Book: United States of Arugula
I'm half-way through this book, and I've enjoyed it. It details the rise of foodie-ism in the U.S., describing people like James Beard, Mollie Katzen, Dean and Deluca. Hard to believe institutions like Celestial Seasonings were actually started by a hippie with a taste for tea. The author loves gossip but he can be snide about everyone ex. Irma Rombauer gets a footnote about writing the Joy of Cooking a year after her husband committed suicide.
I'm reading this too. Fabulous book! Now I understand why I see terms like: escoffier all the time. And for the Juliafiles, more to feed their obsession. Really excellent read.
I found the book rather disappointing. It did not do a good job in explaining how the various forms of food interest actually spread throughout the country, it simply talked about some of the people involved in them. There was nothing that explained why anyone in, say, West Texas became interested in a French-inspired restaurant in Berkeley. It seemed more a collection of gossip.