A new book by historian and media executive Libby O’Connell traces American tastes from pemmican to Coca-Cola and beyond. The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites explores the food ways of America, and details the intersection of food, culture and history. The book explores history, but also discusses contemporary influences.

In an excerpt, author O’Connell shares:

“The American Plate provides a multilayered overview of the peopling of our country, our evolving foodways, and the transformation of our palates from 1400 to today. American Indians, Anglo-American women, enslaved (and free) African Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian immigrants, western and eastern European arrivals, Hispanic families, and many more have contributed the flavors of their cultures to help create the variety of international and local influences we find in modern-day American restaurants, grocery stores, and kitchen tables.”

Learn more about the book by reading the NPR story. Want to read a longer excerpt? Click here.