Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.
A common thread unites Ivy Mix's engaging Spirits of Latin America; "the chaotic intermixture between indigenous and European traditions" is still an inextricable facet of life for everyone who inhabits the "New World".
Cookbooks are rarely read as political or even narrative texts. However, alongside the recipes and lists of ingredients is often rich information about the ideologies and social structures that the foods are consumed within.
One of Bourdain's common themes in A Cook's Tour was eating meals that locals said "will make you strong." His focus was not on the bravado, however, but on the people involved in making local food, home cooks and restauranteurs alike.
Amy B. Trubek's Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook Today makes the familiar compellingly strange as meals become complex processes of self, other, and culture.
Honest and earnest hospitality, with no false face or bogus promises, is perhaps the most authentic type of performance art when it comes to matters of dining and drinking.