America the Edible: A Hungry History, from Sea to Dining Sea

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Press: Rodale Books (September 27, 2011)
Publication Date:2011-10
Author Name:Richman, Adam


Get ready to devour America. 
Adam Richman, the exuberant host of Travel Channel's Man v.
Food and Man v.
Food Nation, has made it his business to root out unique dining experiences from coast to coast.
Now, he zeroes in on some of his top-favorite cities―from Portland, Maine, to Savannah, Georgia―to share his uproariously entertaining food travel stories, top finds, and some invaluable (and hilarious) cautionary tales.
America the Edible also tells the story behind the menu, revealing the little-known reason why San Francisco's sourdough bread couldn't exist without San Francisco's fog; why Cleveland just might have some of the country's best Asian cuisine; and how to eat like a native on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
Unflaggingly funny, curious, and, of course, hungry, Richman captures the spectacular melting pot of American cuisine as only a true foodie and insatiable storyteller can.

About the Author

Adam Richman earned his master's degree from Yale University School of Drama and has appeared in episodes of Guiding Light, Law & Order, and All My Children. 
While traveling the country for regional theater roles, he worked many eclectic and far-flung restaurant jobs.
Richman won the CableFAX award for Best Host: Food in 2009 and 2010 and was named one of Yahoo's Most Fascinating People, 2009.
A New Yorker by birth, he now lives in Brooklyn.


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Comment List (Total:13)

