Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine
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Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine


This unique culinary history of America offers a fascinating look at our past and uses long-forgotten recipes to explain how eight flavors changed how we eat.

The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population which makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In Eight Flavors, Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.

She begins in the archives, searching through economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records. She pores over cookbooks and manuscripts, dating back to the eighteenth century, through modern standards like How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Lohman discovers when each of these eight flavors first appear in American kitchens—then she asks why.

Eight Flavors introduces the explorers, merchants, botanists, farmers, writers, and chefs whose choices came to define the American palate. Lohman takes you on a journey through the past to tell us something about our present, and our future. We meet John Crowninshield, a New England merchant who traveled to Sumatra in the 1790s in search of black pepper. And Edmond Albius, a twelve-year-old slave who lived on an island off the coast of Madagascar, who discovered the technique still used to pollinate vanilla orchids today. Weaving together original research, historical recipes, gorgeous illustrations and Lohman’s own adventures both in the kitchen and in the field, Eight Flavors is a delicious treat—ready to be devoured.

Title:Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:288 pages

    Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine Reviews

  • Navidad Thelamour
    Oct 04, 2016

    Sarah Lohman’s Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine offers an eclectic and thought-provoking survey into American culinary culture and palettes. She traces our culinary roots and, thr...

  • Patty
    Aug 03, 2016

    A nonfiction book about the history of American cooking. Lohman organizes the book around eight popular flavors, arranged chronologically as to their appearance in mainstream American food: black pepp...

  • Kristine
    Nov 14, 2016

    Eight Flavors by Sarah Lohman is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early November.Very cheerfully not what you'd expect from a food historian, Lohman brings modern cooking, some history, a smatter...

  • Allen Adams
    Jan 08, 2017

    http://www.themaineedge.com/style/eig...In a lot of circumstances, eight isn’t a particularly high number. But according to a new book, the foundation of American cuisine through the centuries can b...

  • Nick
    Jan 20, 2017

    This is an intriguing work about food and culture, and some of the ways in which one influences the other. The author identified ten food flavors that were central to American food and culture, using ...

  • Sarah
    Nov 04, 2016

    4.5 starsIn Eight Flavors, Sarah Lohman examines the 8 flavors that she feels have shaped American cuisine. Each chapter examines a different flavor from a historical, scientific and in-use angle. The...

  • Olivia Ard
    Dec 08, 2016

    Historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman uses her background in historical cooking to examine the eight flavors that define American cuisine: black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, ...

  • Mary Sue
    Jan 16, 2017

    Sarah Lohman educates us in an interesting profile of the eight flavors she feels have influenced American Cuisine the most. She did immediately addressed the challenging question I had...what about C...

  • Zhi Chen
    Jan 18, 2017

    As my first introduction to food history, Eight Flavors certainly whetted my appetite for more. Devoting each chapter to one of the eight flavors that shaped American cuisine, Lohman provides an accou...

  • Liz
    Oct 23, 2016

    I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.This is the perfect book for me! I enjoy food and I enjoy reading about US history. This book combines the best of both. I loved how the author took e...