“Food: Transforming America’s Table 1950-2000,”

 

Life Magazine 1962 shows the then bounty.

Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook 

As you visit the exhibit showcasing our food culture over the last five decades, it’s most interesting to see how quickly old styles make quick turn-arounds. On a momentary side trip, let’s look at some food culture changes taking place now in the US. One huge new direction is gluten-free baked goods. It turns out it’s not that difficult to put to put together the ingredients yourself with a combination of rice flours, cornstarch, cornmeal and even bean flours available. In the near future I’ll be sharing some incredible recipes for gluten-free goodies.

Another big push is to forego the sugar and I applaud this one. One of the most unique products I’ve heard of is the Numi line of teas which according to the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, is now selling savory teas. Tomato mint, beet cabbage, broccoli cilantro, spinach chive, fennel spice and carrot curry are the new varieties which fall between a GMO-FREE tea and a light broth. 

 Veggies are HUGE as they should be, however, the Crispy Carrot Chocolate Bar with orange powder and bits of dehydrated carrots macerated in orange juice makes us scratch our head! 

Julia’s authentic kitchen transported in exact placement to the Smithsonian.

On to the Smithsonian American History Museum 

Remember when this was the hottest, healthiest thing going? Who knew?

In the words of the Smithsonian, whether convenient, fast, organic, processed, gourmet, ethnic, or local, the foods available to Americans have never been more plentiful and diverse, or more ripe for discussion. Coupled with big changes in who does the cooking, where meals are consumed, and what we know (or think we know) about what’s good for us, the story of Americans and food in the last half of the 20th century is about much more than what’s for dinner.

The center of the exhibit was Julia Child and her authentic kitchen (save the floor), complete in detail and arrangement to the real thing in MA.

 Julia Child’s KitchenOne of the Smithsonian’s most popular artifacts, the kitchen contains the tools, equipment, and furnishings arranged exactly as they were when Julia donated it to the museum. She was an important force who changed the way many Americans think about and prepare food; she inspired many cooks to venture into unfamiliar cuisines and encouraged them to enjoy cooking and to share the pleasures of the table.

Culinary equipment one can’t live without!

One Big Table: The Cultural Exchange

 

Now enters the “touchy, feely” side of the food scene.

This is by no means all of the exhibit, just some highlights. Don’t miss the American wine scene, banishing that loaf of bread and iceberg lettuce-the head that swept across our country!

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