The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State

Harva Hachten, Author, Terese Allen, Author Wisconsin Historical Society Press $29.95 (391p) ISBN 978-0-87020-404-3
When journalist Hachten joined Wisconsin's State Historical Society in 1973, she inherited a regional cookbook project; after 10 years of work, Hachten produced a comprehensive cookbook attached to an important, definitive account of the immigrant pioneer experience and the evolving view of food and community in the Midwest. In this update, Wisconsin food columnist Allen expands the opus without upstaging Hatchen or muting her voice, taking the development of Wisconsin cuisine from wild gooseberry gathering and Native American gardens to current, ballooning demands for organic produce. Many engaging diversions crop up, including fascinating day-to-day accounts of pioneer life; after a tragically difficult transatlantic voyage (little fresh water, inedible food), future Wisconsin was more than welcoming, and settlers began recreating their native dishes as soon as it was economically feasible. Early settlers from Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and elsewhere gave the state iconic foods such as pasty (for meat pies) and the beloved brat, as well as community traditions like the fish fry. The 450 recipes, including traditional dishes like Bohemian Sausage and Lutefisk alongside homey favorites like Aunt Nellie's Drop Cookies, are the icing on this already-satisfying cake.
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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