Eight Flavors by Sarah Lohman

Eight Flavors

This unique culinary history of America offers a fascinating look at our past and uses long-forgotten recipes to explain how eight flavors changed how we eat.The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population which makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powde...

Details Eight Flavors

TitleEight Flavors
Release DateDec 6th, 2016
PublisherSimon & Schuster
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, History, Cooking, Cookbooks, Foodie

Reviews Eight Flavors

  • Navidad Thelamour
    Sarah Lohman’s Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine offers an eclectic and thought-provoking survey into American culinary culture and palettes. She traces our culinary roots and, through professional and personal experience, as well as meticulous research, offers up the history of eight spices that can be found in modern American kitchens today. But where did these spices come from, and how did they become so commonly used in ou...
  • John
    Every time the author mentioned some of her friends, I grew more envious that I am not one of them. I think she has to be one of the most interesting writers I've run across. In addition to writing, she gives food-related courses (lectures) regarding herbs and spices, which probably fill up within minutes of registration. What to expect? Each of the eight chapters serves as a jumping off point for a segment on American history along with a botani...
  • Ariela
    Enjoyed this unique take on history, food and the immigrant story. Not sure the author's thesis that these flavors were any more important than others really holds up, but the stories of each of the flavors were strong enough independently for me not to care that much. Also I rounded up this 3.5 star review because of her extensive citations. Respect from one historian to another.
  • Patty
    A nonfiction book about the history of American cooking. Lohman organizes the book around eight popular flavors, arranged chronologically as to their appearance in mainstream American food: black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and sriracha. Each has a chapter dedicated to it, which Lohman fills with stories of the people involved in the invention or popularizing of a flavor, such as Edmond Albius, a young sla...
  • Ran
    Sarah Lohman identifies eight flavors that she claims are common in American pantries, some of which might surprise you including: black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG (umami), and sriracha. She then investigates the origins of each flavor and its process of becoming American in our multi-national culture (largely teaching how to use said flavors). Lohman's thoughts on each flavor are just wonderfully creative...
  • Jennifer Stringer
    I actually really enjoyed this book, despite my husband's teasing about its "riveting" subject matter. In this book the author walks us through the introduction of certain flavors in US cuisine. Beginning with pepper and ending with Sriracha sauce, Lohman tells the story of how eight different flavors became part of the American palate. She included recipes from the earliest times of the their introductions and more modern uses. Pepper cookies, T...
  • Crystal
    An interesting, enjoyable read about the history of eight different now-American foods, including vanilla, curry, chili powder, MSG, soy sauce, sriracha, black pepper, and garlic. I got so wildly hungry over the vanilla and garlic sections. Recommended if you love food history.
  • Geoff
    An eye opening look (we have Martha Washington's cookbook ! It has a recipe for pepper molasses cookies! Ketchup was a replacement for hard to get soy sauce!) at how different flavors have been incorporated into American cooking. Fun, but seemed short for covering food history, immigration, travelogues, and recipes.
  • Allen Adams
    http://www.themaineedge.com/style/eig...In a lot of circumstances, eight isn’t a particularly high number. But according to a new book, the foundation of American cuisine through the centuries can be explored via just eight flavors.That’s the premise of the aptly-named “Eight Flavors” (Simon & Schuster, $26) by historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman. Subtitled “The Untold Story of American Cuisine,” the book purports to take the reader ...
  • Aliza Cotton
    Very well researched, combined historical facts with good recipes
  • Melyssa
    Great idea, interesting topic, but mediocre execution. I wasn't a big fan of the author's writing style, the stories seemed at times disorganized or lacking in depth, and there was too much "i went here and ate this and saw this and it was so cool!" The immigrant stories are fascinating but they fell flat emotionally for some reason. Lots of interesting factoids and trivia in this, and a truly fascinating topic though.
  • Whitney
    I found the history of the foods mentioned in this book interesting, but what I loved was the cultural diversity throughout the book. That really is what makes America so great and has been in our DNA since the beginning. When it comes to food, that diversity has given us our own unique American cuisine.
  • Corinne Edwards
    3.5/4 starsIn a country as new as ours (in the grand scheme of countries) and with the mesh of cultures we enjoy, our food customs are as colorful and varied as our citizens. What this book does, however, is lay out eight different FLAVORS that have made themselves an integral part of American kitchens and cuisine. These flavors are as varied as we are and while I was a bit dubious of her choices at first, our author convinced me. By laying out t...
  • Phyllis
