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A Short History of the American Stomach
A Short History of the American Stomach Frederick Kaufman 015101194X 9780151011940 1 nbsp; Debbie Does Saladnbsp;nbsp; nbsp; A modern epicure is almost always eating the present dish as a kind of introduction to something else. nbsp; William Alcott,
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A Short History of the American Stomach by Frederick Kaufman

1 nbsp; Debbie Does Saladnbsp;nbsp; nbsp; A modern epicure is almost always eating the present dish as a kind of introduction to something else. nbsp; William Alcott, 1846 nbsp; nbsp; In the year 2000 an American Cinco de Mayo celebration featured the worlds largest taco, fashioned from nine hundred pounds of meat. The taco generated a fair bit of press but could not compare to the sensation created almost two hundred years earlier when supporters of Thomas Jefferson presented the president with a New Years gift, a nine-hundred-pound Mammoth Cheese, said to have been produced from the milk of one thousand Republican cows. Such tales amuse but dont amaze us anymore. The outrageous demands of the American stomach have become our daily bread. nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; But back in the day when Federalists walked the earth, the stomach could still engender shock and awe. In January of 1803, not too long after the presentation of that mammoth cheese, a young journalist who called himself Jonathan Oldstyle traversed the most fashionable streets of New York City, astonished by the extraordinary abundance of food, and by the extraordinary might of its consumption. He published his cultural observations in New YorksMorning Chronicle: nbsp; I had marched into the theatre through rows of tables heaped up with delicacies of every kindhere a pyramid of apples or oranges invited the playful palate of the dainty; while there a regiment of mince pies and custards promised a more substantial regale to the hungry. I entered the box, and looked around with astonishment . . . The crackling of nuts and the crunching of apples saluted my ears on every side. Surely, thought I, never was an employment followed up with more assiduity than that of gormandizing; already it pervades every public place of amusement . . . nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; The eating mania prevails through every class of society; not a soul but has caught the infection. Eating clubs are established in every street and alley, and it is impossible to turn a corner without hearing the hissing of frying pans, winding the savory steams of roast and boiled, or seeing some hungry genius bolting raw oysters in the middle of the street. nbsp; nbsp; Within a decade, this young food writer would become Americas most famous author. His name was Washington Irving. nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Irving was a social critic, and his food writing, social| The extremes of American eatingour separate-but-equal urges to stuff and to starve ourselvesare easy to blame on the excesses of modern living. But Frederick Kaufman followed the winding road of the American intestine back to that cold morning when the first famished Pilgrim clambered off the Mayflower, and he discovered the alarming truth: Weve been this way all along. With outraged wit and an incredible range of sources that includes everything from Cotton Mathers diary to interviews with Amish black-market raw-milk dealers, Kaufman offers a highly selective, take-no-prisoners tour of American history by way of the American stomach. Travel with him as he tracks down our earliest foodies; discovers the secret history of Puritan purges; introduces diet gurus of the nineteenth century, such as William Alcott, who believed that nothing ought to be mashed before it is eaten; traces extreme feeders from Paul Bunyan to eating-contest champ Dale Boone (descended from Daniel, of course); and investigates our blithe efforts to re-create plants and animals that weve eaten to the point of extinction.|Frederick Kaufman is a professor of English at the City University of New York and CUNYs Graduate School of Journalism.

Author: Frederick Kaufman

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 224

Publisher: Harcourt

Publication Date: 2008-02-04

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ISBN: 015101194X


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Frederick Kaufman  Hardcover


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