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Gabriella Petrick

Associate Professor

Gabriella PetrickGabriella M. Petrick, Ph.D. received her degree from the University of Delaware as a Hagley Fellow and is currently an Associate Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and History in the Department of Nutrition, and Food Studies at George Mason University. Her interdisciplinary research on food combines the fields of the history of technology, sensory history, environmental history and the history of science. Additionally Dr. Petrick’s training at the Culinary Institute of America, Cornell University and at several wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties has shaped her theoretical approach to taste. Her forthcoming book with Johns Hopkins University Press, tentatively entitled Industrializing Taste: Food Processing and the Transformation of the American Diet, 1900-1965, analyzes how new food processing techniques transformed the foods available to American consumers as well as how housewives incorporated these new industrial foods into their family’s diet over the course of the last century. She is also working on a second book project, Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter: Taste in History, for the sensory history series at the University of Illinois Press that looks at the importance of taste historically. She has won many awards for her scholarship including the Hindle Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Society for the History of Technology, the W. Gabriel Carras Award for Junior Scholars from the Steinhardt School, New York University, and a National Science Foundation Grant. She has published in the Journal of America History, Agricultural History, History and Technology, among other journals and edited volumes.


  • University of Delaware, Newark, DE
    Ph. D. History, January 2007
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
    Master of Arts, History, May, 1999
  • Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, NY
    Master of Management in Hospitality, December, 1997
  • Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY
    Associate Degree in Occupational Studies, March, 1991
  • College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
    Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and History, May, 1989
  • London School of Economics, London, England
    Successful Completion of the General Course in Economics and Economic History, September 1987 through June 1988.




Forthcoming, Gabriella M. Petrick, Industrializing Taste: Food Processing and the Transformation of the American Diet, 1900-1965 (working title), (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press).

Forthcoming, Gabriella M. Petrick, Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter: Taste in History (working title), (University of Illinois Press). Invited publication.


In Press, Gabriella M. Petrick, "Industrial Food" The Oxford Handbook of Food History, (New York: Oxford University Press. October 2012), 472-501.


"America’s Favorite Vegetable: How Iceberg Lettuce Helped Transform the American Diet," Vision Series, George Mason University 2 December 2012. Invited talk.

"Discovering Taste: Umami and the Search for the "Fifth Taste’," International Sociological Association, Buenos Aries, Argentina 3 August 2012. Peer Reviewed.

"Mapping Taste: Using GIS to trace the Everyday Lives of New Yorkers," Columbia American Studies Seminar Symposium on Food, Columbia University, 28 April 2012. Invited Talk.

"Food in History" Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 26 April 2012. Invited Talk

"Can Industrial Foods Be Ethical: A Historical Perspective," McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics, and Culture, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, 12 April 2012. Invited Talk. Video. Podcast.

Grants & Contracts

2012. George Mason University, Creative Grant.

2010-2012. Visiting Research Fellow, University of the Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo, Italy.

Contact Information
Room 336

Office Location
Department of Nutrition and Food Studies
10340 Democracy Ln
Fairfax, VA 22030
Mailing Address
MS: 1F8
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444