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The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food---before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When ... and Traditional---from the Lost WPA Files MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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About the Author
Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Food of a Younger Land, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World; Salt: A World History; 1968: The Year That Rocked the World; and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. He lives in New York City. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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This must have been a really interesting project for the author, and frustrating as well because of the missing bits and unevenness of the material. For example, there is so much about the south and not very much at all from California. Maybe that says something about the different nature of southerners and Californians, about who had time to write about cooking and who did not. California was a very different place before and just after the war, and this book helped me think about it, right down to the strawberries that were sold in little wooden baskets from the acreage just down on the El Camino, under the eucalyptus trees, strawberries that you could smell before you even got out of the car. And the icebox in my grandmother's summer cabin, which had to be stocked with a big block of ice that you bought by putting 25 cents in a slot in a big wooden container the size of the back of a truck, and the block came sliding down a ramp. The expressions, the language of the essays reminded me of the way my parents spoke--a much cleaner language than we hear today, from a society much more concerned with the delicacy of women. I don't know that the book would strike the same chord with younger people who didn't know the U.S. "before," just like it must be difficult to imagine the world without laptops, cell phones, microwaves, and women in the office who are perfectly comfortable with four-letter words.