Not by Bread Alone: America's Culinary Heritage

The Elegant Table
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Although French food had long enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s most elegant cuisines, a taste for French cooking had never entered the American mainstream. On the contrary, many Americans harbored native suspicions of anything fancy or pretentious, and their deeply ingrained thrift and practicality often provoked hostility toward perceived foreign "foppery."

French cuisine did not catch the imagination of a large number of Americans until the end of the 19th century. By 1880, however, American tastes were becoming more sophisticated. A rapidly expanding economy and a growing wealthy class fueled the desire for a new elegance in food, fashion and design. In urban centers, especially, Americans turned to France for inspiration.

continue to Temperance & Prohibition

early cookbooks
american taste
the elegant table
temperance and prohibition
food nutrition and science
corpulency, leanes, and dietary reform
kitchen technology
food processing and manufacture


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