Food Cultures of the United States

Recipes, Customs, and Issues

by Bruce Kraig


Apple pie—the epitome of American cuisine—is actually from medieval England, an invention of the Europeans who later settled the United States.

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Cover image for Food Cultures of the United States

January 2020


Pages 229
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture
  World History/Culture

This comprehensive volume examines the history of American food culture and cuisine today, from staple ingredients to dietary concerns.

Everyday, without realizing it, Americans plan their days around food—what to make for dinner, where to meet for brunch, what to bring to a party. As a nation of immigrants, the U.S. has food and foodways that few countries in the world have. This addition to the Global Kitchen series examines all aspects of food culture in the United States, from the early Colonial period and Native American influences on the new immigrants' food to the modern era.

The volume opens with a Chronology that looks at United States history and significant food events. Coverage then dives deep into the history of food in the U.S., and is followed by a chapter on influential ingredients in American cooking. Chapters break down American cuisine into appetizers and side dishes, main dishes, and desserts, looking at typical meals and flavors that characterize it. Additional chapters examine food eaten during holidays and on special occasions, street food and snacks, and restauarants. A final chapter looks at issues and dietary concerns. Recipes round out each chapter.


  • Provides a comprehensive view of dishes that Americans eat and drink at all times of day and night
  • Examines how American food reflects the country's immigrant origins
  • Addresses problems in food production, nutrition, and practices in light of major changes in environments and society
  • A Chronology provides an at-a-glance look at food history in the United States
  • Recipes accompany each chapter, perfect for student readers and general audiences to try out at home
  • Sidebars help to illuminate the text, providing anecdotal "fun facts" about food in American culture
Series Description

The Global Kitchen

One of the most important cultural traditions in a country is its cuisine. Every country and culture has a national dish, an iconic "flavor" that is recognized as symbolic of that location, from Brazil's feijoada to Russia's pelmeni. The Global Kitchen series explores food culture around the world, with an emphasis on typical meals and recipes.

Each volume in the series focuses on the food culture of a specific country, or in some cases, a small group of countries. Volumes follow the same chapter outline, written in a narrative style interwoven with recipes for hands-on engagement. Coverage begins with a general review of food history in the country as well as a detailed discussion of staple ingredients that play a major role in the cuisine. Several chapters break down specific meals into appetizers and side dishes, main dishes, desserts, and beverages, looking at common meals and recipes that contribute to the country's culinary flavor. Additional chapters examine food shared on holidays and special occasions, street food and snacks, and restaurants. A final chapter investigates food issues in the country, including dietary and health concerns. Numerous recipes appear throughout the text, and a glossary, a timeline, a bibliography, and sidebars round out each volume.

Author Info

Bruce Kraig, PhD, is professor emeritus in history and humanities at Roosevelt University and adjunct faculty at the Culinary School of Kendall College. He has published nine books on culinary history and cookery, including as author of Mexican American Plain Cooking, coauthor of Street Food Around the World (ABC-CLIO), and coeditor of The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. He has written numerous articles on food and food history, world cultures, and more. He served as an editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America and is series editor of the book series "Heartland Foodways," for the University of Illinois Press.

Other Titles of Interest

Food in America cover imageThe Tavern cover imageWe Eat What? cover image
At the Table cover imageInternational Cookbook of Life-Cycle Celebrations, 2nd Edition cover imageFoods That Changed History cover image

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