In Hometown Appetites, an award-winning food writer and a leading university archivist come together to revive the legacy of the most important food writer you’ve never heard of.
Clementine Paddleford was a Kansas farm girl who grew up to chronicle America’s culinary habits. Her weekly readership at the New York Herald Tribune topped 12 million during the 1950s and 1960s, and she earned a salary of $250,000. Yet 20 years after “America’s best-known food editor” passed away, she had been forgotten. Until now.
At a time when few women worked outside the home, Paddleford flew her own Piper Cub to meet her readers and find out what was for dinner. Before Paddleford, newspaper food sections were dull primers on home economy. But she changed all of that, composing her own brand of sassy, unerringly authoritative prose designed to celebrate regional home cooking. Her magnum opus, a 1960 book called How America Eats, reveals an appetite for life that was insatiable.
This book restores Paddleford’s name where it belongs: in the pantheon alongside those of James Beard and Julia Child.
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