Episode 223: Chicago: A Food Biography

You don t need anybody to tell you Chicago is a food city or to extol the virtues of chicken Vesuvio deep dish pizza a jibarito South Side rid tips or a Vienna Beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun of course Perhaps less well known is how Chicago s cuisine developed or how the city became the first modern industrial food center both of which are explored in Chicago A Food Biography by Daniel R Block and Howard Rosing Chicago Tribune A fascinating food history of Chicago revealing the reasons many unexpected why this city s cuisine is so diverse and rich An essential read for anyone interested in food and culinary history Jennifer McLagan the author of award winning Bitter A Taste of the World s Most Dangerous Flavor with Recipes An interesting foray into Chicago s influence on food and food s influence on Chicago Denese Neu PhD author of Chicago by the Pint a Craft Beer History of the Windy City Anyone interested in American food history must know a lot about the indispensable heart Chicago The nation s historic food production and commodity distribution center home to every ethnic food in America Chicago always has been an innovative culinary center How this came about is told in Block and Rosing s well researched and engagingly written work A complex story very well told it is the best survey to date Bruce Kraig co-editor Food City The Encyclopedia of Chicago Food and Man Bites Dog Hot Dog Culture in America Chicago A Food Biography is as much a history of today s industrial food system as a story of the evolving food culture of Chicago While Chicago has been a melting pot for today s food industry the city has remained a veritable stew of ethnic cuisine The book is a good read for anyone interested in food and a must read for anyone interested in both food and Chicago John E Ikerd professor emeritus University of Missouri Columbia Chicago s food traditions are no less towering than the skyscrapers that define its skyline Deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs loom large in the culinary landscape as does the influence of Chicago chefs like Rick Bayless Grant Achatz and the late Charlie Trotter In Chicago A Food Biography geographer Daniel R Block and anthropologist Howard B Rosing chronicle Chicago s swift evolution from frontier town to food capital a path paved by meat and corn migration and modern industrialization and make a strong case for Chicago as the most American of cities Meryl Rosofsky MD writer and adjunct professor of Food Studies New York University Click here to visit this podcast episode