Recommended Food History Books
Albala, Ken. Pancake: A Global Perspective. Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2008.
A delicious look at one of the best breakfasts ever, with one of the oldest histories.
Collingham, Lizzie. Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Through an exploration of popular dishes such as curry, chicken masala, and chai tea, Collingham questions the true meaning of authenticity. One of my absolute favorites!
Manring, Maurice. Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima. Virginia: The University of Virginia Press, 1998.
This is not an easy read due to the somewhat disturbing history of Aunt Jemima, but a must read nonetheless. Manring questions why the mammy symbol has endured since Reconstruction, and what it says about our collective cultural identity.
McCann, James. Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop, 1500-2000. United States: President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2005.
A look at how the introduction of corn in Africa altered an entire continent, from economy to social interaction to nutrition.
Pilcher, Jeffrey. Que Vivan Los Tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity. New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.
My former professor. Enough said.
Pilcher, Jeffrey. Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Ditto. Read it!
Smith, Andrew. The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. New York, Oxford University Press, 2007.
A well-researched and complete encyclopedia featuring articles about a wide range of American foods and their origins. I’d especially recommend for its bibliography.
Wilson, David Scofield and Angus Kress Gillespie. Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits and Vegetables. Nashville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999.
A useful anthology to get you started on a research path.
Check back soon for more recommended cookbooks, food history books, and online resources!