Remembering Karen Hess

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Noted food historian Barbara Haber celebrates the life of the late Karen Hess, a primary figure in launching culinary history as a studied discipline.  Hess died May 15, at New York Presbyterian hospital after suffering a stroke. She was 88 years old.   Her first book, The Taste of America, which she wrote with her husband, John Hess, was published in 1977 and resonated with Americans who heard the call for healthier eating.  The book examined how American eating habits had regressed from whole foods and healthy ingredients to processed convenience food with little nutritional value.  Hess' research on cookbooks from the Colonial and Revolutionary War eras helped to establish the study of food history, and resulted in one of her best known books, Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats.

Barbara Haber is the author of From Hard Tack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals.

Music Break: The Jitterbug Waltz by Michel Legrand