Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Repast by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer

Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910
by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer

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Published: 2013
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Genre: History, Reference
Hardback: 264 pages
Rating: 4.5

What we ate, how we ate, and how eating changed during America’s first real food revolution, 1900–1910.

Before Julia Child introduced the American housewife to France’s cuisine bourgeoise, before Alice Waters built her Berkeley shrine to local food, before Wolfgang Puck added Asian flavors to classical dishes and caviar to pizza, the restaurateurs and entrepreneurs of the early twentieth century were changing the way America ate.

Beginning with the simplest eateries and foods and culminating with the emergence of a genuinely American way of fine dining, Repast takes readers on a culinary tour of early-twentieth-century restaurants and dining. The innovations introduced at the time—in ingredients, technologies, meal service, and cuisine—transformed the act of eating in public in ways that persist to this day.

Illustrated with photographs from the time as well as color plates reproducing menus from the New York Public Library’s Buttolph Menu Collection, Repast is a remarkable record of the American palate.

67 color plates, 21 black-and-white photographs

My two-bits:
Fascinating history reference in regards to American eating habit transition during the early 1900s. I specifically liked learning about how women fared during those days and how they influenced eating establishments as more and more of them entered the work world.

The various menus included were interesting to look over. Some of the dishes were amusing to see.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

* part of virtual book event: TEA at Downton Abbey


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