Portland: A Food Biography - Big City Food Biographies (Hardback)
  • Portland: A Food Biography - Big City Food Biographies (Hardback)
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Portland: A Food Biography - Big City Food Biographies (Hardback)

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£29.95
Hardback 326 Pages / Published: 13/11/2014
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More than just food carts and microbrews, Portland has a story to tell. Its culinary history sings the song of the salmon-people, the pioneers and immigrants, each struggling to make this strange but inviting land between the Pacific and the Cascades feel like home. Portland: A Food Biography chronicles the Rose City's rise from a Wild West outpost - a diminutive extension of San Francisco - to the critical darling of the national food scene.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442227385
Number of pages: 326
Weight: 594 g
Dimensions: 234 x 162 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In this book, the fourth in Ken Albala's 'Big City Food Biographies' series, Portland native Anderson, author of Breakfast, provides a personal and historical narrative of Portland's rich culinary culture. The book begins with the evolution of the region's natural resources, regional Native American foodways, and the rapid invasion of East Coast, midwestern, southern, and immigrant culinary influences. The largest chapter focuses on immigrant neighborhoods and their culinary contributions, with significant attention paid to the history of Portland's Chinatown(s) as well as Jewish, Volga German, and Mexican influences. Other chapters include information on historical restaurants, famous watering holes, and historic cookbooks. Portland natives and newcomers will appreciate the loving attention that Anderson gives to the past. . . .This book will be valuable for culinary historians and a must have for Oregon history collections and culinary collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. * CHOICE *
The book is filled with tidbits that foodies will relish.. . .The biggest challenge of writing food history is that sources are spotty and ephemeral: random accounts of travelers, old newspaper ads, memoirs, cookbooks, and trade literature. Anderson makes a significant contribution by retrieving otherwise lost stories and weaving together disparate threads to create this first account of Portland's unique food heritage. While the book does not seek to explicate how that heritage gave rise to today's vibrant food scene, Portland: a Food Biography is an excellent read for locals who want to have a deeper sense of their city and its food traditions, and it will also interest historians seeking to better understand the critical urban hub of Oregon's food history. * Oregon Historical Quarterly *
Heather Arndt Anderson's latest book, Portland: A Food Biography, connects the history of Portland, Oregon, to changes in its local cuisine through an engaging and humorous narrative. Her book touches on topics familiar to academic historians, such as the environment, first peoples, settlers, immigrants, class, gender, and race, but her work also targets a wider audience. Chapters on markets, restaurants, and breweries, in addition to stories about local personalities and recipes from pioneer cookbooks, make for an accessible history that will appeal to native Portlanders, those interested in local history, and visitors looking for a fun place to go out to eat or drink.... One of the strengths of this book ... is the attention that Anderson gives to the roles that gender, race, and class played in Portland's food history. Anderson's focus on how women, racial minorities, and working-class people shaped the history of food in Portland adds an important dimension to our understanding of the city's 'food biography' ... [H]er narrative is entertaining and mostly humorous.... Portland: A Food Biography is a must-read for anyone interested in Portland's food history. * Pacific Northwest Quarterly *
Heather Arndt Anderson has done it again. Portland: A Food Biography is a brilliant book full of history and food. Heather obviously has a passion for food and it comes across very clearly in her book, but that's not all that is here. She uses food, the common denominator for all the residents of the city, as a way in to history. Starting before Portland was a city she tells us about the setting, what grew here and what people ate. The book gives a good feel for Portland's natural setting, its indigenous flora and fauna and the lives that people have lived here in all of the historical eras. It is an exciting way to write history, and it is fun to read. She has written not only the tastiest history of my favorite city, but also the most filling. -- J.D. Chandler, author, Hidden History of Portland, OR and Murder and Mayhem in Portland, OR
From Native American and pioneer food histories to later immigrant traditions Heather Arndt Anderson's deeply-researched book explores Portland's long connection with the bounty of the land. -- Tracy J. Prince, Ph.D., Portland State University
It's a mighty twisty culinary path from wapato wonderland, via boiled wheat mush and crab Louis salad, to Portland's present prominence as a land of lush local liquoring and foodcarts galore. Portland: A Food Biography is a fast and colorful run down that path, and at the end you may be panting for more-more food, more beverages, more time-tinged tales of eating in a bountiful place. -- Richard H. Engeman, historian and author of Eating It Up in Eden: the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Cookbook and The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane
Food is such a critical part of history. Food and foodways have shaped the destiny of every empire in human history, as much as or more than anything else, and yet the topic is barely glanced at in most history books. In this wonderfully readable, enjoyable and thoroughly researched book, Heather Arndt Anderson fills a great need for local historians in the Pacific Northwest and for those who would like a taste of what life was like at mealtime for their great-great-grandparents. History buffs, genealogists, and foodies all will love this book, both for the fantastic tidbits the author has uncovered in her research and for the sheer pleasure of her writing voice. -- Finn J.D. John, author of Wicked Portland; public historian

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