Award-winning New York Times–bestselling author Mark Kurlansky takes us back to the food and eating habits of a younger America, before the national highway system brought the country closer together, before chain restaurants imposed uniformity and low quality, and before the Frigidaire meant frozen food in mass quantities. Back then, the nation’s food was seasonal, regional, traditional, and it helped form and reflect the distinct character, attitudes, and customs of those who ate it. In the 1930s, with the country gripped in the Great Depression and millions of Americans struggling to get by, President Roosevelt created the Federal Writers’ Project under the New Deal as a make-work initiative for authors. Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, and Nelson Algren were among the writers dispatched across the country to chronicle the eating habits, traditions, and struggles of local people at a moment in time right before they began to disappear. The project, called “America Eats,” was abandoned in the early 1940s because of the war, and never resumed. The Food of a Younger Land unearths this forgotten literary and historical treasure and brings it to exuberant life. Featuring authentic recipes, anecdotes, and photographs, these pages evoke a bygone era. Mark Kurlansky brilliantly documents the remarkable stories and fills in the historical spaces with his own context and commentary, serving as a guide to this hearty and poignant look at the country’s culinary roots. This installment from The Food of a Younger Land features Indiana Persimmon Pudding, Chippewa food, Nebraska Buffalo Barbecue, and Nelson Algren’s A Short History of the American Diet. Here the WPA writers find Americans in their Middle Western niche, eating an enormous diversity of meals.