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Social Sciences > Food Studies

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Results 61-70 of 77

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Reaping a Greater Harvest Cover

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Reaping a Greater Harvest

African Americans, the Extension Service, and Rural Reform in Jim Crow Texas

By Debra A. Reid Ph.D

Jim Crow laws pervaded the south, reaching from the famous "separate yet equal" facilities to voting discrimination to the seats on buses. Agriculture, a key industry for those southern blacks trying to forge an independent existence, was not immune to the touch of racism, prejudice, and inequality. In Reaping a Greater Harvest, Debra Reid deftly spotlights the hierarchies of race, class, and gender within the extension service. Black farmers were excluded from cooperative demonstration work in Texas until the Smith-Lever Agricultural Extension act in 1914. However, the resulting Negro Division included a complicated bureaucracy of African American agents who reported to white officials, were supervised by black administrators, and served black farmers. The now-measurable successes of these African American farmers exacerbated racial tensions and led to pressure on agents to maintain the status quo. The bureau that was meant to ensure equality instead became another tool for systematic discrimination and maintenance of the white-dominated southern landscape. Historians of race, gender, and class have joined agricultural historians in roundly praising Reid's work.

Red, White, and Black Make Blue Cover

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Red, White, and Black Make Blue

Indigo in the Fabric of Colonial South Carolina Life

Andrea Feeser

Like cotton, indigo has defied its humble origins. Left alone it might have been a regional plant with minimal reach, a localized way of dyeing textiles, paper, and other goods with a bit of blue. But when blue became the most popular color for the textiles that Britain turned out in large quantities in the eighteenth century, the South Carolina indigo that colored most of this cloth became a major component in transatlantic commodity chains. In Red, White, and Black Make Blue, Andrea Feeser tells the stories of all the peoples who made indigo a key part of the colonial South Carolina experience as she explores indigo’s relationships to land use, slave labor, textile production and use, sartorial expression, and fortune building.

In the eighteenth century, indigo played a central role in the development of South Carolina. The popularity of the color blue among the upper and lower classes ensured a high demand for indigo, and the climate in the region proved sound for its cultivation. Cheap labor by slaves—both black and Native American—made commoditization of indigo possible. And due to land grabs by colonists from the enslaved or expelled indigenous peoples, the expansion into the backcountry made plenty of land available on which to cultivate the crop. Feeser recounts specific histories—uncovered for the first time during her research—of how the Native Americans and African slaves made the success of indigo in South Carolina possible. She also emphasizes the material culture around particular objects, including maps, prints, paintings, and clothing. Red, White, and Black Make Blue is a fraught and compelling history of both exploitation and empowerment, revealing the legacy of a modest plant with an outsized impact.

Rice Talks Cover

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Rice Talks

Food and Community in a Vietnamese Town

Nir Avieli

Rice Talks explores the importance of cooking and eating in the everyday social life of Hoi An, a properous market town in central Vietnam known for its exceptionally elaborate and sophisticated local cuisine. In a vivid and highly personal account, Nir Avieli takes the reader from the private setting of the extended family meal into the public realm of the festive, extraordinary, and unique. He shows how foodways relate to class relations, gender roles, religious practices, cosmology, ethnicity, and even local and national politics. This evocative study departs from conventional anthropological research on food by stressing the rich meanings, generative capacities, and potential subversion embedded in foodways and eating.

Seasons of Plenty Cover

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Seasons of Plenty

Amana Communal Cooking

Emilie Hoppe

Seasons of Plenty provides colorful descriptions, folk stories, appealing photgraphs and illustrations, excerpts from journals and ledgers, recipes for good food like savory dumpling soup, mashed potatoes with browned bread crumbs, Sauerbraten, and feather light apple fritters.

Spirits of Just Men Cover

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Spirits of Just Men

Mountaineers, Liquor Bosses, and Lawmen in the Moonshine Capital of the World

Charles D. Thompson Jr.

Spirits of Just Men tells the story of moonshine in 1930s America, as seen through the remarkable location of Franklin County, Virginia, a place that many still refer to as the "moonshine capital of the world." Local characters come alive through this richly colorful chronicle of the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, which made national news and exposed the far-reaching and pervasive tendrils of Appalachia's local moonshine economy. Charles D. Thompson Jr., whose ancestors were involved in the area's moonshine trade and trial as well as local law enforcement, uses the event as a stepping-off point to explore Blue Ridge Mountain culture, economy, and political engagement in the 1930s. Drawing from extensive oral histories and local archival material, Thompson's sensitive analysis examines the people and processes involved in turning a basic agricultural commodity into such a sought-after and essentially American spirit.

Stirring the Pot Cover

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Stirring the Pot

A History of African Cuisine

James C. McCann

Africa’s art of cooking is a key part of its history. All too often Africa is associated with famine, but in Stirring the Pot, James C. McCann describes how the ingredients, the practices, and the varied tastes of African cuisine comprise a body of historically gendered knowledge practiced and perfected in households across Africa's diverse human and ecological landscape. McCann
reveals how Africa’s tastes and culinary practices are integral to the understanding of African history and more generally to the new literature on food as social history.

