This collection of food writing from the archives of Harper's Magazine features such celebrated writers as M.F.K. Fisher, Upton Sinclair, Ford Madox Ford, Tanya Gold, Wendell Berry, David Foster Wallace, Michael Pollan, and many others.
Learn how a proper meal was served in 1875, the secrets of Jackie Kennedy’s seafood and potato chip casserole, and how to forage for wild mushrooms and survive. There are chilling accounts of efforts to innovate new foods (Fritos, for instance) and preserve them for the late 20th century’s burgeoning consumer culture. There are stories of foods coldly regarded as mere commodities (hello, Quinoa) and others that expound on how ensuring that what we eat is actually good is a responsibility we all share. One of the latest pieces in the book is a hilarious crawl though the excess and absurdity of early 21st century dining in New York City that will have readers laughing deeply from their bellies while wondering if they might desire to fill it with an inflated pig’s bladder. Another is a moving elegy on eating after cancer has taken that pleasure away.
As the actor (Parks and Recreation), writer, documentarian, and woodworker Nick Offerman states in his introduction, “This satisfying spread of essays, while an excellent tasting menu of the many-faceted relations between Americans and their foodstuffs, serves as a clear journal of ways in which we have done our eating right, and of course, how we have burnt the toast to a crisp.”