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Secrets from the Greek Kitchen Cover

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Secrets from the Greek Kitchen

Cooking, Skill, and Everyday Life on an Aegean Island

David E. Sutton

Secrets from the Greek Kitchen explores how cooking skills, practices, and knowledge on the island of Kalymnos are reinforced or transformed by contemporary events. Based on more than twenty years of research and the author’s videos of everyday cooking techniques, this rich ethnography treats the kitchen as an environment in which people pursue tasks, display expertise, and confront culturally defined risks.

Kalymnian islanders, both women and men, use food as a way of evoking personal and collective memory, creating an elaborate discourse on ingredients, tastes, and recipes. Author David E. Sutton focuses on micropractices in the kitchen, such as the cutting of onions, the use of a can opener, and the rolling of phyllo dough, along with cultural changes, such as the rise of televised cooking shows, to reveal new perspectives on the anthropology of everyday living.

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.

A Tortilla Is Like Life Cover

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A Tortilla Is Like Life

Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado

By Carole M. Counihan

Located in the southern San Luis Valley of Colorado, the remote and relatively unknown town of Antonito is home to an overwhelmingly Hispanic population struggling not only to exist in an economically depressed and politically marginalized area, but also to preserve their culture and their lifeways. Between 1996 and 2006, anthropologist Carole Counihan collected food-centered life histories from nineteen Mexicanas—Hispanic American women—who had long-standing roots in the Upper Rio Grande region. The interviews in this groundbreaking study focused on southern Colorado Hispanic foodways—beliefs and behaviors surrounding food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption. In this book, Counihan features extensive excerpts from these interviews to give voice to the women of Antonito and highlight their perspectives. Three lines of inquiry are framed: feminist ethnography, Latino cultural citizenship, and Chicano environmentalism. Counihan documents how Antonito’s Mexicanas establish a sense of place and belonging through their knowledge of land and water and use this knowledge to sustain their families and communities. Women play an important role by gardening, canning, and drying vegetables; earning money to buy food; cooking; and feeding family, friends, and neighbors on ordinary and festive occasions. They use food to solder or break relationships and to express contrasting feelings of harmony and generosity, or enmity and envy. The interviews in this book reveal that these Mexicanas are resourceful providers whose food work contributes to cultural survival.

Tortillas Cover

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Tortillas

A Cultural History

Paula E. Morton

“The ordinary tortilla was an extraordinary bond between the human and divine. . . . From birthdays to religious ceremonies, the people of Mesoamerica commemorated important events with tortillas. One Maya tribe even buried their dead with tortillas so that the dogs eaten as dinner during life would not bite the deceased in revenge.”—from Tortillas: A Cultural History

For centuries tortillas have remained a staple of the Mexican diet, but the rich significance of this unleavened flatbread stretches far beyond food. Today the tortilla crosses cultures and borders as part of an international network of people, customs, and culinary traditions.

In this entertaining and informative account Paula E. Morton surveys the history of the tortilla from its roots in ancient Mesoamerica to the cross-cultural global tortilla. Morton tells the story of tortillas and the people who make and eat them—from the Mexican woman rolling the mano over the metate to grind corn, to the enormous wheat tortillas made in northern Mexico, to twenty-first-century elaborations like the stuffed burrito. This study—the first to extensively present the tortilla’s history, symbolism, and impact—shows how the tortilla has changed our understanding of home cooking, industrialized food, healthy cuisine, and the people who live across borders.

The Turkey Cover

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The Turkey

An American Story

Andrew F. Smith

Fondly remembered as the centerpiece of family Thanksgiving reunions, the turkey is a cultural symbol as well as a multi-billion dollar industry. As a bird, dinner, commodity, and national icon, the turkey has become as American as the bald eagle (with which it actually competed for supremacy on national insignias)._x000B__x000B_Food historian Andrew F. Smith's sweeping and multifaceted history of Meleagris gallopavo separates fact from fiction, serving as both a solid historical reference and a fascinating general read. With his characteristic wit and insatiable curiosity, Smith presents the turkey in ten courses, beginning with the bird itself (actually several different species of turkey) flying through the wild. The Turkey subsequently includes discussions of practically every aspect of the iconic bird, including the wild turkey in early America, how it came to be called "turkey," domestication, turkey mating habits, expansion into Europe, stuffing, conditions in modern industrial turkey factories, its surprising commercial history of boom and bust, and its eventual ascension to holiday mainstay. The second half of the book collects an amazing array of over one hundred historical and modern turkey recipes from across America and Europe. Historians will enjoy a look back at the varied appetites of their ancestors, and seasoned cooks will have an opportunity to reintroduce a familiar food in forgotten ways._x000B_

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