How much can we learn about a different culture from its food choices, in terms of local produce, preparation, and eating habits? In this comprehensive four-volume reference work, Ken Albala and a team of dedicated food scholars show how we can begin to understand the ways different cultures are formed and shaped by eating practices and behaviours. Volume II shines a spotlight on the Americas, and tracks systematically through a spread of the countries in the region. For each country featured there is a Food Culture Snapshot, an exposé of the Major Foodstuffs, Cooking, Typical Meals, Eating Out practices - where relevant- and entries on Special Occasions, Diet and Health, as well as region-specific traditional recipes.
In this volume, observations range from how the Catholic calendar affect eating habits in Argentina, to details of the impact of the introduction of new foodways to native Hawaiians’ health. Through the presentation of these aspects of cuisine and food-related habits together, Albala et al move towards a theory of food culture. Accessibly written and vastly wide-ranging in scope, the volume is dotted throughout with exciting recipes for the reader to try, and provides a definitive foundation for anyone seeking to understand how a spotlight on food can bring together the numerous threads that compose a society.