  •     I loved this book. I love Adam Richman and think he's a very talented writer.
  •     I had no idea that Adam Richman was someone famous till I was half-way through this book and finally looked him up online. So I just read it as a book. it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was a pretty fun romp. First thing you have to know is that Adam seasons his food writing with 4-letter words and a fair amount of sex. Neither is offensive to me, but if you are of delicate sensibilities, this will probably not be your cup of tea. Quite a lot of the food is orgasmic to him, and some of it serves as foreplay to a more literal orgasmic pleasure, and some of it (lobster rolls in particular) he wants to have sex with.Another thing to know about this book is that it only includes cities where Richman happened to stay for a while and eat some good food. It makes no claim to be complete or representative, though it does cover quite a few places. It is also not a history of American food, or a history of America by way of its food. He does include some odd historical and geological paragraphs to each chapter, some of which are of questionable relevance and/or accuracy. I was happy to read about Maine being a "drowned coast," which is a fact I have long enjoyed knowing, but when he says that Maine "joined the United States in 1820, well, sort of but not really. Most of what is now Maine was part of Massachusetts till then. So it's true that Maine became a state in 1820, but it's kind of like saying that West Virginia joined the United States in 1863.But see? What does that have to do with food writing? Not much. The best part of this book is the extremely vivid, enthusiastic descriptions of the taste of good dishes. This man likes his food, and he is capable of making your mouth water just by his descriptions.There is also enough specific information to make this book useful as a guidebook if you happen to be driving from Sebago Lake to Portland and have a hankering for a lobster roll! The locations covered (though they are covered only in the sense that he tells yo where and what he ate, not necessarily a Fodor's Guide to all the best spots) are:Los Angeles (twice)HonoluluBrooklynSt. LoiusClevelandAustinSan FranciscoPortland, MESavannahThe net result is something along the lines of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network, but sexier.
  •     I absolutely loved this show and the book is just as great!
  •     Unless you like prose that seems as tossed off as last week's garbage, I would pass on this book.I love food and reading about foodie adventures, but the arrogant,...
  •     Reviews of this title have been incredibly inaccurate and far too biased based on personal demands rather than the creative license any writer or artist is entitled to.
  •     I love food and I was raised in a family where food was a business so this was really interesting to me. Fun to get some historical and geographical insights.
  •     nice to hear Adam's tie to everything he loves about life and food; it's very insightful to his history and connection to everything around him
  •     I am a foodie but I don't watch television shows. The only reason why I picked up this book was because of its title. I am always interested in reading more of America's culinary background and hopefully, maybe pick up a tip or two about cooking. This book was definitely not what I expected. Sure, it has recipes in it, but it's really about a bachelor's hunt for the perfect meal.And he has found in lots of places. He describes them in great details and in every city, there is always a special gal or two to share these huge meals with. By the time I got to the fourth chapter, I was getting pretty bored with his "laid-back" attitude and detailed descriptions of every seafood he can find across the country. He does go into detail about the background of ethnic food in certain areas of the country but after awhile, I find my eyes crossing in exasperation of yet another gleeful description of the wonderful meal Richman had just eaten ... again.Like I said, I don't watch television shows about cooking and travel, but if you like both, you might like this book. It is charming in its boyish rogue way. Sure, you get to travel across the country with Richman from the comforts of your own home. Sure, you get to read about his gastric experiences in the science of gourmet food. If you ever get to travel to the places he's talking about, you might check out those restaurants. Surely, all across the country, there are just about every perfect meal just waiting to be discovered.It is interesting. It is a quick read. But it is not my favorite foodie book out there. It is left wanting for something more meatier than just one glorious description of sushi after another. I am not a fan of sushi. So this book didn't appeal to me. Hopefully, it will appeal to the fans of his television show.12/11/10
  •     In his book, Adam describes different experiences he's had in different places in the USA. It is interesting & can give you some ideas of good places to visit to eat when you...
  •     I like this book, just love it.Food is one of, or maybe the main thing in our lives.Enjoy it!
  •     I love this book and love this man Adam Richman
  •     One of my absolute favorite authors is Anthony Bourdain. The guy is a genius with the written word. He's sometimes crass, often funny, and molds words with the ease of a poet. And he talks about food. It's a win-win.So, when I saw Adam Richman (from Man v. Food fame) had a book out, I was eager to read it. On the show he seems charismatic, funny, and there's no doubting his excitement about food. The book must be great, right?Not quite ready to pay the $25.99 sticker price for the hardcover, I passed on the book--just like we regretfully sometimes pass on that last slice of pie fully knowing you'll be back. As luck would have it, I was at the dollar store and lo, "America the Edible" was available for a buck. Boo-yeah! I saved $25!Finally having read the book, I can say I learned many things from "America the Edible." Here they are in no particular order:1. I am not as cool as Adam Richman: Neither are you. Neither is anyone for that matter. In fact, I don't think even he is as cool as he thinks he is. Do you remember that kid in school (everybody had at least one) who would tell you stories about how cool he was? Like the time he drove his father's Corvette and he was only six? Or when the Globetrotters went to his house for his birthday party? And you thought, "Wait a minute, I went to his birthday party and he had a poster of the Globetrotters--they didn't actually go there." Well, Adam comes off as that guy.The book starts out with him in Los Angeles waiting for a call from his agent. He makes sure to blast you in the face with a couple of hard yet awkwardly used cuss words, just so you can get the picture that he's "'da bad boy from Brooklyn," not the sweet, unassuming gentleman in M v. F. (Wouldn't want to get them confused.) He takes you through his morning workout: fifty push-ups, seven sun salutations, cobra stretch, fifty leg raises, a hundred crunches, twenty-five twisting crunches to either side... Hold on, did he just write "a hundred" crunches? I've seen his show and the vast quantity of deep fried foods he consumes, a hundred crunches seemed like a stretch. All that was missing from his yoga/workout were the Globetrotters.2. Momma always said not to kiss and tell: An alternate title to this book could be, "America the Erotic: A Horny History, from Bed to Sleazy Bed." Adam spends about as much time describing his women partners as he does the food he eats. In fact, sometimes the line blurs between the two and women are described like food while food is described like sex. There were a couple of times I actually cringed while reading, specifically when he says he wants to "have sex with a lobster roll." The last thing I want when reading about food is to have a visual of a chubby dude doing it with a sandwich. Come on. The chapters are full of "chance encounters" and "hook ups" with breathtakingly beautiful young women who are soft on the eyes and drink like hardened sailors. Did Adam mention the Globetrotters were at his birthday party? Thank goodness he doesn't go into gory details about his adventures with the women, other than when they're eating together. He has some sort of fixation on feeding and being fed by these "scorching hot" women. By the time I was halfway through the book I was so tired of his manly conquests and "puppy love" moping after things didn't work out that I almost put the book down... but couldn't. (DARN MY OCD!)3. The Adam Richman drinking game: I don't drink. Let me rephrase that. I don't drink alcohol. (I almost started while reading this book--not to follow all of his "stellar" drinking advice, but to wash the dry heaves and disgust from my mouth.) I did have a great idea for a drinking game, though. Every time Adam refers to food using a sexual-metaphor OR every time he describes a food with the verb "orgasmic," you take a drink. Believe me, by the time people hit the last page EVERYONE would be giving the book 5 1/2 stars and leave a gratuity on the bar. I'm sorry, but "orgasmic" is not my first choice of adjectives, especially when it comes to food.4. Talking about adjectives: One of my favorite descriptions of the whole book was when Adam described the lobster he was eating as "lobstery." If that's all it takes to be a great food critic, then sign me up. "The beefy beef patty was a great counterpoint to the lettucy lettuce and tomatoes that were almost tomatoey. All in all, the hamburger was downright hamburgery." Adam's other favorite words are "nutty," "buttery," and "almost." Everything tasted nutty or buttery or almost nutty or almost buttery followed by the authors described groans of ecstasy. Gag.To be fair, there were some things I liked. Adam embraces diversity, both with food and culture. I love that about him. He praises foreign food as much as he does American staples. There is no question this guy loves food and he loves the people, cities and cultures he shares his time with. The guy gets excited about things and I find his excitement admirable. It's nice to read a book that expounds upon the positives of something instead of focusing on the negative. (Yes, I see the irony of writing that at the end of my mostly negative review.)All in all, if I were you, I'd skip this book. Read Anthony Bourdain if you want edgy food books. Save your $25.99! If you want the Adam Richman you see on TV, shun the book and keep watching Man v. Food reruns. Enjoy the spunky, sweet, teddy-bear Adam who dominates the screen and seems a little awkward and blushes when pretty girls are around. Best to keep him that way in your mind and heart. I'll still watch his program, but I know I will always see the womanizing, over-sexed, overly cool Adam Richman behind the innocent foody facade. And that makes me feel a little sad.I want my dollar back.
  •     Book is new as advertised & arrived in good time

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