Cookbook Analysis Guide
- Take a modern cookbook published recently or find a historic cookbook from here
- Describe what your cookbook tells us about American Culture/Food/Cuisine
- Apply the readings and our discussion to your analysis of the cookbooks
Questions to ask your cookbook
- What kind of assumptions does the author(s) make about cooking/cuisine/food?
- Is there a moral or political nutritional agenda baked into it?
- Who is the intended audience? What should they know? What should they care about?
- What kind of language (commands, narrative, etc) does the cookbook use?
- What kind of larger themes do the cookbooks appeal to (exotic, health, comfort, regional, national, hipster, classic, etc)?
- What are the various “national” or “ethnic” influences?
- Do you get a sense of where the recipes came from? (aside: does this class help?)
- What kinds of ingredients and recipes appear? What does NOT appear that you might have expected?
- How much does history or tradition matter to the recipes?
- What do the cookbooks say about “American Food”?
- You are being evaluated on the quality/depth of your ANALYSIS (based on class readings and discussion), NOT DESCRIPTION.