Title: A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression
Authors: Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe
Publish Date: April 16, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The decade-long Great
Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social
landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s
relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse the
economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all
Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held
assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder."
My Two Cents:
"A Square Meal" explores
the food and the food culture during the Great Depression in the United
States. The Great Depression fundamentally changed the way that
Americans thought about and interacted with food. Food was, of course,
rationed and individuals didn't have control over what kind of food they
got many times. People were expected to do more with less and turn food
that may not have been the best into meals for their family.
book doesn't only explore what kind of food people made but the chain
reaction set off by food scarcity. It was the Great Depression that
first got the government involved in food relief for its own people.
Prior to that, local communities were left to care for their own with
what they had. The Great Depression was so wide ranging and hurt
communities far and wide that first states started to step in and then
the federal government. There were all sorts of logistics that various
organizations and levels of government had to grapple with in order to
make sure that people were able to get some sort of relief.
times of food scarcity, you make do with what you get. The book explores
a lot of what housewives did in order to stretch their rations. Let's
just say that creativity was key! One of my favorite parts of the book
was the recipes included and those talked about. There were tons of
cookbooks created during this time period in order to cater to the home
economist who was charged with feeding and nourishing their family.
this day and age, I am lucky enough to be able to go to the grocery
store, buy whatever I want, cook it, and feed my family. We have tons of
choices. This book made me appreciate that so much more! This is a
quirky look at an interesting history and it's definitely off the beaten