It might resemble a culinary history text, but its recipes are far from relics. The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table (Simon & Schuster, $32), by Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz, comprises a sort of gastronomic timeline of the 20th century. With 10 distinct chapters—one for each decade—the book is filled with history-inspired recipes from celebrated chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson and Ruth Reichl. For 1912, there’s a nod to the fancy dinners served aboard a sinking Titanic with a recipe for Quenelles à la Lyonnaise (dumplings made with sole). To commemorate Clarence Birdseye’s development of the “quick freeze” process in 1924, there’s a cheeky “I Can’t Believe It’s the Middle of Winter” Pea Soup. Later on, there are Disco Cake Balls for 1978, and a whole gang of Breakfast Club Cocktails for 1985. With smashing full-color photographs and plenty of personality, this creative collection is both educational and inspirational.
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