Home cooking is crucial to our lives but it is not necessary to our survival. Over the past century, it has become an everyday choice even though it is no longer an everyday chore. By looking closely at the stories and practices of American home cooks—witnessing them in the kitchen and at the table—Amy B. Trubek reveals our episodic but also engaged relationship to making meals.
Making Modern Meals explores the state of American cooking across all its varied practices, whether cooking is considered a chore, a craft, or a creative process. Trubek challenges current assumptions about who cooks, who doesn’t cook, and what this means for culture, cuisine, and health. Contending that cooking has changed in the past century, she locates, identifies, and discusses the myriad ways Americans cook in the modern age. In doing so, she argues that changes in making our meals—from shopping to cooking to dining—have created new cooks, new cooking categories, and new culinary challenges.
Amy B. Trubek is Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Vermont. She is the author of Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession and The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir.
“As it is said that 'cooking contains multitudes,' so too does Making Modern Meals, a provocatively rich ethnography of the complexities of this oft-ignored activity and a touchstone for future research. In exploring the dimensions of cooking—as chore, as art, as craft—Trubek places cooking squarely on the research agenda of food studies and the anthropology of everyday life."—David E. Sutton, author of Remembrance of Repasts and Secrets from the Greek Kitchen