A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman,Andrew Coe

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By Jane Ziegelman,Andrew Coe

James Beard starting place e-book Award Winner

From the writer of the acclaimed 97 Orchard and her husband, a culinary historian, an in-depth exploration of the best nutrients concern the country has ever faced—the nice Depression—and the way it reworked America’s culinary culture.

The decade-long nice melancholy, a interval of shifts within the country’s political and social panorama, endlessly replaced the way in which the USA eats. prior to 1929, America’s dating with foodstuff used to be outlined via abundance. however the cave in of the economic climate, in either city and rural the US, left 1 / 4 of all americans out of labor and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions in regards to the limitlessness of the nationwide larder.

In 1933, as ladies struggled to feed their households, President Roosevelt reversed long-standing biases towards government-sponsored “food charity.” For the 1st time in American historical past, the government assumed, for it slow, accountability for feeding its electorate. the results have been common. Championed by means of Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had lengthy fought to convey technological know-how into the kitchen rose to nationwide stature.

Tapping into America’s long-standing ambivalence towards culinary leisure, they imposed their imaginative and prescient of a robust, utilitarian food at the American dinner desk. during the Bureau of domestic Economics, those girls led a sweeping crusade to instill nutritional options, the forerunners of today’s nutritional instructions for Americans.

At an analogous time, emerging meals conglomerates brought packaged and processed meals that gave upward thrust to a brand new American food according to pace and comfort. This move towards a homogenized nationwide delicacies sparked a revival of yankee neighborhood cooking. within the resulting many years, the stress among neighborhood traditions and culinary technology has outlined our nationwide cuisine—a conflict that maintains this day.

A sq. Meal examines the impression of monetary contraction and environmental catastrophe on how american citizens ate then—and the teachings and insights these studies may perhaps carry for us today.

A sq. Meal good points 25 black-and-white photographs.

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