    This is a very intriguing book. The eight flavors are, in order of appearance, black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and sriracha. Lohman's approach is to tell us nearly everything it is possible to know about each of these flavors and how they became such an important part of American (U.S.) cuisine.Lohman includes the science of each flavor, its chemical make-up, and how it acts in and on our bodies. She des...
  • Tamara Evans
    Very informative book not only for foodies but those who love to learn know the origin of things. The author explores how eight ingredients (black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sriracha) became staples in America cuisine. After having read this book, I finished with a deeper understanding of the history of food as well as a deeper appreciation for the melting pot that is America an...
  • Mauri
    I enjoyed this book so much I bought it after reading the library copy I read for the GR challenge. I want my own copy.I learned so much about the food and the flavors, but more about how integrated food history is to our political history. I would recommend it to anyone interested in food or US History, or to anyone who likes to cook more than white-bread food (the recipes are attractive as well). I already made the Black Pepper Brown Sugar Cook...
  • Robin
    Read this after hearing the author speak at a very unique event in Providence, RI. Providence Public Library, Lippitt House and the RI Historical Society all teamed up to offer events around the theme of Relishing Rhode Island. This was a paid event which offered samples of food from the book. I LOVED hearing her speak, she's a dynamo and we were enthralled with the information we got from the book. So, being the librarian that I am, I borrowed t...
  • Katherine Pershey
    Such a fabulous book. I loved the breadth of history it takes to trace the way each of the flavors became part of American culture. This is a book about food - but also a book about identity, racism, geopolitics, immigration, tradition, culture... from the first paragraph, in which I geeked out about the author’s association with Hale Farm (#northeastohio), I just loved every page. (If you can love pages when you’re listening to the audiobook...
  • Clay
    I try not to give books a 5 star rating. In my mind, 3 stars = Eh? You may enjoy it if you have an interest. 4 stars=If this is your genre/style/time period, you should check it out. 5 stars = Everyone should read this book. It achieves everything the author set out to do. Eight Flavors deserves 5 stars. It's fascinating from the first page. Is very well researched and enormously entertaining. You like food, you should read this book.
  • Cari
    Fun, quick read. If you are a foodie, you will enjoy this book. Interesting take on the origins of popular tastes in our American pantry. No spoilers, but to give you a "taste," early settlers used rose water instead of vanilla in baking. Why? Trade and availability. The French and one of our founding fathers helped bring one of the most popular staples to the American kitchen. Again, worth your time if you enjoy food culture and I am still stink...
  • Betsy
    Well researched and entertaining, this is a good blend of history and food, with some recipes thrown in too. On a few occasions the writing seemed a bit cutesy, perhaps the author worried about being too academic. For foodies who also like history, this is good pick.
  • Gr8Reader
    Despite to being able to recall half of the flavors 3 days after finishing the book, I enjoyed it. found the history of each flavor and how it came to America very interesting.....some fascinating. Recommend this for any foodie!
  • Kristin
    I came across this book as part of a multi-part series at the Tenement Museum, the author being an employee at this museum and a facilitator of the food events I attended.I may not have picked it up otherwise, but was glad that I did. As someone interested in both food and culture/sociology, this book hit the spot. Fun background on the history of some of America's favorite flavors, and good arguments as to why flavors that we might not otherwise...
  • Violeta
    I really enjoyed reading the historical and political backgrounds of the eight flavors. I wish Lohman's writing style were a little bit more literary and a little bit less hipster though.
  • Jackie Kropp
    Wonderful. Can't wait to read more of her work.
  • Karen
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I heartily recommend it. 4 1/2 stars.
  • Aubrey
    I am obsessed with this book! Lohman's exploration of the eight prevalent flavors of American cuisine explores American history, culinary history, and science in the most fascinating and captivating way. I have a new appreciation for so many facets of the food that previously seemed ordinary. Also, this book does an incredible job of highlighting the true character of America and Americans through food. It makes me really proud of this crazy coun...
  • Janet Martin
    An interesting history of some ingredients important in the US diet--from colonial times to the creation of sriracho only a few years ago. A nice read with a very few recipes more interesting than practical
  • Kinsey Underbrink
    I loved this book! America's culinary history is incredibly interesting. I wish she would have pronounced pho correctly. That drove me nuts.
  • Vegantrav
    Black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha--Eight Flavors gives a highly informative gustatory, scientific, culinary, cultural, and historical background for each flavor. The book is a quick read written in a breezy, conversational tone, and if you love these flavors or just have a general interest in cooking, I highly recommend Eight Flavors.