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I am excited by the topic, and I enjoy anything about the cultural history or anthropology of food. This book was my special download for a week at an East Coast beach, and it turned out to be a strange choice.
The first chapter (the history of the WPA in general, and the regional food essays in particular) was fascinating. But I found that once the audio veered into the recipes themselves, I kept falling asleep. I would awaken VERY HUNGRY, and having brown sugar, vinegar, ham hock, and a pinch of mustard on my mind.
Positives - The recipes and stories are quite interesting. My favorite parts were the history of the clambake, and maple sugaring.
Negatives - the audiobook is not suited to searching and using the recipes. It is very frustrating that the information is, for all intents, inaccessible to me as a cook. I use an iPod Touch - perhaps there is another format that is searchable, but it is in no way as useful as a paper text for experimentation in the kitchen. In addition, listening to lists of ingredients for ten hours was too much even for me, though by the end of my vacation I did finish it.
On another note, I found that the author's choice of dramatizing Southern Black voices sounded really awkward, and I would have recommended some other strategy. (The author has, otherwise, a Northern accent.) I realize that there are many ways to approach this kind of thing in an audiobook - I just didn't think it was successful.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Food of a Younger Land again? Why?
Yes, I'd listen to it again as I'm sure there are parts that would sink in better on a second listen.
What other book might you compare The Food of a Younger Land to and why?
Any of the WPA writers guides to the states.
What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?
Easy to listen to. Good pronunciation
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
yes. I found the history of the project fascinating and a great way to learn about food history in the US. I'm surprised how many foods which were common in the late 1930s are unknown today and how much food in the US has become homogenized over the last 70 years.