This children’s cookbook traces the foods introduced by immigrants to the U.S. during the time period 1565 – 1921 with nods to the Japanese and Chinese immigrants of the 1950’s. The author discusses the cooking styles of numerous ethnic groups including the Swedes and the Greeks, the Jews and the Irish. She provides the historical background of each group, their timeframe of immigration, the specific foods favored and a cultural recipe. Ichord sprinkles her text with humor and food trivia, disclosing the inventor of pizza and teaching her readers how to say good appetite in a variety of languages. The section on Jewish immigrants details the laws of kashrut and introduces the cultural food differences of the Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews.
The illustrations by Ellis are engaging and descriptive. Favorite recipes from each culture are included varying from Italian gnocchi to Portuguese Sweet Bread. Ichord states that the recipes are classroom friendly but most are complex and require preparation and oven or stove time.
The overall extent of information would require strong readers in the third to fifth grade. The material jostles the history of various ethnic groups over centuries, the physical difficulties of immigration while establishing the concept of merging cooking skills, cultural habits and traditions in a new country. For ages 8 – 12.