A Plethora of Food/Culinary Memoirs for Your Reading Pleasure

In doing some research recently, I realized just what an amazing treasure we food-and-book-lovers have with all the food/culinary memoirs that have been surfacing for years. And as luck would have it, as is wont to happen these days with a few clicks and the right keywords, I came across an amazing bibliography compiled by Jessica … More A Plethora of Food/Culinary Memoirs for Your Reading Pleasure

Joy to the World: A Look at the 9th Edition of “Joy of Cooking”

The arrival of a new generation of the Joy of  Cooking feels like seeing a new baby born into the family. Personal and very welcome. First, though, a bit of perspective on the story of this famous and enduring cookbook. * After her husband’s suicide in 1930 during the Great Depression, Irma S. Rombauer – … More Joy to the World: A Look at the 9th Edition of “Joy of Cooking”

The Armchair Traveler’s Spain: Books and Stories Guaranteed to Saturate Your Soul with Duende

To set the mood for the journey: In describing art/literature/photography, we English speakers are limited by our language. Other cultures, other languages contain words conveying succinctly what it took James Elkins 28 pages – or 14,000 words – to describe in “What Photography Is”. In Spanish, he could have just said, “Duende”, a word loosely … More The Armchair Traveler’s Spain: Books and Stories Guaranteed to Saturate Your Soul with Duende

The Perfect Book for National Mushroom Day!

It’s National Mushroom Day today! And even when it’s not their special day, mushrooms pop up in the news over and over again. To read more about mushrooms and their history in human culture, and in the kitchen, take a look at my book, Mushroom: A Global History: Contents: Introduction: The Importance of Being Mushroom … More The Perfect Book for National Mushroom Day!

11 Years of Writing About Food and Culinary History – A Blog Anniversary!!!

Eleven years ago, I decided to poke a toe into the world of food blogging. I settled on the name, “Gherkins & Tomatoes,” based on a painting by Luis Meléndez, a tribute to the period of history known as “The Age of Exploration.” Faced with a blank screen demanding something, anything, the first words that … More 11 Years of Writing About Food and Culinary History – A Blog Anniversary!!!

Cooking Cuban During El Período Especial Estadounidense

The picadillo at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, a neighborhood in Tampa, Florida. That’s where it began, where the seed got planted. I’d just turned 21. To celebrate, several friends treated me to a fancy dinner there. And I ordered the picadillo, sided with a lime dacquiri. I think. I vaguely recall black beans, … More Cooking Cuban During El Período Especial Estadounidense