Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration

Hasia R. Diner

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Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration

Hungering for America Italian Irish and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration Millions of immigrants were drawn to American shores not by the mythic streets paved with gold but rather by its tables heaped with food How they experienced the realities of America s abundant food

  • Title: Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration
  • Author: Hasia R. Diner
  • ISBN: 9780674011113
  • Page: 361
  • Format: Paperback
  • Millions of immigrants were drawn to American shores, not by the mythic streets paved with gold, but rather by its tables heaped with food How they experienced the realities of America s abundant food its meat and white bread, its butter and cheese, fruits and vegetables, coffee and beer reflected their earlier deprivations and shaped their ethnic practices in the new lMillions of immigrants were drawn to American shores, not by the mythic streets paved with gold, but rather by its tables heaped with food How they experienced the realities of America s abundant food its meat and white bread, its butter and cheese, fruits and vegetables, coffee and beer reflected their earlier deprivations and shaped their ethnic practices in the new land.Hungering for America tells the stories of three distinctive groups and their unique culinary dramas Italian immigrants transformed the food of their upper classes and of sacred days into a generic Italian food that inspired community pride and cohesion Irish immigrants, in contrast, loath to mimic the foodways of the Protestant British elite, diminished food as a marker of ethnicity And East European Jews, who venerated food as the vital center around which family and religious practice gathered, found that dietary restrictions jarred with America s boundless choices.These tales, of immigrants in their old worlds and in the new, demonstrate the role of hunger in driving migration and the significance of food in cementing ethnic identity and community Hasia Diner confirms the well worn adage, Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.

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      Posted by:Hasia R. Diner
      Published :2018-08-20T18:42:34+00:00

    One thought on “Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration

    1. Ngaire on said:

      So good. I particularly liked the chapter on Italian immigrants, although it made me really hungry. Imagine having to depend on some local lord to dish out olive oil a few times a year. I guess I had an image of Italians as big hearted, giving people (way to stereotype, Ngaire), and was a bit shocked that the nobility and landowners were a bunch of mean, stingy, misers who didn't care if their poorer neighbors existed primarily on bread and water. No wonder so many people left Italy and emigrate [...]

    2. Stephanie on said:

      For a "scholarly" book, this was an enjoyable read. Dr. Diner's concept of negotiation between the availability of food in the old country and in nineteenth century America was fascinating. The comparisons between Italian and Irish immigrant "foodways" also proved interesting. I'd definitely recommend this if you are studying American history, the history of food, immigration or culture.

    3. Marc on said:

      The food histories on Italians, Irish and Jews were completely engrossing but the concluding chapters felt like they were missing some of the comparative analysis required to really identify why their paths continued to diverge; otherwise, a fantastic read

    4. Deborah Mattes on said:

      The book was easy to read however I felt like it was written more like a college thesis than a book for general reading. There was quite a bit of repetition of main points. However I did learn some new and interesting facts, particularly about the immigrant groups before arriving in America. I thought there would be more information about the influence of these three groups upon one another as well.

    5. Emily on said:

      This is an amazing book on the foodways of three different ethnic groups (Italian, Irish, and Jewish emigrants) and how they sustain and evolve their food traditions after emigrating to the United States in the 19th Century. I had actually read the Italian chapters in undergrad, but loved reading the entire book from a current grad class: Culture & Cuisine: New England. Definitely recommend.

    6. David Weinfeld on said:

      An excellent comparative history of immigration through the lens of food. Enjoyable and informative.

    7. Ben Lariccia on said:

      I gained new insights thanks to this extremely well documented investigation.

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