American Advertising Cookbooks: A History Of 20th Century America Through Food

Feb 1, 2019

Have you ever wondered why such a thing as a gingered pear and chicken salad served in lime jello exists? What about bananas rolled in ham, then baked and served with a cheese sauce? Or anything at all made with Spam, or even just Spam itself?

Christina Ward is the author of 'American Advertising Cookbooks.'
Credit Deone Jahnke

The foods and recipes many of us grew up eating were thanks to American corporations and their advertising departments. Not only were the corporations promoting the products they were selling, they were also promoting what it meant to be an American.

Christina Ward’s newest book, American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love SPAM®, Bananas, and JELL-O®, looks at how those foods, and others like them, became household staples.