If turkeys and gingerbread cookies have left you dizzy with spices, consider taking a break to read Sarah Lohman’s Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine.
Eight Flavors is the story of the eight ingredients that have shaped American tastes, explaining how these flavors rose to popularity and what their presence says about our culture and history. Lohman, a historic gastronomist (say that 3 times fast), has spent her career researching the American palate. Her knowledge spans centuries, social classes, and cultures. Covering standbys like black pepper and sriracha, as well as vanilla, soy sauce, garlic, curry powder, chili powder, and even MSG, her book is “richly researched, intriguing, and elegantly written,” according to Atlantic.com. Bustle.com says “Warning: This book will make you hungry.”
You can check out the New York Times’ charming account of her unusual work here, and on her blog FourPoundsFlour.com.