Published: 1988
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Why It Mattered: Took American eating from gluttony to simplicity with ease

Simple doesn’t have to be a dirty word when it comes to cooking. At least, that’s what M. F. K. Fisher argues in her classic cooking book. Fisher tackled a somber subject matter—eating for survival during the food shortages of World War II—with wit and warmth. Through her recipes and thoughtful essays, Fisher offered a philosophy for eating that is as radical as it is obvious, arguing that skimping in the kitchen can actually translate to more satisfaction. We may not be in the war, but in the midst of a perma-recession, Fisher’s words are as pertinent now as they ever were.