Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine

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“Very cool…a breezy American culinary history that you didn’t know you wanted” (Bon Appetit) reveals a fascinating look at our past and uses long-forgotten recipes to explain how eight flavors changed how we eat.

The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population that makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In “a unique and surprising view of American history…richly researched, intriguing, and elegantly written” (The Atlantic), Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.

She begins in the archives, searching through economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records. She pores over cookbooks and manuscripts, dating back to the eighteenth century, through modern standards like How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Lohman discovers when each of these eight flavors first appear in American kitchens—then she asks why.

“A fresh, original perspective to American culinary history” (The Christian Science Monitor), Eight Flavors takes you on a journey through the past to tell us something about our present, and our future. We meet John Crowninshield a New England merchant who traveled to Sumatra in the 1790s in search of black pepper. And Edmond Albius, a twelve-year-old slave who lived on an island off the coast of Madagascar, who discovered the technique still used to pollinate vanilla orchids today. Weaving together original research, historical recipes, gorgeous illustrations, and Lohman’s own adventures both in the kitchen and in the field, Eight Flavors is a delicious treat—which “may make you hungry” (Bustle).
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About the author

Sarah Lohman is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where she began working in a museum at the age of sixteen, cooking historic food over a wood-burning stove. Lohman moved to New York in 2006 to work for New York magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, and now works with museums and galleries around the city to create public programs focused on food. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR, and appeared in the Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction. The author of the blog Four Pounds Flavor, Eight Flavors is her first book.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 6, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781476753980
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Essays & Narratives
Cooking / General
History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Bianca Bosker
Vivian Howard
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF AN ASTONISHING FOUR IACP AWARDS, INCLUDING COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR AND THE JULIA CHILD FIRST BOOK AWARD

Vivian Howard, star of PBS's A CHEF'S LIFE, celebrates the flavors of North Carolina's coastal plain in more than 200 recipes and stories.

This new classic of American country cooking proves that the food of Deep Run, North Carolina--Vivian's home--is as rich as any culinary tradition in the world.
Organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level--from beginners to confident cooks--DEEP RUN ROOTS features time-honored simple preparations alongside extraordinary meals from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer. Home cooks will find photographs for every single recipe.
As much a storybook as it is a cookbook, DEEP RUN ROOTS imparts the true tale of Southern food: rooted in family and tradition, yet calling out to the rest of the world.
Ten years ago, Vivian opened Chef and the Farmer and put the nearby town of Kinston on the culinary map. But in a town paralyzed by recession, she couldn't hop on every new culinary trend. Instead, she focused on rural development: If you grew it, she'd buy it. Inundated by local sweet potatoes, blueberries, shrimp, pork, and beans, Vivian learned to cook the way generations of Southerners before her had, relying on resourcefulness, creativity, and the traditional ways of preserving food.
DEEP RUN ROOTS is the result of years of effort to discover the riches of Eastern North Carolina. Like The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, and The Taste of Country Cooking before it, this is landmark work of American food writing.
Recipes include:Family favorites like Blueberry BBQ Chicken, Creamed Collard-Stuffed Potatoes, Fried Yams with Five-Spice Maple Bacon Candy, Chicken and Rice, and Country-Style Pork Ribs in Red Curry-Braised Watermelon,Crowd-pleasers like Butterbean Hummus, Tempura-Fried Okra with Ranch Ice Cream, Pimiento Cheese Grits with Salsa and Pork Rinds, Cool Cucumber Crab Dip, and Oyster Pie, Show-stopping desserts like Warm Banana Pudding, Peaches and Cream Cake, Spreadable Cheesecake, and Pecan-Chewy Pie,And 200 more quick breakfasts, weeknight dinners, holiday centerpieces, seasonal preserves, and traditional preparations for all kinds of cooks. ---
Interior photographs by Rex Miller. Jacket photograph by Stacey Van Berkel Photography. Illustrations by Tatsuro Kiuchi.

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A journey into the surprising science behind our flavor senses.

Can you describe how the flavor of halibut differs from that of red snapper? How the taste of a Fuji apple differs from a Spartan? For most of us, this is a difficult task: flavor remains a vague, undeveloped concept that we don’t know enough about to describe—or appreciate—fully. In this delightful and compelling exploration of our most neglected sense, veteran science reporter Bob Holmes shows us just how much we’re missing.

Considering every angle of flavor from our neurobiology to the science and practice of modern food production, Holmes takes readers on a journey to uncover the broad range of factors that can affect our appreciation of a fine meal or an exceptional glass of wine. He peers over the shoulders of some of the most fascinating food professionals working today, from cutting-edge chefs to food engineers to mathematicians investigating the perfect combination of pizza toppings. He talks with flavor and olfactory scientists, who describe why two people can experience remarkably different sensations from the same morsel of food, and how something as seemingly unrelated as cultural heritage can actually impact our sense of smell.

Along the way, even more surprising facts are revealed: that cake tastes sweetest on white plates; that wine experts’ eyes can fool their noses; and even that language can affect our sense of taste. Flavor expands our curiosity and understanding of one of our most intimate sensations, while ultimately revealing how we can all sharpen our senses and our enjoyment of the things we taste.

Certain to fascinate everyone from gourmands and scientists to home cooks and their guests, Flavor will open your mind—and palette—to a vast, exciting sensory world.

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