The United States has some amazing and very diverse food traditions. Perhaps you’re interested in “Mississippi Mullet Salad,” also referred to as “Biloxi Bacon” (certainly more appetizing by that name). And sure, Boston has its baked beans recipe (it is Bean Town after all), but are you aware of “Nebraska Baked Beans”?
Author Mark Kurlansky pulls off a truly intriguing and unique project in his book The Food of a Younger Land. Kurlansky poured through the lost files of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) – a Great Depression era, New Deal program that hired thousands of writers across the country to piece together a thorough look at how Americans ate. The project was called America Eats. Sadly, it was interrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and subsequent focus on World War II and was never finished.
Ultimately, The Food of a Younger Land is a patchwork of recipes and food stories from the America Eats project. Each of America’s many, many food traditions is worthy of being remembered, if for no other reason than the curiosity of history. Kurlansky has provided a great service by assembling this book. After all, you never know when you might like to try “Indian Persimmon Pudding,” or “Georgia Possum and Taters.”