Christina Ward

Here in the Midwest, we are all too familiar with the phrase “Jell-O salad.” While we may laugh at some of these wobbly concoctions, how many of us can say that we’ve thought about where these recipes originated?

Join the University of Iowa Libraries and the Iowa City Book Festival in welcoming Christina Ward, author of American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Bananas, Spam, and Jell-O, as she explores the messy history behind some of our most popular foods. This talk will start Saturday, October 5th at 2:30PM in Shambaugh Auditorium on the first floor of the Main Library. Following the talk, local Iowa City group Historic Foodies will be serving up some of these infamous recipes, and Special Collections will be showcasing several great pieces from the beloved Szathmary Culinary Collection, leaving you with plenty of food for thought, but hungry for more.

American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Spam, Bananas, and Jell-O is a deeply researched and entertaining survey of twentieth century American food. Connecting cultural, social, and geopolitical aspects, author Christina Ward (Preservation: The Art & Science of Canning, Fermentation, and Dehydration, Process 2017) uses her expertise to tell the fascinating and often infuriating story of American culinary culture.

Christina Ward is an award-winning writer and editor with experience writing compelling books, articles, and reviews. She is a featured contributor to Serious Eats, Edible Milwaukee, The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Remedy Quarterly, and Runcible Spoon magazines. Christina, despite klutziness, is often found in classrooms and community kitchens with sharp knives and spilling vinegar into unsuspecting handbags while wildly gesticulating as she teaches folks how to make perfect pickles. She makes regular guest food expert on Fox6 News Real Milwaukee television program and on public radio stations across the United States delighting in ‘working blue’ before 8 am. Christina can trace her Milwaukee and Wisconsin roots to the early 1800’s. Her love of history comes from her father who instilled the idea that we are all manifestations of our ancestors. Her love of cooking comes from her mother who was a terrible cook; which gave her the inspiration to learn how to cook for herself and siblings. She prides herself on having a hungry mind interested in learning about people, the foods they eat, and the stories that rise from that convergence.

Saturday, October 5, 2:30 p.m. Shambaugh Auditorium, Main Library, 125 West Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242