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Home cooking is crucial to our lives, but today we no longer identify it as an obligatory everyday chore. By looking closely at the stories and practices of contemporary 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 over the past century and 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, and what this means for culture, cuisine, and health. She locates, identifies, and discusses the myriad ways Americans cook in the modern age, and in doing so, 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.
"What does cooking mean for twenty-first-century women and men? Refusing to settle for cliched answers, Amy B. Trubek visits homes as well as professional kitchens to connect with real people and their daily strategies. Making Modern Meals presents original and provocative insights into an unfinished American story.”—Anne Mendelson, author of Chow Chop Suey: Food and the Chinese American Journey
“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.”—David E. Sutton, author of Remembrance of Repasts and Secrets from the Greek Kitchen
“For decades, culinary historians have been searching library catalogues for a book like Making Modern Meals—a close critical analysis of real-world, real-time cooking from multiple perspectives. Trubek’s imaginative, insightful project opens up both the study of food and the study of America.”—Laura Shapiro, author of What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories