Hometown Appetites : The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate
The rollicking biography of Clementine Paddleford: "a go- anywhere, taste-anything, ask-everything kind of reporter who traveled more than 50,000 miles a year in search of stories. . . . matched as a regional-food pioneer only by James Beard." (R. W. Apple , Jr., The New York Times)
In Hometown Appetites, an award-winning food writer and a leading university archivist come together to revive the legacy of the most important food writer you have never heard of. Clementine Paddleford was a Kansas farm girl who grew up to chronicle America's culinary habits. Her weekly readership at the New York Herald Tribune topped 12 million during the 1950s and 1960s and she earned a salary of $250,000. Yet twenty years after "America's bestknown food editor" passed away, she had been forgotten-- until now.
At a time when few women worked outside the home, Paddleford flew her own Piper Cub to meet her readers and find out what was for dinner. Before Paddleford, newspaper food sections were dull primers on home economy. But she changed all of that, composing her own brand of sassy, unerringly authoritative prose designed to celebrate regional home cooking. Her magnum opus, a book called How America Eats, published in 1960, reveals an appetite for life that was insatiable. This book restores Paddleford's name where it belongs: in the pantheon alongside those of James Beard and Julia Child. It's a five-star read in the spirit of national bestsellers such as Heat and The United States of Arugula.
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August 31, 2009
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