Attractive on several counts. The first third contains much anecdotal and other lore about American food from the Pilgrims on, interspersed with recipes of varied historical interest. Mr. Jones, an expert on American frontier life and a contributor to the Rivers of America series, provides a lot of information of the sort useful for settling bets (you can fred out here that precooked breakfast cereals were conceived in New York by a real J.H. Kellogg at 28th St. and 3rd Avenue) and some good meaty descriptions of different regional cuisines. The recipes are impressive too: they are remarkably free of synthetic substitutes and they cover a great range. There are a few flights of fancy -- like avocado ice cream -- that probably deserve rapid oblivion, but soundness is the rule. Worthy competition for Jean Hewitt's New York Times Heritage Cookbook, and certainly less daunting in form.