Twain's Feast: Searching For America's Lost Foods In The Footsteps Of Samuel Clemens by Andrew BeahrsTwain's Feast: Searching For America's Lost Foods In The Footsteps Of Samuel Clemens by Andrew Beahrs

Twain's Feast: Searching For America's Lost Foods In The Footsteps Of Samuel Clemens

byAndrew Beahrs

Paperback | October 25, 2011

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“In this savory feast of ideas, Andrew Beahrs employs his curiosity and wit to reconstitute Twain’s original literary ingredients into an American meal that is both delicious and elucidating.”  — Nick Offerman

One young food writer's search for America's lost wild foods, from New Orleans croakers to Illinois prairie hens, with Mark Twain as his guide.

In 1879, Mark Twain paused during a European tour to compose a fantasy menu of the American dishes he missed the most. A true love letter to American food, the menu included some eighty specialties, from Mississippi black bass to Philadelphia terrapin. Andrew Beahrs chooses eight of these regionally distinctive foods, retracing Twain's footsteps as he sets out to discover whether they can still be found on American tables. Weaving together passages from Twain's famous works and Beahrs's own adventures, this travelogue-cum-culinary-history takes us back to a bygone era when wild foods were at the heart of American cooking.

Andrew Beahrs is the author of two novels, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Gastronomica, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Writer's Chronicle, among other publications. He lives in California with his family.
Title:Twain's Feast: Searching For America's Lost Foods In The Footsteps Of Samuel ClemensFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.4 × 5.55 × 0.73 inPublished:October 25, 2011Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143119346

ISBN - 13:9780143119340


Read from the Book

Diamondback terrapin hatchling, Neavitt, Maryland"Yesterday I had many things to do, but Bixby and I got with the pilots of two other boats and went off dissipating on a ten dollar dinner at a French restaurant--breathe it not unto Ma!--where we ate Sheep-head-fish with mushrooms, shrimps and oysters--birds--coffee with burnt brandy in it, &c &c, ate, drank & smoked from 1 PM until 5 o'clock, and then--then--the day was too far gone to do anything."Mark Twain, New Orleans, 1860. Creole mixed grill of sheepshead, shrimp, and lump crab: winning entry, 2009 Great American Seafood Cook-Off, New Orleans. To Make Cranberry TartsTo one pound of flour three quarters of a pound of butter, then stew your cranberry's to a jelly, putting good brown sugar in to sweeten them, strain the cranberry's and then put them in your patty pans for baking in a moderate oven for half an hour. Hannah Glass, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1805. Cranberry harvest, Cranberry Hill Farms, Plymouth, MassachusettsSaucing raccoon, Arkansas"I know the taste of maple sap, and when to gather it, and how to arrange the troughs and the delivery tubes, and how to boil down the juice, and how to hook the sugar after it is made, also how much better hooked sugar tastes than and that is honestly come by, let bigots say what they will."Mark Twain, Autobiography. Burning the tallgrass, Missouri

Editorial Reviews

"Beahrs, a wonderfully lucid, knowlesgable, and enthusiastic writer, uses Twain's gustatory passions as a map with which to explore the nation." —Chicago Tribune"Part offbeat literary study, part Blue Highways travelogue, part slow -food manifesto...lots of fun."  — The New York Times Book Review"What a gift this is! Inspired by the foods most loved by Mark Twain, Beahrs has given us a warm and nostalgic history of wild foods in the United States."  — Marion Nestle"A biography of Twain, a historical record, an elegy for what we have lost from our table, and spur to preserve what we still have."  — The Village Voice"Twain's Feast is a celebration of the way America used to eat ... Beahrs's attention to detail had my mouth watering."  — Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City "An instant classic in the literature of the table."  — Andrew Todhunter, author of A Meal Observed