This is a representative slice of America -- as the racial heritage, the regional characteristics, the availability of certain foods in certain locales, the generosity of field and stream, orchards and woods, contribute to an overall gastronomic adventure in good eating. Here are recipes chosen from every part of the country, recipes that have stood the acid test of time; here are secrets held closely in families; here are the best as well as the most authentic recipes for disputed dishes. The arrangement is not regional, as the authors chart their course from soups to candies, through breads, meat and game, fish, poultry, vegetables and salads, preserving, cakes and desserts, beverages and candies. I checked a few specialties of my own:- yes, the recipe for Sally Lunn is for a yeast-raised bread; red flannel stew or hash- the variants indicated; New England Clam Chowder without tomatoes; chess pie, shoo fly pie, apple pan dowdy, Lady Baltimore cake, kedgeree, cioppino, hushpuppies and so on and on- all the moot issues are faced and settled. One could wish for more regional flavor, more of the brief anecdotes of sources, but one can't have everything.