Consistent with last week’s diet of food-related posts, here’s a book worth sinking your teeth into: Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History (California Studies in Food and Culture) by William Woys Weaver. This is a stunning collection of “enchanting designs, appealing colors, and forgotten motifs that stir the imagination.” Included is an assortment of ephemera, postcards, match covers, menus, labels, posters, brochures, valentines, packaging, advertisements, and other tasty paper from nineteenth- and twentieth-century America,” says the publisher. And they ain’t ‘xaggeratin’.
Internationally acclaimed food historian William Woys Weaver takes us on a lively tour through this dazzling collection in which each piece tells a new story about food and the past. Packed with fascinating history, the volume is the first serious attempt to organize culinary ephemera into categories, making it useful for food lovers, collectors, designers, and curators alike. Much more than a catalog, Culinary Ephemera follows this paper trail to broader themes in American social history such as diet and health, alcoholic beverages, and Americans abroad. It is a collection that, as Weaver notes, will “transport us into the vicarious worlds of dinners past, brushing elbows with the reality of another time, another place, another human condition.”