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Hamburgers & Fries
By John T. Edge

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Hamburgers & Fries - An American Story

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Hamburgers & Fries - An American Story
By John T. Edge
Thorndike Press - Large Print Edition (2005)
ISBN: 0-7862-7929-X
Genre: Nonfiction - Cookery, Social Science

Reviewed by Herbert White - October 28, 2005

Hamburgers and fries are quid essential American fare. From the Golden Arches to the backyard barbecue, Americans consume an inordinate number of hamburgers along with untold pounds of french fries. In Hamburgers & Fries - An American Story, John T. Edge details the American obsession with this culinary treat. Edge not only details the evolution of Hamburgers and Fries into a National dish, but he also explores the varied ways that they are prepared around the country.

In many regards, this book is part social commentary and part travelogue. Edge takes the reader on a gastronomical tour, describing his visits to local eateries around the country. At each, he samples their burgers and fries, and describes what makes each establishment, or persons, burgers special. Interwoven with this culinary travelogue are tidbits about the social significance of each eatery to its local community, and the general history of the hamburger.

Hamburgers & Fries is the third book in Edge's culinary survey of America. The first two books, Fried Chicken and Apple Pie followed a similar pattern and each provides a unique snapshot of American life and culture. In Hamburgers & Fries, the combination of historical commentary, culinary insights, and the inclusion of fifteen recipes provides the reader with an unparalleled overview of the role that Hamburgers and Fries have in American culture.

Providing a glimpse at a unique aspect of American social history, Hamburgers & Fries is also a fun book to read. Edge's narrative style is jaunty and very friendly and his descriptions of food are mouth watering. Best of all, this book includes a variety of tasty recipes which range from I Love Jucy Lucy, a burger stuffed with cheese to Tallow-Poached Burgers which are sort of a deep-fried burger. More traditional recipes are also included, as are regional specialties.

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