‘Cooking Up Some History’ books teach American, world history through food

cooking-american-history-cookbook-coverAre we having fun yet?

Now that we’re in the thick of summer, that’s a question that gets tossed around in my head (and house) as we juggle camps, vacations, work-with-mom days and the like.

If you are looking for some ways to keep your kids’ brains stimulated and entertained this summer, you might check out a couple of historical cookbooks from Austinite Daniel Barnekow, who works in textbook publishing and runs a company called Sunflower Education.

A few years ago, Barnekow published two books, “Cooking Up Some World History” and “Cooking Up Some American History,” which teach American and world history through food — not just historically accurate recipes, but lessons about how the availability of ingredients changed as America grew or the role hardtack played during the Civil War, for instance. He says the books introduce students to the idea that food is an ever-evolving aspect of culture that is influenced by geography, science, technology and the movement of people.

Barnekow says that the books are particularly popular in the homeschooling circle but that teachers in traditional schools teach from them, too. You can order and learn more about the books, which cost about $15 each, at cookinguphistory.com.

Author: Addie Broyles

Food writer for the Austin American-Statesman and Austin360.com.

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