There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
Why is there no ham in hamburgers? How did we make ice cream before we could make ice? How did hot dogs get their name? From the origins of pizza (which got a big boost from Clarence Birdseye, of all people) to the Cornell professor who invented chicken fingers, There's No Ham in Hamburgers has all the ingredients for an entertaining and educational middle-grade read. Packed with informative sidebars, recipes, and experiments, along with fabulously funny illustrations by Peter Donnelly, this book is a reading recipe that kids will sink their teeth into!
Clearly, I have a huge interest in food history, and since middle grade readers have eaten up books like Power Kids Press What's In Your Fast Food series, this is a definite purchase for elementary and middle school libraries. I would even buy it for a high school library, since it has such a wealth of information and is well-indexed, with an extensive bibliography.
Breaking down popular, kid oriented food into these major categories allows room for a wealth of tangential information about things like ketchup, Mr. Potato Head, and Birdseye Frozen Foods! I even learned that the the phrase "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" came from a song recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and written by Howard Johnson! I enjoyed the format of this book, and especially liked the vague 1950s feel to the font and framing of the illustrations. Even the colors were a nice mix of the 2020 ubiquitous light teal with a more 1960s lime green, complete with the sparkly starbursts. I do want to take a look at the illustrations in the print book; the E ARC ones came out a bit wonky.