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All You Can Eat: A Culinary History of America
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
$15 Student Promotion
Food permeates almost every facet of our daily lives. We think about food all the time, but that doesn’t have to mean just meal-planning, calorie-counting, or deciding what to order for takeout. We can also think about food historically. “It’s as American as apple pie” is a common saying, but what actually makes apple pie “American?”
In reality, food culture has changed along with American society. The foods our grandparents considered “normal” were vastly different than what we eat today. Throughout American history, food has been a battleground where culture, ethnicity, race, and identity clash. In fact, in the 1890s, New Yorkers found the Italian immigrant dish of spaghetti with tomato sauce to be so threatening to American values that some sought to outlaw it. Hamburgers, too, were once viewed by many Americans to be a disgusting foreign food.
Allen Pietrobon, an assistant professor of global affairs at Trinity Washington University and an award-winning historian, guides a culinary tour that explores our food culture since 1850 and examines how what Americans ate both drove and reflected historical changes in the country. Learn how immigration, economic forces, politics, religion, gender, foreign policy, and debates over national identity all have played a role in determining what went into our bellies.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)