The United States of Arugula
The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution
By David Kamp
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780767915809, 416pp.)
Publication Date: July 17, 2007
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The wickedly entertaining, hunger-inducing, behind-the-scenes story of the revolution in American food that has made exotic ingredients, celebrity chefs, rarefied cooking tools, and destination restaurants familiar aspects of our everyday lives.
Amazingly enough, just twenty years ago eating sushi was a daring novelty and many Americans had never even heard of salsa. Today, we don't bat an eye at a construction worker dipping a croissant into robust specialty coffee, city dwellers buying just-picked farmstand produce, or suburbanites stocking up on artisanal cheeses and extra virgin oils at supermarkets. The United States of Arugula is a rollicking, revealing stew of culinary innovation, food politics, and kitchen confidences chronicling how gourmet eating in America went from obscure to pervasive—and became the cultural success story of our era.
david kamp has been a writer and editor for Vanity Fair and GQ for more than a decade. He lives in New York.
- What are your best and worst childhood memories of food? Are your eating habits better or worse than those of your parents? Which of the transformations described in The United States of Arugula has been most relevant in your lifetime?
“With the sweep of an epic novel, David Kamp takes us behind the scenes and into the sweaty, wacky, weird trenches of the Great American Food Revolution. His reporting is solid, his storytelling magnificent, and his good humor is seemingly inexhaustible . . . . a terrific book.” —Molly O’Neill
“Culturally aware and cleverly written, this anatomy of the French-fried versus sun-dried tension at the heart of American gastronomy is refreshingly non-snooty.”
"A page-turner filled with fascinating footnotes, a delicious dish about bold-faced names, and an in-depth look at the ways in which a series of food pioneers touched off a revolution." —USA Today
“Juicy, irreverent, and full of bite.” —Gael Greene