"Tell me where your grandmother came from and I can tell you how many kinds of pie you serve for Thanksgiving," wrote Clementine Paddleford.
Although NPR's Weekend Edition terms the Kansas-born Paddleford a "forgotten food writer," as her biographer Kelly Alexander makes clear, the pioneering culinary anthropologist casts a long shadow. A gifted writer and editor, Paddleford chronicled the history of American food for the better part of the 20th century, flying herself around the country in a single-engine plane. As she summed it up, "I have eaten with crews on fishing boats and enjoyed slum gullion at a Hobo Convention," she wrote. "How does America eat? She eats on the fat of the land. She eats in every language. For the most part, however, even with the increasingly popular trend toward foreign foods, the dishes come to the table with an American accent." [NPR]