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Culinary Ephemera

An Illustrated History

William Weaver (Author)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 320 pages
ISBN: 9780520259775
October 2010
$41.95, £28.95

This extraordinary collection, a trove of enchanting designs, appealing colors, and forgotten motifs that stir the imagination, features an unprecedented assortment of ephemera, or paper collectibles, related to food. It includes images of postcards, match covers, menus, labels, posters, brochures, valentines, packaging, advertisements, and other materials from nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Internationally acclaimed food historian William Woys Weaver takes us on a lively tour through this dazzling collection in which each piece tells a new story about food and the past. Packed with fascinating history, the volume is the first serious attempt to organize culinary ephemera into categories, making it useful for food lovers, collectors, designers, and curators alike. Much more than a catalog, Culinary Ephemera follows this paper trail to broader themes in American social history such as diet and health, alcoholic beverages, and Americans abroad. It is a collection that, as Weaver notes, will “transport us into the vicarious worlds of dinners past, brushing elbows with the reality of another time, another place, another human condition.”
William Woys Weaver is Director of the Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods and Food Tourism. He has written fourteen books, including Heirloom Vegetable Gardening and Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking, both of which received Julia Child awards. A contributing editor to Gourmet, Weaver has also served as Associate Editor and Art Editor for The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. He has appeared on many national programs, including “Good Morning America” and NPR’s “Fresh Air.”
“A food lover’s print version of the Antiques Roadshow. . . Perfect for the foodie collector and history buff.”—Epicurious.com
“ The 352 color plates, accompanied by informed, diverting text [tell] us much about who we've been as well as what we've eaten . . . and drunk.”—Wall Street Journal
“What makes this book special is Weaver's careful, engaging contextualization of each piece, giving the reader a comprehensive understanding of how the ephemera fit into everyday life.” STARRED REVIEW—Library Journal
“Every page has at least two or three stories you'll want to repeat over a good meal.”—John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet
“Weaver provides insightful commentary.”—George M. Eberhart College & Research Libraries News
“The artwork . . . . is a wonder to behold, filled with colorful examples of culinary imagination. The text is as fascinating as the pictures.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A lovely coffee-table book to open serendipitously, or a thoughtful reference for those who wish to dive in more deeply.”—Denise Ramzy Gastronomica
“There's plenty more to learn in this densely written, deeply researched menagerie.”—Chicago Reader
“ A great collection of evocative and artistic food-related ads. . . Offers many rare insights into what can fairly be described as the sociology of food advertising.”—Beyondchron
"William Woys Weaver's personal collection of food-and-drink ephemera is a marvel of culinary Americana, and we have the chance here to visit it with Weaver himself as our guide. It's impossible to stop turning the pages of this dazzling book. Few works in any genre have captured so precisely and memorably the interplay of food, design, technology, business and popular culture. Food-lovers, professional and otherwise, will find that every one of these provocative images inspires new questions, fresh ideas and enormous delight."—Laura Shapiro, author of Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century

"This wonderful new book is not to be missed by collectors, gourmets, or anyone nostalgic for the dishes grandma used to make!" —Arthur H. Groten, President of the Ephemera Society of America, www.ephemerasociety.org

International Association of Culinary ProfessionalsCookbook Awards, International Association of Culinary Professionals

Winner, Bookbuilders West Book Show

Finalist in the Culinary History Cookbook Award category, International Association of Culinary Professionals

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