Hagley’s Roger Horowitz to speak on Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food at Author Talk

Friday, July 22, 2016

Wilmington, Delaware – September 2016 – Have you ever wondered how mainstream products like Coca Cola achieved kosher status? Dr. Roger Horowitz, director of Hagley’s Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, will answer this question and more as he delves into the subject of kosher food during an author talk on Thursday, September 22, in the Hagley Soda House.

Horowitz’s talk is based on his recently published book Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food. The book follows the journey of kosher foods through the modern industrial food system; their encroachment, conquests, limits, and exclusions. Kosher USA is interspersed with stories from Horowitz’s own family, who played a pivotal role in the creation of the book.

“I began writing the book in 2006 in response to a question from my Uncle Stu,” Horowitz recounted. “With family and work commitments, it took more than a decade for me to finish the book, but I am honored to have something that reflects on the history of Jewish Americans and their influence on the food we eat today.”

Horowitz’s book traces how iconic products such as Coca Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; what made Manischewitz wine the very first kosher name-brand product to gain a wide non-Jewish audience  -- and one that was principally African American; the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements in the very production systems for modern food; and the grave difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside of the culinary consensus of America’s predominantly non-Jewish consumers. 

The talk begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Reservations requested; call (302) 658-2400, ext. 243, or email clockman@hagley.org. The lecture will be held in the Soda House auditorium. Use Hagley’s Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington, Delaware.

About Roger Horowitz

Roger Horowitz is Director of the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library. He is an historian of American business, technology, and labor and an expert on the nation’s food. In addition to Kosher USA, he is the author of two other books, Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, Transformation and Negro and White, Unite and Fight!: A Social History of Industrial Unionism in Meatpacking.  He also serves as secretary-treasurer of the Business History Conference, the leading academic organizations for business historians.

About Hagley Museum and Library

At Hagley, we invite people of all ages to investigate and experience the unfolding history of American business, technology, and innovation, and its impact on the world, from our home at the historic DuPont powder yards on the banks of the Brandywine.

For more information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays or visit www.hagley.org.

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CONTACT: Jessica Eisenbrey, Hagley Museum and Library Marketing Manager
(302) 658-2400, ext. 238   jeisenbrey@hagley.org