Another recent read that was time well spent is David Kamp’s “The United States of Arugula…How We Became a Gourmet Nation.” I know the book is four years old, but I remembered reading interesting reviews, so I grabbed it. It is a fascinating history of what has become the “foodies” movement, which as the book clearly shows, has at least several definitions.
I have always focused on the growing side of this movement, starting with an interest in healthy soils that lead me to a horticultural degree in 1977. Many years later health considerations moved me to a more vegetarian diet and I learned Indian and Southeast Asian cooking. Today I help run an organic produce farm, so while growing remains central to my activities, I have come to appreciate the creative cook. But, I did not know “foodie” history and this book is a concise, entertaining introduction.
Another note: Just an indication on how new and unfinished all this dietary evolution is in the U.S., “Arugula,” one of the hottest new salad greens during the last decade, is not yet in MicroSoft Word’s spell check. Don’t even think about Tah Tsai.
Tags:Alice Waters, Chez Pannnisse, cookbooks, David Kamp, farmers markets, gardening, gourmet food, heirloom varieties, heirloom vegetables, home food production, local food movement, organic farming, organic gardening, regional food restaurants, salad greens, seasonal foods, sustainable food, sustainably produced foods, United States of Arugula, Urban agriculture