Perfection Salad by Laura Shapiro
Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century (Modern Library Food)

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Toasted marshmallows stuffed with raisins? Green-and-white luncheons? Chemistry in the kitchen? This entertaining and erudite social history, now in its fourth paperback edition, tells the remarkable story of America's transformation from a nation of honest appetites into an obedient market for instant mashed potatoes. In Perfection Salad, Laura Shapiro investigates a band of passionate but ladylike reformers at the turn of the twentieth century—including Fannie Farmer of the Boston Cooking School—who were determined to modernize the American diet through a "scientific" approach to cooking. Shapiro's fascinating tale shows why we think the way we do about food today.

About Laura Shapiro

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Laura Shapiro was on staff at Newsweek and is a contributor to the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Granta, and Gourmet. She is the author of Julia Child and Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America.
Published October 2, 2008 by University of California Press. 296 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Cooking, Parenting & Relationships, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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43) summarized Shapiro’s argument: the rise of domestic “science” spread from cooking schools to women’s magazines, hoping “to turn every home into a little laboratory.” Detailing some of the more risible facts gleaned from Shapiro’s narrative, we noted her account of the home-economics movement...

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