Americans of the 1960s would have trouble navigating the grocery aisles and restaurant menus of today. Once-exotic ingredients—like mangoes, hot sauces, kale, kimchi, and coconut milk—have become standard in the contemporary American diet. Laresh Jayasanker explains how food choices have expanded since the 1960s: immigrants have created demand for produce and other foods from their homelands; grocers and food processors have sought to market new foods; and transportation improvements have enabled food companies to bring those foods from afar. Yet, even as choices within stores have exploded, supermarket chains have consolidated. Throughout the food industry, fewer companies manage production and distribution, controlling what American consumers can access. Mining a wealth of menus, cookbooks, trade publications, interviews, and company records, Jayasanker explores Americans’ changing eating habits to shed light on the impact of immigration and globalization on American culture.
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