American Food in the 1930s

Monday, December 22, 2008

Find out what Americans were eating in the 1930s...from fish fries to chitlin feasts and Brunswick stew! Pat Willard tells us about a 1935 WPA project, which assigned out-of-work writers to report on American regional cuisine. Her new book is America Eats!.

Weigh in: Do you know what were you, your parents, or your grandparents were eating in the U.S. in the 1930s?


Pat Willard

Comments [5]

Joe Burns from nj

Re: politics and bbq. A recently defeated NC politician put his defeat down to a widely reported comment that he would rather die than eat another plate of barbecue.

Dec. 22 2008 01:55 PM
anonyme from ny ny


try or - it's amazing what you will find! It's global. I found an out-of-pritn French cookbook (France) in a bookstore in Turkey without leaving my desk. We found a book on French parquets in a Durch bookstore... I am trying to fidn teh catat=logue from a Guggenheim exhibit from 1997 (I think) on Drawings from the Albertina and the Guggenheim - it was a fabulous show and they were out of catalogues by the time I got there. something like Durer to Rauschenberg - it will turn up one day, I know it.

Dec. 22 2008 01:45 PM
Rocky from Manhattan

Sorry - this is off topic (though on the topic, I'd say this is a fun segment but how can you talk about traditional Minnesota cooking w/o mentioning hotdish??).
My father wrote for the WPA, not about food, but rather a History of Minnesota. I understand histories of all (or most) of the states were written by WPA folks.
I remember a beautiful leather, gold embossed edition in my home - it got thrown out when my mother died and the hose was sold. I've tried to find a copy w/o success - I wonder if there's a source that I don't know....

Dec. 22 2008 01:39 PM
A. Nonnie Muss from East Village, NYC

It would be great if we could have a WPA-esque project like this now -- not to report on what people are eating, but to educate them about what they could be eating: fresh, local produce (i.e., instead of processed junk). There are too many neighborhoods in which people don't have access to decent, healthful, FRESH local food.

Dec. 21 2008 08:12 PM
paul usai from brooklyn ny

I remember my grandparents making meatless meatballs in a vegatable and potato soup. They were the parents of thirthteen chjidren.

Dec. 20 2008 01:39 PM

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