Food and Drink in American History: A “Full Course” Encyclopedia

by Andrew F. Smith

From the publisher: This three-volume encyclopedia on the history of American food and beverages serves as an ideal companion resource for social studies and American history courses, covering topics ranging from early American Indian foods to mandatory nutrition information at fast food restaurants.

The expression “you are what you eat” certainly applies to Americans, not just in terms of our physical health, but also in the myriad ways that our taste preferences, eating habits, and food culture are intrinsically tied to our society and history. This standout reference work comprises two volumes containing more than 600 alphabetically arranged historical entries on American foods and beverages, as well as dozens of historical recipes for traditional American foods; and a third volume of more than 120 primary source documents. Never before has there been a reference work that coalesces this diverse range of information into a single set.

The entries in this set provide information that will transform any American history research project into an engaging learning experience. Examples include explanations of how tuna fish became a staple food product for Americans, how the canning industry emerged from the Civil War, the difference between Americans and people of other countries in terms of what percentage of their income is spent on food and beverages, and how taxation on beverages like tea, rum, and whisky set off important political rebellions in U.S. history.

Contains a breadth of topics that include all types of foods in the United States, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, historic foods, regional foods, processed and convenience foods, ethnic/immigrant foods, and holiday foods, as well as biographies and corporate histories of food companies. Includes a complete volume of primary documents related to American food and drink. Provides a chronology that places entries and documents into the broader context of American history that complements traditional high school and college courses on U.S. history

Andrew F. Smith has taught the history of American food and drink at the New School University in New York, NY, for the past 18 years. He was formerly a high school teacher and for three decades organized in-service education programs for secondary and undergraduate educators. Smith is author or editor of 23 books, including Greenwood’s Junk Food and Fast Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat; and he has written more than 300 articles in academic journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. He has served as consultant to several television series on the history of American food and beverages and is the editor of the Edible series that focuses on the history and culture of food and drink.

ABC-CLIO, 2013