Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Daniel Herman

Second Committee Member

Stephen Moore

Third Committee Member

Brian Carroll


Post-Revolutionary American food, common and genteel, acted as both a construct of and contributor to the development of an American national identity as well as a national culinary identity. From 1796 and into the early nineteenth century, Americans actively strove to distinguish themselves from their British backgrounds. As a result, the public discourse of American food shifted to reflect new values of simplicity and equality. Additionally, a new American cuisine began to take shape which embraced native crops, linking those who consumed them to the American soil, and ultimately, the new nation. Through the presence of particular dishes at politically oriented gatherings, "American" foods, and the values attached to them, became part of a public, democratic discourse, which shaped how Americans understood themselves and their nation.