Culinary Periodization

Introduction James Beard’s American Cookery

It should be apparent that this not a book of regional cookery, it is not a collection of family recipes, it is not primarily a critique of American cuisine. It is simply a record of good eating in this country with some of its lore. To compile it I have used a large number of published books and manuscript cookbooks in my possession or at my disposal. What interests me is how the quality of cooking in this country can be followed from a period of simplicity and function to one of goodness and bounty, then to an age of elaboration and excess, back again to functional (and for the most part, mediocre) eating. Finally, we hope, we are now in another epoch of gastronomic excellence.

This was published in 1972.

And so for day 2515

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