During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that even unemployed writers needed to be put to work. So as part of the New Deal he created the Federal Writers Project and dispatched scribes to all corners of the nation to document, among other topics, food. "What America Eats" became a national compendium of what people were cooking and eating, region by region. Being a "locavore" is a fashionable lifestyle choice now. But in 1940 you ate locally because you had to?the lack of highways and freezers kept diners to a regional and seasonal menu long before it became chic. Notable writers including Eudora Welty who covered Mississippi meals and Zora Neale Hurston who tackled her favorite Floridian foods all weighed in on regional cuisine for the project. In his new book, "Food of a Younger Land," author Mark Kurlansky revives the unfinished America Eats project. He joins The Takeaway for a look back at the diet of a nation.
Sign up for our daily newsletter
Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.