The Kitchen Reader: The Warmest Room in the House


For this month's Kitchen Reader, we read The Warmest Room in the House: How the Kitchen Became the Heart of the American Home by Steve Gdula.

This book had much more breadth than depth, but it was a nice overview of how our history has shaped the food we eat and visa-versa.  It was full of little interesting factoids--for example, according to the book, salads came into vogue in the twenties and thirties when women's clothing changed (I'm picturing flapper dresses) in a way that didn't allow them to camouflage extra weight anymore.  Hamburger Helper was introduced to make something yummy out of cheap hamburger during lean economic times in the seventies.  And microwaves came about when a defense engineer accidentally melted his candy bar by getting it too close to a magnetron.  

While it got a little tedious towards the end, I did learn quite a lot.  It's not for everyone, but I think general trivia junkies and kitchen anthropologists would all really enjoy this book.