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Galloping Gourmet is the History Romp You Didn't Know You Needed

To be honest, I had never previously wondered what Buffalo Bill ate. But once I heard about the concept for Galloping Gourmet, I knew I needed to know more about the culinary adventures of the wild west's greatest showman. And I definitely wasn't disappointed, as this book provides a fascinating look at the food encountered by Buffalo Bill and his performers. Here's what readers should know about Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill. Thank you to the University of Nebraska Press for sending a free copy of the book for review purposes. 

Buffalo Bill as seen in the book Galloping Gourmet

Who wrote Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill?

Steve Friesen's author bio from back of Galloping Gourmet

Steve Friesen wrote Galloping Gourmet and is the retired director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave site in Golden, Colorado. He is also the author of two other books, Lakota Performers in Europe: Their Culture and the Artifacts They Left Behind and Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary and is a contributing editor of True West magazine

What's inside Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill?

In Galloping Gourmet, Friesen dives into the surprisingly interesting topic of food and Buffalo Bill. The legendary cowboy took his show all over the US and the world, which gave him and his performers exposure to the culinary world at the time that was almost unprecedented. We really take for granted how easy it is now to know about the food available in other places, but back then it really would have been quite difficult!

food supply list for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

The book starts by introducing the readers to its concept, which Friesen calls "a Culinary Biography." Then, we read about the hardy fare of Buffalo Bill Cody's frontier upbringing, which is interesting. But where it really gets good for me is Part 2: Culinary Themes from an Exhibition. In this section of the book (chapters 6 through 15), Friesen dives into what Buffalo Bill and his performers ate during their amazing travels around the nation and in Europe. Their unique experiences allow the reader a peek at rural and city dining in the US at the time, Lakota culinary traditions at the time, European food at the time, and about the varying results when those traditions intersected. I had never before thought about what Lakota performers at the time might have thought of French fine dining and the Eiffel Tower, or what the French people of the Gilded Age might have thought of Buffalo Bill and his performers. 
a Lakota performer orders dinner from the mess hall at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Overall, I felt like it was very well written and well researched and would be an entertaining read for any fan of wild west history. I learned a lot and had a good time reading it. I look forward to reading more books by Mr. Friesen in the future!

For more information about The Galloping Gourmet 

front cover of Galloping Gourmet by Steve Friesen

To find out more about The Galloping Gourmet, or about Steve Friesen, visit the University of Nebraska Press page about the book


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