SLUMPS, GRUNTS AND SNICKERDOODLES: What Colonial America Ate and Why by Lila Perl

SLUMPS, GRUNTS AND SNICKERDOODLES: What Colonial America Ate and Why

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Perl's attempts to integrate colonial diets with larger historical developments are so superficial as to be worthless, and many of her generalizations are just silly verbiage. Thus her dosing paragraph calls it ""refreshing"" to ""note how fundamental the colonial era is to so many of our institutions (whether we are speaking of foods and cookery or of the federal Constitution) and appreciate the many ways in which that vital era is reflected in our present."" But to us the only ways in which it is reflected in today's characteristic frozen dinners, carcinogenic frankfurters and MacDonald's labor practices are not particularly refreshing to contemplate. And Linda Grant de Pauw (see KR p. 1196, J-402) might wonder at the righteous vituperation vented on ""soul food"" (now a ""fad cuisine""), though recipes for red flannel hash and hush puppies are passed on with approval (though not without modifications--the hash begins with canned corned beef). Most of PeWs other recipes are also for breads and puddings--usually corn based though some from the prosperous German middle colonies used wheat. Probably most readers won't mind the shortcuts and most teachers will be content with PeWs indifferent history, but don't expect to pull out any bicentennial plums.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Seabury