Much Depends on Dinner

A cookbook, or a book about what you’re cooking? What’s the difference? Margaret Visser’s Much Depends on Dinner (McClelland and Stewart, 1986) said as much, long before the age of locavores. Equal parts history and gastronomy, Visser’s book explores a prosaic American meal—roast chicken, corn on the cob, salad, and ice cream—and finds brilliance in the banal by looking at the stories behind the foods. —Dan Barber, Blue Hill restaurants, New York City

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