“What is patriotism but the love of food one at as a child?” –Lin Yutang
The food I ate as a child was Italian-American–garlic, vinegar, tomatoes, and pasta. Desserts were flavored with almond and lemon, rich with ricotta. So traditional colonial American food–baked beans, corn breads, chowders–have a whiff of the exotic. But at certain times of the year we all feel true blue. Thanksgiving strikes me as a skin-of-the-teeth feast–boldly facing down hovering famine. But by Fourth of July, we’ve come through the worst. Weapons can be turned into toy sparklers and we celebrate with ice cream.
As Ann Chandonnet shows in Colonial Food, American foodways were more than just beans, corn, and chowder. Each of the colonies had its own native and settler food ingredients and traditions. And what’s more patriotic than recalling the food we ate as a young nation?