... significant, thoroughly researched ... If there’s one takeaway from this vast, overflowing cornucopia, it’s that American cuisine is not a canon but a work in progress, every day absorbing novel foods and new attitudes about what makes a good meal. Sidebars offer lists sure to provoke controversy among foodies. Both serious researchers and armchair readers will find education and amusement here. Includes many illustrations and a few recipes to support Freedman’s arguments as well as a comprehensive bibliography.
In one of the book’s most fascinating chapters, Mr. Freedman argues that though so-called ethnic restaurants might promise infinite variety, they instead provide the comfort of familiarity ... In the third part of American Cuisine, Mr. Freedman rushes to cover the past half-century in less than 100 pages, resulting in an ultimately underwhelming conclusion ... he neglects to mention how the changing climate has already begun to alter how Americans actually eat, ushering in plant-based and lab-grown meats, hyperpersonalized microbiome diets, less seafood, less grain and more nutrient-rich renewable resources.
... [an] astute, well-researched exploration of American cuisine ... Freedman provides interesting insights on the cultural impact of these shifts and the societal and historical events that preceded them. Images of menus, vintage advertisements, articles, and recipes from community cookbooks enhance the project, which includes Freeman’s reflections on the current state of American cuisine and its future.