The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State (Paperback)

The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State By Harva Hachten, Terese Allen Cover Image


The Wisconsin Historical Society published Harva Hachten's The Flavor of Wisconsin in 1981. It immediately became an invaluable resource on Wisconsin foods and foodways. This updated and expanded edition explores the multitude of changes in the food culture since the 1980s. It will find new audiences while continuing to delight the book’s many fans. And it will stand as a legacy to author Harva Hachten, who was at work on the revised edition at the time of her death in April 2006.

While in many ways the first edition of The Flavor of Wisconsin has stood the test of time very well, food-related culture and business have changed immensely in the twenty-five years since its publication. Well-known regional food expert and author Terese Allen examines aspects of food, cooking, and eating that have changed or emerged since the first edition, including the explosion of farmers' markets; organic farming and sustainability; the "slow food" movement; artisanal breads, dairy, herb growers, and the like; and how relatively recent immigrants have contributed to Wisconsin's remarkably rich food scene.

About the Author

Harva Hachten earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked as a reporter, editor, and journalism proressor before joining the Wisconsin Historical Society as supervisor of publications in 1973. Along with The Flavor of Wisconsin, Hachten wrote Kitchen Safari, an African cookbook, which was rereleased in 1998 as Best of African Regional Cooking. In the 1980s she was a columnist for Madison Magazine and taught feature writing at the University of Wisconsin. Hachten lived in Madison; she passed away in April 2006.

Terese Allen, a Wisconsin native and former chef, writes about the pleasures and benefits of regional foods, seasonal cooking, and culinary folklore. She has written several books on Wisconsin's food traditions, including Wisconsin's Hometown Flavors (Trails Books, 2003), Fresh Market Wisconsin (Amherst Press, 1993), Wisconsin Food Festivals (Amherst Press, 1995), Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), and The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook (Amherst Press, 1991). A food columnist for Madison's Isthmus newspaper and a former contributing editor of Wisconsin Trails magazine, Terese is also food editor for Organic Valley, the country's largest organic farmers' cooperative. She chairs southern Wisconsin's groundbreaking REAP Food Group and is a founding member and past president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW). 

Praise For…

"I wish there were a law requiring each of our fifty states to have a book about its life and food—and I would offer as a model for that book The Flavor of Wisconsin. . . . an American book that should be of more than local interest." (Nach Waxman, Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore, New York City)

"Food lovers will treasure this volume, not only as a splendid cookbook but as a rare and vivid document in real-world food studies." (Laura Shapiro, author of Perfection Salad and Julia Child)

"A wondrous array of kitchen stories, some hidden, some classic. . . . The Flavor of Wisconsin is a page turner, a book you'll want to cook." (Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, NPR's Kitchen Sisters)

"Anyone interested in the story of heartland America's food history, the real history of a people from the field and garden, from farm and factory, from kitchen to table, this wonderful book is for you." (Bruce Kraig, Co-convener, Greater Milwaukee Foodways Alliance)

 "A bright new edition. . . . And who better to accomplish the task than Terese Allen, certainly the state's foremost food historian, keeper of our culinary heritage." (Jerry Minnich, author of Eating Well in Wisconsin)

"Besides superbly chronicling the recent changes in Wisconsin's foodways, Allen has strengthened the text's culinary history throughout and at the same time revamped the book's format. Some of the original as well as new text is presented in sidebars, and subheadings have been added, which provide both a fresh look and a much more readable book. This incredible compilation ought to be in every home, library, and classroom in the state, and in the hands of culinary historians and other foodies everywhere. What would Harva Hachten think about the new edition? I'm betting she'd be proud as punch" (Joan Peterson, Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture)

"Allen's latest update [to The Flavor of Wisconsin] is likely to cause swooning and shortness of breath in Madison's very active foodie community, as its additions primarily focus on sexy hot-button topics like the popularity of farmers' markets, organic farming and sustainability, and the slow-food movement." (Jason Albert, The Onion's A.V. Club – Madison)

2009 Finalist in the Cookbooks: Regional Category from USA National Best Book Awards
2010 Finalist in the Cookbook and Home/Garden Category Next Generation Indie Book Awards
2010 Silver in the Cookbooks/General Category from Living Now Book Awards
2010Winner in the Cookbooks Category from Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards
2010 Winner in the Regional Cookbooks Category from National Indie Excellence Awards

Product Details
ISBN: 9781976600128
ISBN-10: 197660012X
Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Publication Date: June 1st, 2023
Pages: 416
Language: English