The Food of a Younger Land
A Portrait of American Food--Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, Whe
Publication Date: May 2009
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While Kurlansky was researching "The Big Oyster" in the Library of Congress, he stumbled across the archives for the America Eats project and discovered this wonderful window into our national past. In the 1930s, with the country gripped by the Great Depression and millions of Americans struggling to get by, Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Federal Writers' Project under the New Deal to give work to artists and writers, such as John Cheever and Richard Wright. A number of writers including Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, and Nelson Algren were dispatched all across America to chronicle the eating habits, traditions, and struggles of local people. The project was abandoned in the early 1940s and never completed.
"The Food of a Younger Nation" unearths this forgotten literary and historical treasure. Mark Kurlansky's brilliant compilation of these historic pieces, combined with authentic recipes, anecdotes, photos, and his own musings and analysis, evokes a bygone era when Americans had never heard of fast food and the grocery store was a thing of the future.
"Vivid and playful dispatches from pre-interstate, pre-fast-food America, when food was local and cuisine regional.... Fun, illuminating, and provocative." ---Booklist