A Food Biography
By (author) Erica J. Peters
Publication date:22 August 2013
Length of book:242 pages
San Francisco is a relatively young city with a well-deserved reputation as a food destination, situated near lush farmland and a busy port. San Francisco's famous restaurant scene has been the subject of books, but the full complexity of the city's culinary history is revealed here for the first time. This food biography presents the story of how food traveled from farms to markets, from markets to kitchens, and from kitchens to tables, focusing on how people experienced the bounty of the City by the Bay.
Part of the Big City Food Biography series, this book examines all that is unique about San Francisco through the development of its renowned cuisine. Beginning with customs of San Francisco’s earliest Native American residents whose migratory lifestyle enabled them to sample all existing plant and animal life, Peters tours the Northern Californian food scene through the ages, discussing the influence of immigrant groups as they populate the city. The book examines the contributions of the Chinese, Italians, French, Latin American populations as well as the influence of the bohemian culture. Among the notable individuals, Peters discusses Mary Ellen Pleasant, a black woman who arrived in the early years of the Gold Rush and became one of the first entrepreneurs in the food industry, and Auguste Marinoux and Andre Benadou, who are credited with opening the city’s first French restaurant back in 1849. Peters’s clear and engaging style of writing eases readers through the evolution of farmer’s markets to the rise of the corner grocery store and eventually the prevailing supermarkets. A section on famous restaurants and signature dishes completes this comprehensive work. Photos.