There's No Ham in Hamburgers

Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods

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Pub Date Apr 06 2021 | Archive Date Apr 06 2021

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From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza, this fascinating book is full of fun facts and stories of the origins of some of America's most popular 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!

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
2024 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List Selection

From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza, this fascinating book is full of fun facts and stories of the origins of some of America's most popular foods.

Why is there no ham in...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780762498079
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 22 members

Featured Reviews

What a fun book! Young readers will gobble up lots of surprising facts and kid-pleasing humor, while accidentally learning about history, vocabulary, language, nutrition, and science. Some recipes are included to encourage taking what they've learned into the kitchen. My favorite recipe is "Endothermic Reaction In Action" Ice Cream, which doesn't require a mechanical ice cream maker. Kids will only need safe stuff that's found in most kitchens or easily bought on your next shopping trip.

Kids love wacky trivia. I still do too, and I have "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" to thank for that. But the current generation need fresher reading material, and this book cleverly fills that need. For example: did you know that before hot dog buns were invented, hot dog vendors gave hungry folk gloves to protect their hands from the heat? But the customers kept running away with them, so they were forced to invent the hot dog bun.  And just wait till you hear what President Roosevelt said to Queen Elizabeth when she asked him how to eat a hot dog. I won't tell you his hilarious (and kid-friendly) answer, you'll need to read the book to find out. Oh, and at the end of that chapter, you'll learn how easy it is to make your own mustard.

I'm giving this book four burgers and a side of fries UP!

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This has so much interesting information in one book! This would be great for a classroom, for children to read during a quiet time or a teacher can use a lot of the information when teaching about food groups, business, or just needs a quick anecdote to tell the class. The book talks about pizza, potatoes, hamburgers in a all different ways. It even has ingredients and a recipe for each topic spoken about.

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This book was received as an ARC from Perseus Books, Running Press - Running Press Kids in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not get enough of this book and how it was written. I was waiting for a book like this because I get questions like these all the time from our readers and now I can have a book to do for a future cooking demo family style and demonstrate some of my favorite fast foods such as hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza and much more. I also like that they put in basic recipes such as for pizza and French Fries and use funny images to demonstrate what not to do when cutting and slicing. I can't wait to share this book and pass it along to our young curious minds here at the library.

We will consider adding this title to our JTX Non-Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

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I'm a sucker for popular culture, especially regarding food. So a brief overview of hamburgers, french fries, pizza, ice cream, chicken fingers, peanut butter, cereal, cookies, and chocolate! Yes, please. And you don't even need an antacid tablet!

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.

While I was familiar with most of the information in the book, due to apparently all too frequent deep dives into tomes likes Sussman's Just Heat It 'n' Eat It!: Convenience Foods of the '40s-'60s (2006), Wyman's Spam (1999) and Better Than Homemade, Kimmerle's Candy: The Sweet History (2003), Gitlin's The Great American Cereal Book (2011) as well as everything Jane and Michael Stern ever wrote (especially Road Food (2006) and Square Meals (1984), younger readers will not be. This is an absolute powerhouse of an overview. I'm amazed at how complete the coverage is, and the amount of information that was still new to me. This shed light on why chicken nuggets always seemed like something new: they weren't widely available until I was in high school, at which point the last thing I was interested in was eating processed, deep friend chicken.

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.

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