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It's All American Food Hardcover – 4 Dec 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; 1 edition (4 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316053155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316053150
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 4.1 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,525,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Rosengarten has reconceived the idea of what a cooking show could be... He explores his subjects so thoroughly and thoughtfully that he makes instant experts of his viewers."

About the Author

David Rosengarten is a food writer, cookbook author, cooking teacher, wine writer, travel writer and tv journalist.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
my husband got this book for me for valentine's day. i'm american and living in london and i so miss the variety of dishes that sometimes you can't get here in the uk. this book is wonderful, with as many down-home style recipes as ethnic ones. i make at least 2 recipes out of it each week. some of them are definitely time consuming but if you love to cook and experiment with different flavours, this book is a must have! :)
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Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book in pursuit of a slice of Americana - diner specials, Thanksgiving, milkshakes, etc - but what I got instead was a fairly detailed exploration of food from around the world which has been embraced by American chefs. This is great, but not entirely what I was hoping for - and the recipes and descriptions were professional and passionate, but lacked local colour and down-to-earth ancedotes. The book is in black and white, and does cover some honest-to-goodness classic 'American' recipes, but not enough to keep me happy. I think this is definitely one for an American audience (and more power to it), but for someone English hoping to capture the essence of American cuisine, this is not the place to come.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This remains one of my favourite cook books- I pretty much read it in the book shop before eventually buying it. So many great foods here- the cinnamon buns are a staple favourite (with everyone!) but there are many other great dishes to try and to savour. Gives a real flavour of the 'melting pot'
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Format: Paperback
This cookbook by David Rosengarten is an epic journey into American cuisine. It is such a joy to discover all of the food that has shaped and continues to be a part of America's culinary heritage. I am especially fond of the Chinese, Italian, and Southern recipes. I think this book allows even the most intermediate cook to create extraordinarily authentic and flavourful dishes that are sure to impress your guests as they do mine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9870806c) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9869dbe8) out of 5 stars Extraordinary Cookbook 4 Jan. 2004
By Westley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Rosengarten is the best friend of American food. Viewers of the Food Network will remember him from his show - Taste, where he glorified simple gastronomic pleasures. Regaling viewers with the perfect tuna fish sandwich was the type of no-fuss presentations in which he excelled. "It's All American Food" continues and builds on this excellent tradition. Specifically, Rosengarten makes a compelling argument for the uniqueness and importance of American food; the cookbook is a love note to America and her food. Don't feel inferior to the French and their fancy sauces, he seems to implore of the reader. But what about the recipes? Well, the cookbook is chockablock with over 400, divided into three main sections.

In Part 1, Rosengarten considers different ethnic-American cuisines. For example, he discusses how immigrants adapted the recipes from the old country to use the ingredients and techniques available in America. He focuses on how the American tradition gradually shaped the original recipes. So the Italian pasta sauce recipe isn't a trendy Southern Italian concoction with pine nuts and capers, but "Classic Brooklyn-Italian Meat Sauce." In other words, it's the kind of Italian food that your mother fixed or that you eat at the cheap bistro in the strip mall down the street. In addition to Italian-American food, sections cover Greek, Mexican, Chinese, Cuban, Moroccan, Indian, and numerous other ethnic traditions.

In Part 2, Rosengarten ponders regional American food. Moving westward from New England, he covers numerous American food traditions, including Pennsylvania Dutch, Cajun, Southwest, and Hawaiian. Some of the sections include only a couple of recipes but enough to provide the reader with an idea of the region and its food. In section 3, Rosengarten discusses a variety of classic American dishes that can't be categorized into ethnic or regional foods, such as meatloaf, cole slaw, and macaroni and cheese. All the comfort foods you ate and loved as a child and continue to crave are in this section.

With the proliferation of cookbooks in the last decade, a cookbook has to be truly original to stand out in the crowd. This cookbook is one of those rare finds to be treasured. "It's All American" should be savored like a good novel, not just stuck on a dusty shelf and pulled down to make an occasional recipe. Most highly recommended.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9869de34) out of 5 stars The best of the food you remember from childhood 9 May 2006
By Esther Schindler - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
German food isn't like German-American food. Italian food isn't -- or at least wasn't, while many of us were growing up -- very much like Italian-American food. And the Chinese food that we experienced when we were children, the Pu-Pu Platters that we thought were so wonderful, is nothing like the food that Chinese people eat in China.

But that sure doesn't mean it's bad.

The disadvantage to Americans' increased food sophistication is that we look down upon the non-authentic versions of ethnic food. Yet, when our immigrant ancestors got here, they discovered that they couldn't get many of the ingredients they needed; they made do, and often those dishes became traditions in their own right. In this book, Rosengarten celebrates the "new American" foods, many of which have evolved from their genesis in some other land. But that's only part of the book.

There's three sections: Ethnic America, Regional America, and Classic America. The first covers what are arguably the best (or at least best-known) of 18 different areas, such as Italian, Russian, Indian. That's about half the book. Regional America tells you how to make the food popular in different areas, such as New England Clam Chowder or Collard Greens with Ham Hocks. The final section has recipes for our general "traditional American" recipes, such as mac-and-cheese or the ultimate BLT.

It's a good premise for a cookbook, sure. But what makes it superb is that these are Rosengarten's recipes. I have several of his cookbooks, and I'm a devoted fan. His explanations actually *explain.* He tells you what you need to know, but never becomes pedantic.

And man, can he cook. These aren't pale, tepid imitations of the bad spaghetti-and-meatballs you got from a steam-table buffet. They're the foods you recall with great fondness from your childhood. I just finished making a quick lunch for four, from his Chinese-American choices: broccoli in oyster sauce, plus kung pao chicken. His Kung Pao uses several kinds of pepper: black pepper, chili paste with garlic, and dried red peppers. (Not to mention hoisin, 8 cloves of garlic, and other tasty stuff.) The layers of heat make a real difference... and this may be one of the best kung pao chicken dishes I've ever eaten.

This is an inexpensive book, and I like it a lot. It has no photos or illustrations, which I realize is a downside to some people. I don't find that to be a problem since these are foods that I'm familiar with, at least in their restaurant incarnations.

I'm sure I'll be turning to this cookbook often. Recommended.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9869ddf8) out of 5 stars A must for the American kitchen 22 Dec. 2003
By traveler - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cook a great deal, and have cooked many of the dishes included in David Rosengarten's latest. However, David (and his collaborators) have developed wonderful interpretations and versions of these classic dishes. I read the book through in two sittings; now I'm beginning to try the dishes. Superb! You won't be disappointed by this classic of regional and ethnic American dishes.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9972e108) out of 5 stars Best cookbook ever 4 Feb. 2005
By Dana D. Dlott - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite cookbook in the world. Just ask your friends their favorite dish from childhood, pick up this book and make an incredible version better than anything your mother or the local Chinese restaurant ever saw. Egg Foo Yung, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Chicken and Dumplings, tacos you name it. Yumm.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9972e60c) out of 5 stars Great classroom resource! 28 Aug. 2005
By Alexis Schlarb - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm a chef and I used David Rosengarten's great culinary ride through the USA as a valuable tool in teaching American Regional Cuisine at the local community college. He did his homework! Since I've lived all over this country, it was a stroll down memory lane and such fun to see how he zeroed in on some of the eccentric but really tasty dishes that make American cuisine so unique. Sure we all eat hamburgers, hot dogs and pot roast, but if you go to Cincinnati, you have to try the five way chili; or headed for Chicago; don't miss the deep dish pizza. Mr. Rosengarten's recipes are right on the mark
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