Books Reviews Vol. 25 No. 03

Bi-Partisan Plates

Former Senator Capri Cafaro offers recipes for unity.


United We Eat: 50 great American dishes to bring us ALL together

by Capri S. Cafaro

As Oscar Wilde once opined, “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody.” Such is the premise behind former Ohio Senator Capri Cafaro’s debut book – United We Eat – 50 great American dishes to bring us ALL together. Instead of offering a list of favorite foods from either side of the aisle (remember when politics amounted to peanuts v. jelly beans?), the political commentator and talented chef reached across the aisle and into almost every grocery store aisle to compile a clever collection of Congressional cookery that highlights favorite flavors that can appeal to almost all Americans.

The representative roundup of recipes includes RI Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s “pasta e Fagioli” (you were expecting maybe corned beef and cabbage?),  NY’s Alfonse D’Amato’s lasagna (a recipe that apparently came from his mother, no less!), Mike Huckabee’s Arkansas pork butt (no comment), and Florida Rep. Donna Shalala’s tabbouleh a la Shalala (which just HAS to be healthy, considering the chef’s former role!). In the realm of gubernatorial grub, the book includes New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s working woman’s posole (gender emphasis included) and sourdough bread (an especially popular pick during these challenging times) from Wyoming’s Mark Gordon. There are also national committee cookings like Michael Steele’s Smith Island cake and Donna Brazile’s authentic Louisiana gumbo. Even presidential candidates get in on the foodie fun with front-runners like MN Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Taconic tater tot hotdish and Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Hoosier pie. There is even a “bi-partisan” meatloaf that has been donated by a senator (at least at the time this was published) from Maine and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s favorite grilled burger recipe. And, unlike in Congress, even the District of Columbia gets equal representation with a baked chicken wings recipe with Mumbo (but no Jumbo) sauce.

So if you are feeling shut in and want to explore at least the flavors of the other 49 states or if you want to see which party would have the best dinner party, be sure to vote early and often for this great American cookbook!

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