The soft, beguiling fragrance permeates the air, rising above the aroma of the Jonagolds and the Galas, even over the sweet perfume of the Golden Delicious apples piled in baskets, resembling yellow baseballs. The knobby Bartlett pears (Pyrus communis), also known as the Williams pear, still slightly green but with a small and promising pink … More Pears – an Exploration of Ancient Food Preservation
One of the most memorable sayings you learn when you first study Spanish is, “Dar/vender gato por liebre,” or to “give or sell a cat instead of a rabbit,” meaning deception. Digging into the history of Spanish cookbooks, you’ll find a famous — and oft-quoted — recipe for roast cat in Ruperto de Nola’s* fifteenth-century … More Eating Cat Meat: A Taboo?
[A photograph, and nothing more, for silent contemplation.]
For years, I’ve been carting around a number of books about Chinese medicine and food, fascinated by the ancient linkage of food with medicine (similar in some regards to the Ayurvedic system of India). As you can imagine, getting down to the bone on this matter is not an easy proposition, given the lack of … More Sour and Bitter Blended in the Soup of Wu:* Very Early Chinese Herbals
In the next week, we will see real-time examples of a few of the different types of feasts common to American culture: Thanksgiving — essentially a harvest feast tinged with overtones of cultural identity — and President Barack Obama’s first true State Dinner, to be held on November 24, 2009 for India’s Prime Minister Manmohan … More Feasting in State: Obama’s First Real State Dinner
[A picture, and nothing more, for silent contemplation.]
Marco Polo returned to Italy from his Chinese travels in 1296. The myth, legend, what have you, credits him with introducing pasta into Italy’s culinary repertoire. But Marco Polo did NOT bring pasta to Italy. And 73-year-old Italian author Oretta Zanini de Vita wants you to know that, immediately, upfront and center. Zanini de Vita … More No Thanks to Marco Polo: An Encyclopedia of Italy’s Pasta Shapes
Until our own times, the nineteenth century saw some of the most profound changes in social structure and population movements in the history of the world. How people fed themselves also changed as people migrated from continent to continent. Boarding houses became extremely common and popular beginning in the nineteenth, thanks to this movement of … More The Chinese in the West: How Railroad Coolies Ate