FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

Food in Print

While Betty Crocker cookbooks and The Joy of Cooking remained popular, new publications, especially Time-Life’s twenty-seven-volume series, Foods of the World, taught Americans how to prepare foods from around the globe, including regional America. Gourmet magazine, published since 1941, was appreciated by a small, affluent readership that sought its inspirations in food from foreign travel. Beginning in the 1950s, James Beard called attention to the best of French and American regional cooking and reached a wider audience.

In 1961, Julia Child’s first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking appeared and, together with her hit series on public television, set off an explosion of cookbooks, magazines, food writing, and food television. This information revolution in food nurtured a new food literacy that escalated throughout the 1990s.

Time-Life Foods of the World, 1968–72

Time-Life Foods of the World, 1968–72

Gift of Rayna Green

Gourmet, 1987

Gourmet, 1987

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1971 edition 

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1971 edition

 

Copper bowl and whisk, about 1950

From the moment Julia Child whisked eggs in this French copper bowl on the first test episode of The French Chef in 1963, she created a run on copper bowls, omelet pans, and whisks that had not been commonly available in stores. Gift of Julia Child.

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