuals to past, place and other people.
Table of Contents
Foreword Lucy M. Long 7
Part I A Land in Flux
1 Shaping the Landscape: Geography of the Great Black Swamp 17
2 Living Off the Land: Native Americans 20
3 Exploring the Land: French and British Traders 32
4 Shifting Control of the Land: The Americans Take Over 35
5 Naming the Land: The Great Black Swamp 38
Part II The Settlers
6 Settling the Land: Food Traditions of the Early European Pioneers and Settlers 47
7 Altering the Landscape: An Era of Canal Networks and Drainage Systems 64
8 Making the Land Their Own: German Americans 72
9 Diversifying the Urban Centers: Polish American Food Traditions 95
10 Hungarian American Food Traditions 100
11 Lebanese American Food Traditions 105
12 Mexican American Food Traditions 110
Part III Contemporary Food Traditions
13 Old and New Traditions: Who Eats This Food? 119
14 Contemporary Food Production: A Mix of Old and New Methods 123
15 Contemporary Foraging: Less About Subsistence and More About Recreation and Sport 131
16 Eating for Community 134
17 Celebrating Local Foods 142
About the Author 159