American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Spam, Bananas, and Jell-O is a deeply researched and entertaining survey of twentieth century American food. Connecting cultural, social, and geopolitical aspects, author Christina Ward (Preservation: The Art & Science of Canning , Fermentation, and Dehydration, Process 2017) uses her expertise to tell the fascinating and often infuriating story of American culinary culture.
Readers will learn of the role bananas played in the Iran-Contra scandal, how Sigmund Freud's nephew decided Carmen Miranda would wear fruit on her head, and how Puritans built an empire on pineapples. American food history is rife with crackpots, do-gooders, con men, and scientists all trying to build a better America-while some were getting rich in the process.
Loaded with full-color images, Ward pulls recipes and images from her vast collection of cookbooks and a wide swath of historical advertisements to show the influence of corporations on our food trends. Though easy to mock, once you learn the true history, you will never look at Jell-O the same way again!American Advertising Cookbooks, How Corporations Taught Us To Love Bananas, Spam, and Jell&ndashO features full-color images and essays uncovering the origins of popular foods.
"As disturbing as it is entertaining, this exploration of how corporate America hijacked 20th century kitchens is lousy with hilariously outmoded images and slogans. It’s the talk at every gathering on the East End these days. " Hamptons Epicure
"Lavishly illustrated with images and recipes from Ward’s own collection of cooking ephemera, American Advertising Cookbooks is, at varying points, both mouth-watering (Dr. Pepper chicken!) and stomach-churning (ham bananas in cheese sauce), but never less than deliciously mind-blowing.
Beyond just the food itself, though, Ward profiles the chefs, scientists, ad men, and madmen who permanently whet U.S. appetites. She also exposes the untold role that pineapples played at the onset of the American colonies being settled, how bananas sparked armed conflict throughout the 20th Century, and the intense psychology that goes into dressing up ad mascots. " Mike McPadden- Merry Jane Magazine
"A photograph of a luncheon-meat salad mold is scarcely more horrifying than the details that led to the creation of the dish. There is much to learn in this book." Florence Fabricant, New York Times