Stirring the Pot offers a chronology of African cuisine beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing from Africa's original edible endowments to its globalization. McCann traces African cooks’ use of new crops, spices, and tastes, including New World imports like maize, hot peppers, cassava, potatoes, tomatoes, and peanuts, as well as plantain, sugarcane, spices, Asian rice, and other ingredients from the Indian Ocean world. He analyzes recipes, not as fixed ahistorical documents, but as lively and living records of historical change in women’s knowledge and farmers’ experiments. A final chapter describes in sensuous detail the direct connections of African cooking to New Orleans jambalaya, Cuban rice and beans, and the cooking of Americans’ “soul food.”

Stirring the Pot breaks new ground and makes clear the relationship between food and the culture, history, and national identity
of Africans.

Tasting the Good Life Cover

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Tasting the Good Life

Wine Tourism in the Napa Valley

George Gmelch and Sharon Bohn Gmelch

Five million visitors a year travel to California's Napa Valley to experience the good life: to taste fine wines, eat fine food, and immerse themselves in other sophisticated pleasures while surrounded by bucolic beauty. Tourism is the world's largest employer, and tourists today want to experience the world through all five senses. Tasting the Good Life tells the story of Napa tourism through the words of the tourists who visit and the men and women who provide the products and services they rely on. The stories of 17 people -- from winemaker to vineyard manager, from celebrity chef to wait staff, from hot air balloonist to masseuse -- provide extraordinary insight into this new form of tourism and its impact on an iconic American place.

Texas Peach Handbook Cover

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Texas Peach Handbook

By Jim Kamas and Larry Stein

An up-to-date guide for commercial and residential peach growers . . .   With an estimated one million trees producing almost fifty million pounds of fruit per year, Texas is a leading producer of peaches, and several popular seasonal festivals highlight the widespread enjoyment of and interest in this delicious, versatile fruit. In addition, a recent rise of interest in edible gardens and home fruit production has led more people to think about planting a peach tree in the yard—or paying closer attention to the one they already have.    Jim Kamas and Larry Stein, drawing from their many years of experience and the best current research, provide authoritative advice for those who want to improve peach production, whether in a large commercial orchard or on a single tree in the back yard. With discussions ranging from site selection to marketing ideas, Texas Peach Handbook covers the basics of peach cultivation—planting, pruning, fertilizing, watering, protecting, thinning, harvesting—and gives both instruction on disease and insect control and advice on the financial aspects of the peach business. The authors also direct readers to other, more detailed or technical sources, for those who want to learn more about a given topic.   For its useful information and expert guidance, this how-to handbook will prove indispensable for anyone who grows, or wants to grow, peaches.

Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook Cover

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Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

William D. Adams; Photographs by William D. Adams and Deborah J. Adams

Perhaps no vegetable makes the mouth water in anticipation more than the perfect tomato--slices sprinkled with salt and pepper or lapped over a burger; sweet cherry tomatoes in a salad; fresh tomato sauce over pasta; tomato soup; tomato salsa. Tired of half-green, hard-but-mushy, store-bought tomatoes, an increasing number of people would like to grow their own. But as anyone who has ever stuck a seedling into the ground anticipating a bush full of luscious homegrown tomatoes in a couple of months knows, it isn’t that easy. Tomatoes require a gardener’s knowledge and attention, and in this handbook William Adams has provided a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience, Adams takes readers through the basics of soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging, and watering. He lists the pros and cons of standard, hybrid, heirloom, and cherry varieties, sharing tips about old favorites and suggesting new varieties. After the tomatoes are chosen, planted, and thriving under his tutelage, Adams prepares growers for the insects, diseases, and other visitors they are likely to encounter, warning that “gardeners are not the only ones that love tomatoes.” Once readers are armed to meet these challenges, Adams ends by offering a few words about “tomato kin folk” (peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and potatoes) and a source list of selected suppliers. With patience, humor, and his own excellent photographs, Adams brings to this manuscript all he has learned about tomatoes in Texas to help ensure that the rest of us have a bumper crop.       

They Saved the Crops Cover

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They Saved the Crops

Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California

Don Mitchell

At the outset of World War II, California agriculture seemed to be on the cusp of change. Many Californians, reacting to the ravages of the Great Depression, called for a radical reorientation of the highly exploitative labor relations that had allowed the state to become such a productive farming frontier. But with the importation of the first braceros-guest workers from Mexico hired on an emergency basis after the United States entered the waran even more intense struggle ensued over how agriculture would be conducted in the state. Esteemed geographer Don Mitchell argues that by delineating the need for cheap, flexible farm labor as a problem and solving it via the importation of relatively disempowered migrant workers, an alliance of growers and government actors committed the United States to an agricultural system that is, in important respects, still with us.

They Saved the Crops is a theoretically rich and stylistically innovative account of grower rapaciousness, worker militancy, rampant corruption, and bureaucratic bias. Mitchell shows that growers, workers, and officials confronted a series of problems that shapedand were shaped bythe landscape itself. For growers, the problem was finding the right kind of labor at the right price at the right time. Workers struggled for survival and attempted to win power in the face of economic exploitation and unremitting violence. Bureaucrats tried to harness political power to meet the demands of, as one put it, the people whom we serve.

Drawing on a deep well of empirical materials from archives up and down the state, Mitchell's account promises to be the definitive book about California agriculture in the turbulent decades of the mid-twentieth century.

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