Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6⅜ x 9¼
978-1-4422-2738-5 • Hardback • November 2014 • $55.00 • (£42.00)
978-1-4422-2739-2 • eBook • November 2014 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Heather Arndt Anderson, a Portland native, is a freelance journalist and food writer. She is the author of Breakfast: A History (AltaMira Press, 2013) and Portland: A Food Biography (Rowman & Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy, 2014). She is presently writing Chilies: A Global History. In a previous life, she was a plant ecologist and blogger. She plays hobby-homesteader in Portland with her husband, son, cats, and chickens.
Chapter 1: The Material Resources: Rivers, Valleys, Volcanoes and Sky
Chapter 2:The Chinook and Kalapuya People: Salmon, Camas and Wapato
Chapter 3:The Old World Meets the Wild West Oregon”
Chapter 4:Immigrants: Their Neighborhoods and Contributions
Chapter 5:To Market, To Market: Going Grocery Shopping
Chapter 6:Perusing the Menu: Eating Out in Stumptown’s Oldest Restaurants
Chapter 7:Drink Up: Breweries, Saloons and Bars
Chapter 8: Like Mother Used to Make: Historic Cookbooks and Home Cooking
Epilogue: A Gustatory Wonderland
In this book, the fourth in Ken Albala’s 'Big City Food Biographies' series, Portland native Anderson, author of Breakfast, provides a personal and historical narrative of Portland’s rich culinary culture. The book begins with the evolution of the region’s natural resources, regional Native American foodways, and the rapid invasion of East Coast, midwestern, southern, and immigrant culinary influences. The largest chapter focuses on immigrant neighborhoods and their culinary contributions, with significant attention paid to the history of Portland’s Chinatown(s) as well as Jewish, Volga German, and Mexican influences. Other chapters include information on historical restaurants, famous watering holes, and historic cookbooks. Portland natives and newcomers will appreciate the loving attention that Anderson gives to the past. . . .This book will be valuable for culinary historians and a must have for Oregon history collections and culinary collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.
— Choice Reviews
The book is filled with tidbits that foodies will relish.. . .The biggest challenge of writing food history is that sources are spotty and ephemeral: random accounts of travelers, old newspaper ads, memoirs, cookbooks, and trade literature. Anderson makes a significant contribution by retrieving otherwise lost stories and weaving together disparate threads to create this first account of Portland’s unique food heritage. While the book does not seek to explicate how that heritage gave rise to today’s vibrant food scene, Portland: a Food Biography is an excellent read for locals who want to have a deeper sense of their city and its food traditions, and it will also interest historians seeking to better understand the critical urban hub of Oregon’s food history.
— Oregon Historical Quarterly
Heather Arndt Anderson’s latest book, Portland: A Food Biography, connects the history of Portland, Oregon, to changes in its local cuisine through an engaging and humorous narrative. Her book touches on topics familiar to academic historians, such as the environment, first peoples, settlers, immigrants, class, gender, and race, but her work also targets a wider audience. Chapters on markets, restaurants, and breweries, in addition to stories about local personalities and recipes from pioneer cookbooks, make for an accessible history that will appeal to native Portlanders, those interested in local history, and visitors looking for a fun place to go out to eat or drink.... One of the strengths of this book ... is the attention that Anderson gives to the roles that gender, race, and class played in Portland’s food history. Anderson’s focus on how women, racial minorities, and working-class people shaped the history of food in Portland adds an important dimension to our understanding of the city’s 'food biography' ... [H]er narrative is entertaining and mostly humorous.... Portland: A Food Biography is a must-read for anyone interested in Portland’s food history.
— Pacific Northwest Quarterly
Heather Arndt Anderson has done it again. Portland: A Food Biography is a brilliant book full of history and food. Heather obviously has a passion for food and it comes across very clearly in her book, but that’s not all that is here. She uses food, the common denominator for all the residents of the city, as a way in to history. Starting before Portland was a city she tells us about the setting, what grew here and what people ate. The book gives a good feel for Portland’s natural setting, its indigenous flora and fauna and the lives that people have lived here in all of the historical eras. It is an exciting way to write history, and it is fun to read. She has written not only the tastiest history of my favorite city, but also the most filling.
— J.D. Chandler, author, Hidden History of Portland, OR and Murder and Mayhem in Portland, OR
From Native American and pioneer food histories to later immigrant traditions Heather Arndt Anderson's deeply-researched book explores Portland's long connection with the bounty of the land.
— Tracy J. Prince, Ph.D., Portland State University
It’s a mighty twisty culinary path from wapato wonderland, via boiled wheat mush and crab Louis salad, to Portland’s present prominence as a land of lush local liquoring and foodcarts galore. Portland: A Food Biography is a fast and colorful run down that path, and at the end you may be panting for more—more food, more beverages, more time-tinged tales of eating in a bountiful place.
— Richard H. Engeman, historian and author of Eating It Up in Eden: the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Cookbook and The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane
Food is such a critical part of history. Food and foodways have shaped the destiny of every empire in human history, as much as or more than anything else, and yet the topic is barely glanced at in most history books. In this wonderfully readable, enjoyable and thoroughly researched book, Heather Arndt Anderson fills a great need for local historians in the Pacific Northwest and for those who would like a taste of what life was like at mealtime for their great-great-grandparents. History buffs, genealogists, and foodies all will love this book, both for the fantastic tidbits the author has uncovered in her research and for the sheer pleasure of her writing voice.
— Finn J.D. John, author of Wicked Portland; public historian