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Minnesota Ethnic Food Book


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This effort of two folklorists and a home economist (Hoover) combines a study of the past and present ``foodways'' of 14 ethnic groups in Minnesota with representative recipes. The authors gauge the effects of time, changes in the groups' economic and social status and recent immigration on traditional eating and cooking practices. The fascinating subject is, unfortunately, limited by the book's plodding narrative style. As it stands, the work is serviceable; it preserves much lore about the eating and cooking habits of Minnesota's blacks, Italians, Ojibways, Germans, Hmongs of Laos and other ethnic groups, along with some of their characteristic, easily adaptable recipes. Many offerings are familiar: Jewish challah, Greek baklava, Italian meatballs, German sauerbraten. Chefs who are experienced in ethnic cuisines and have a folklorist bent may find it of interest to see how a Minnesotan of Swedish descent adapts kram pudding, a rural recipe originally made from wild berries and fruits, to an urban environment by substituting frozen-concentrated fruit juices. Photos not seen by PW. (October)

""The authors have created a smorgasbord, a sampler, a banquet of ethnic foodways in Minnesota."

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