Dames Who Read: Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine

June’s Dames Who Read book is EIGHT FLAVORS The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman.

The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population that makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In “a unique and surprising view of American history…richly researched, intriguing, and elegantly written” (The Atlantic), Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.

She begins in the archives, searching through economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records. She pores over cookbooks and manuscripts, dating back to the eighteenth century, through modern standards like How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Lohman discovers when each of these eight flavors first appear in American kitchens—then she asks why.

When: Tuesday, June 19, 6 p.m.

Where: The Spice House, 1512 North Wells, Chicago

More details TBD


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