May 14, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

American Appetite

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Leslie Brenner
genre
Cooking/Home
We gave it a B+

Much of the world considers the quality of U.S. cuisine pathetic. And with such native delicacies as Big Macs and TV dinners, who can blame them? But according to food journalist Leslie Brenner in American Appetite, our best chefs show a willingness to experiment seldom matched by their traditional European and Asian counterparts. In this meticulously researched history of American food that details everything from the tenets of nouvelle cuisine to the cult of fresh-food guru Alice Waters, we learn that while our form of culinary democracy isn’t perfect, its rewards are bounteous: For every choked-down bowl of Lucky Charms, we also have sumptuous nibbles — Smithfield ham, Carolina barbecue, Cajun redfish — to call our very own. B+

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