American food goes upscale

Arugula lettuce

America is a bit of a paradox when it comes to food. Americans love their fast food and pizza, while at the same time can't do without their imported cheese, organic baby greens, bottled water and fancy coffee. In his new book, The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation, David Kamp explains how at precisely the moment that fast food became a fixture of American culture, an ideal of fine dining also emerged. For a more detailed review of this most informative book on American food culture, check out its review at Knowledge@Wharton (a PDF download).