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As Long As We Both Shall Eat

A History of Wedding Food and Feasts

Claire Stewart

As Long as we Both Shall Eat is a culinary history of wedding feasts. Examining the various food customs associated with weddings in America and around the world, Claire Stewart not only provides a rich account of the foods most loved and frequently served at wedding celebrations, she also offers a glimpse into the customs and celebrations themselves, as they are experienced in the West and in various other cultures. She sheds light on the historical and contemporary significance of wedding food, and explores patterns of the varieties of conspicuous consumption linked to American wedding feasts in particular. There are stories of celebrity excess, and the book is peppered with accounts of lavish strange-but-true wedding tales. The antics of wealthy socialites and celebrities is a topic rich for exploration, and the telling of their exploits can be used to track the fads and changes in conventional and contemporary wedding feasts and celebrations. From cocktail hours to wedding cakes, showers to brunches, the food we enjoy to celebrate the joining of life partners helps bring us together, no matter our differences. Readers are treated to a tasty trip down the aisle in this entertaining and lively account of nuptial noshing. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 242Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-5713-9 • Hardback • April 2017 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-5714-6 • eBook • April 2017 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
Claire Stewart is Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management at CUNY at NYC College of Technology, City University of New York. She was executive chef at the Continental Club in New York City and executive sous chef at the Yale Club of New York City. She worked as chef tournant at Gee's Brassiere in Oxford, England and chef poissonier at Rainbow Room. Stewart was banquet chef at Highlawn Pavilion and a chef at Gracie Mansion in New York City. In her native California she worked as chef tournant at Delta King in Sacramento, and a chef garde manger at the Hyatt Regency. In addition to being chef owner of C to C Caterers, she worked as a server at Capriccio, and at Koya's, both in Rancho Cordova, California. Chef Stewart has been the resident beekeeper for the Durand-Hedden Historical House in Maplewood, NJ.
Introduction to the Menu
Chapter 1: A Brief History of Wedding Feasts
Chapter 2: Famous and Infamous Feasts
Chapter 3: The Last Hooray
Chapter 4: Showers of Food, Showers of Gifts
Chapter 5: Table Manners Matter
Chapter 6: Chicken or Beef? Religion and Wedding Food
Chapter 7: Jumping the Broom
Chapter 8: What Are You? Regional Cuisine
Chapter 9: Dating and Dining
Chapter 10: Champagne Anyone? The Toast
Chapter 11: Let Them Have Wedding Cake
Chapter 12: Do Me a Favor and Get me Some Rice
Chapter 13: Honeymoons and Food
Chapter 14: The Business of Love
Chapter 15: What’s Cooking Now?
Conclusion: You May Kiss the Cook
Of all the feasts that people eat, one of the most important, socially, is the wedding banquet. It’s a time for unabashed celebration of the happy couple, as family and friends gather to honor and cherish the duo’s commencement of their new life. Having herself cooked for hundreds of weddings, Stewart has witnessed all sorts of nuptial revelries. Many wedding feasts are shaped by religious and secular folkways and customs. American weddings have evolved over the past 200 years from simple postceremony breakfasts to today’s elaborate culinary productions. Stewart notes that during wartime, brides had to cut back and heed rationing strictures. She inventories myriad religious customs worldwide, ranging from Jewish dietary laws to Mormon, Sikh, and Buddhist customs. A chapter on African American practices moves across time from slavery through the present. Full of history and sociology, Stewart’s book will intrigue even those not tying the knot.

A fascinating read full of delicious detail. Stewart explores the diversity of American wedding food and wedding feast traditions.
Vicki Howard, Visiting Fellow, University of Essex; author of Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition