© 2019



American Cuisine and How It Got This Way

Lidia Bastianich

Through my fifty years as an Italian chef in America I have followed the evolution of American cuisine, and have always wanted to know ever more about its origin, flavors and recipes. My dear friend and Yale professor, Paul Freedman has fulfilled my quest to know more.  This is a brilliant book -- extensive and detailed -- with in-depth research about the chronological journey of American cuisine from the pioneers to the present.

Jacques Pepin

Although it is not easy to define, Yes! there is a genuine American Cuisine. In this essential book, Paul Freedman leads us from the food of colonial times to processed industrial food, to ethnic food, to the farm-to-table revolution of the 70s. American Cuisine is a brilliant synthesis which organizes the vast, eclectic, mixed American cooking into a comprehensive, coherent, credible and unified entity.

Simon Majumdar,
author, broadcaster and host of the Eat My Globe food history podcast

Impeccably researched, Paul Freedman’s American Cuisine is both intellectually satisfying and hugely readable. However, what impresses most of all is Freedman’s palpable and genuine affection not only for American food, but also the people who made and make it happen. At the end of this book, you will be convinced that not only is American cuisine a thing, but that it is a very good thing, and deserves to take its place among the great cuisines on earth.

 Stephen Aron,
author of 
The American West: A Very Short Introduction

In American Cuisine, Paul Freedman, an eminent historian of medieval Europe, turns once more to ‘modern’ history and to the United States. A splendid follow up to his Ten Restaurants That Changed AmericaAmerican Cuisine affirms that we are what we eat (and were what we ate). More than just an excavation of what was and is American cuisine, Freedman’s book is a revelation about what was and is American. Plus, it’s a great read. Filled with forgotten foodways, recovered recipes, and fresh treats, American Cuisine is a book to be savored.

Laura Shapiro,
author of 
What She Ate, Perfection Salad, and Something from the Oven

Whether it's hasty pudding in 18th century Connecticut, or gluten-free waffles in today's Brooklyn, Americans have always liked their daily bread served with ample portions of sentiment, habit, folklore, and wishful thinking. Only a scholar who's also an avid raconteur could begin to do justice to this nation's complex, frequently unnerving relationship with food, which is where Paul Freedman comes in. Drawing on copious research -- and encouraged, clearly, by an excellent appetite -- he has untangled the messy strands of nostalgia and speculation that spill across culinary history like a vast helping of spaghetti and come up with a wonderfully engaging study of Americans at table. Anyone who wants to make sense of our edible past should start right here.

William Grimes,
New York Times 

In American Cuisine, Paul Freedman embarks on an epic quest, to locate the roots of American foodways and follow changing tastes through the decades, a search that takes him straight to the heart of American identity.  It is an enormous, endlessly fascinating subject, and Freedman makes a wonderful tour guide, scholarly and wry. He travels the nation’s highways and byways in search of regional styles, traces the rise of industrial food culture, and explores the California food revolution of the 1970s, a springboard to today’s world of farm-to-table cuisine, organic foods, and restless experimentation.