The food people eat today is the product of centuries of change and systematization. Not only have contemporary cuisines been defined by historical travel and colonization, but agricultural and economic developments have also shifted how we think about and consume food.
The Way We Eat Now, by Bee Wilson, and Pressure Cooker, by Sarah Bowen, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott, both examine how and why processed foods have replaced home cooking, dissecting the social phenomena that shape Americans’ reliance on cheap meals. Michael Ruhlman’s Grocery focuses on the role that supermarkets play in the modern food landscape, detailing the evolution of these mega-stores for food and other home goods. The market demand for fish has led to a decline in the wild populations of salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna, which Paul Greenberg covers in his book Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.
In their cookbook Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking, the sisters Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau trace the histories of dishes such as saltfish and ackee—a Jamaican staple that enslaved people once relied on to survive. And Samin Nosrat’s cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat analyzes the chemistry behind how certain foods are prepared.
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Uncovering the roots of Caribbean cooking
“A modern collection of vegetarian comfort-food recipes, the book details the lineage of the invisible contributions of African women, and the savvy meal refinement of their descendants, self-reliant and creative West Indians who innovated the region’s most beloved foodstuffs.”