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The first and greatest book of regional American cuisine, now revised for today’s home cook. Imagine a person with the culinary acumen of Julia Child, the inquisitiveness of Margaret Mead, and the daring of Amelia Earhart. This is Clementine Paddleford, America’s first food journalist. In the 1930s, Paddleford set out to do something no one had done before: chronicle regional American food. Writing for the New York Herald Tribune, Gourmet, and This Week, she crisscrossed the nation, piloting a propeller plane, to interview real home cooks and discover their local specialties.

The Great American Cookbook is the culmination of Paddleford’s career. A best seller when first published in 1960 as How America Eats, this coveted classic has been out of print for thirty years. Here are more than 500 of Paddleford’s best recipes, all adapted for contemporary kitchens. From New England there is Real Clam Chowder; from the South, Fresh Peach Ice Cream; from the Southwest, Albondigas Soup; from California, Arroz con Pollo. Behind all the recipes are extraordinary stories, which make this not just a cookbook but also a portrait of America.   

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