There has never been a history of San Francisco cuisine that covers two centuries of our raucous restaurants, floorboard-squeaking saloons, and self-righteous food movements, until now. Erica Peters' book covers the gamut of San Francisco's food history, and makes me proud to call myself a San Francisco native. Peters navigates San Francisco's storied food scene as no other author ever has. (Celia Sack, Omnivore Books on Food)

 

****

 

For anyone curious about how San Francisco’s foods and restaurants became world-recognized icons of American regional cuisine, this book is a terrific place to begin. (Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University; author of What to Eat)


****

 

San Francisco... is the West's gastronomic capital [and] serves as inspiration for most all contemporary American cooking. So this history of the city's markets, restaurants, cookbooks, and signature dishes comes at the perfect moment...Not just for regional collections, this treatise appeals to anyone who savors San Francisco past and present. (Booklist)

 

****


Perched on the edge of a continent with connections east and west, San Francisco is both grittily genuine and breezily cosmopolitan...Scholarly yet readable, this aptly titled "food biography" of the city traces the development of its restaurants and food culture, reflecting its complex fabric of customs and ethnicities. (Library Journal)


****

 

In the rigorously researched San Francisco: A Food Biography, Erica J. Peters shows how food is culture, as lived day to day. From the native inhabitants to the missionaries to waves of immigrants: 'In California, the epicureans are not the favored few, but the great democracy.' The fixation on local ingredients, the diversity of restaurants, the prejudices --- this book overflows with goodies that will surprise and delight. (Sheila Himmel, San Francisco Bay Area food journalist)

 

****


Erica Peters takes us on a delightful culinary tour through San Francisco by mapping the city and the larger Bay Area through the flavors, aromas, and histories of its food cultures. This is not merely voyeuristic tourism but a serious and seriously pleasurable encounter with the many people who have made San Francisco home over the past several centuries and whose food traditions have turned the City into a diverse culinary scene that has in turn shaped California cuisine and culinary traditions around the world. This delectable journey is just as satisfying as being able to sample San Francisco's culinary bounties in person. (Melissa L. Caldwell, professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz)

 


 

Praise for Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam

 

Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam is food studies at its best, but it is also much more. Erica J. Peters demonstrates, with both intellectual elegance and a deeply rooted sense of food, how culinary choices are a marker of historical change. Using a diverse array of sources, she goes against the grain to explore everyday life in Vietnam in the long nineteenth century, affording a penetrating insight into what Vietnamese people wanted to be in a time of economic struggle and colonialism, and into how ordinary people experienced habitus and change, adaptation and contestation, even creativity. Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam is a gourmet meal that leaves the reader satisfied…. The wide range of narratives of food Peters explores … sheds new light on disparities of gender, ethnicity, and wealth. Food may have been a tool of imperialism; it certainly became a tool of nationalism in modern Vietnam. Nobody would have expected the history of a ‘fusion cuisine’ would tell as much. (Laurence Monnais, Université de Montréal) 

 

****

 

A reviewer of the wide-ranging Appetites and Aspirations could evaluate this rich study along any number of axes: economic history, the history of imperial and colonial Vietnam, or the history of race and ethnicity, to name a few...This fascinating and suggestive narrative of nineteenth-century imperial and colonial Vietnam will appeal to a wide range of general readers and specialists.  (H-France)

 

****

 

Breaking new ground by examining colonial culinary history, Peters challenges the old saw that we are what we eat, suggesting instead that we eat what we want to be. By seeing the Vietnamese as well as the French as colonialists, by looking at the alcohol monopoly and imported foods, by exploring the role of the Chinese, and by teasing out cross-influences... Peters illuminates the complexity and instability of a hundred years of culinary change in Vietnam. A refreshingly original contribution to culinary studies. (Rachel Laudan, food historian)

 


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