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.