Without libraries, I would not be the person I am today. Without free access to books that libraries (and taxes) provide, I would have been bereft indeed as a child. My family only owned a couple of copies of the Bible foisted on my father by Baptist grandmother and volumes of novels from the Book of the Month Club, in highly excerpted form. For me, as you can surmise, libraries represented Paradise. I spent many hours in the public library, […]
There are food books and there are food books. The following list contains no whispers from FoodTV icons or other foodie celebrities. Just dedicated scholarship and authenticity (or as much authenticity as is possible when it comes to real food). The brief descriptions following each title following come from product blurbs provided by the publishers. America’s Food: What You Don’t Know About What You Eat, by Harvey Blatt “We don’t think much about how food gets to our tables, or […]
Brillat-Savarin, a French philosopher, once wrote “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” He sure had that right. Food serves as a metaphor for some larger truths about humanity. In contemplating food and our ways of dealing with it, we learn certain things about ourselves. When we talk about food, we’re really talking about ourselves. What is revealed in the way a culture approaches? What’s revealed in our culture when we contemplate our approach to food?
Several books on African-American cooking tempt me right now, all brilliant in their own way. See Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power, by Psyche Williams-Forson; Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America’s First Food, by Andrew Warnes; African American Foodways: Explorations of History and Culture, edited by Anne L. Bower; and Hog Meat and Hoecake: Food Supply in the Old South, 1840-1860, by Sam Bowers Hilliard (an oldie, based no doubt on the […]
Cooking in the Arab world, in general, adheres to one of the most healthful food patterns on earth, probably healthier in many ways than the Mediterranean model (and that is the stuff of a special future post). The freshest food, the most beautiful colors, the greatest imagination in wielding the pan, this is what the food of the Middle East offers. But most of all, I hold women like this woman in my heart, because she is Everywoman, Arab and […]
My copy of 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die arrived the other day. And if nothing else, this much I know is true: above all, it makes the perfect doorstop. I think it spent the night on my front porch and it’s a good thing the house didn’t catch on fire, because when I tried to open the screen door, the door wasn’t having any of it. I couldn’t blame the UPS guy for wedging the Amazon.com box […]