Author and journalist Susan Orleans, learned in second grade how the Pilgrims would have starved had Native Americans not taught them how to grow corn. Since then, she developed a lifelong appreciation of a food staple but it is only in the summer that she craves it.
In this week marking the Fourth of July holiday, five American writers describe seminal summer eating experiences. Funny, emotional, poignant and informative, these five talks describe how no matter how much life changes, eating outdoors in summer and rediscovering a favourite food is what makes summer memories.
Later in the series, Nathan Englander discovers that Wisconsin cheeses are as varied and exquisite as anything he's eaten in France. TC Boyle charts his summers according to his memories of cookouts and each grilling adventure changes according to his stage of life but also his location, as he moves across America. Simon Van Booy compares two kinds of food in a bun, which he buys at two very different New York beaches. The humble Coney Island hotdog is perfect for an urban seaside with fairground attractions but in the sophisticated Hamptons, he prefers an elegant, and much more expensive, lobster roll. It is dessert that Audrey Niffenegger most associates with her summers and most of all, her love of rhubarb and ice cream.