One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
David S. Wilson
Angus Kress Gillespie
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Through recipes and superstitions, jokes and urban legends, history and advertising, these foods have become unmistakably part of our popular culture. We might attend a county fair and see a blue ribbon awarded to a prize pumpkin, then take in a movie that evening where we see a cigarette dangling from Humphrey Bogart's lips or even witness The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Whether native or exotic, consumed daily or associated with festivities, these common comestibles have become food for thought as well as for sustenance.
Rooted in America examines how these foods express our cultural values and carry meanings that derive from the contexts in which we place them. It offers a tour of the apple in American history and consciousness, from Johnny Appleseed to mass production; tells how fruit companies taught North Americans to eat bananas while teaching Central Americans to grow them; examines differing social status attached to eating corn; explores the aesthetic contribution of cranberries to plate and landscape; and reveals how hot peppers separate men from boys -- and also European from non-European cultures.
All of the essays show how these foods have slipped into our minds and hearts as symbols of what we value about ourselves and the places we live. Rooted in America will delightreaders with its insights into favorite foods -- proving that, no matter what their origins, all are as American as apple pie.
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