Auguste Escoffier: Le Guide Culinaire, Revised

New, revised version of Escoffier's premier work, unabridged fourth edition from 1921. In English, glory be. Translated from the 1921 Fourth Edition, this revision includes all-new Forewords by Heston Blumenthal, chef-owner of the Michelin three-star-rated Fat Duck restaurant, and Chef Tim Ryan, President of The Culinary Institute of America, along with Escoffier’s original Forewords, a…

Peregrinations and Pilgrimages: Egeria and the Flour Soup

Rocks tumbled down the rugged sloping ground and dust spun like little tops as Egeria, a nun from early fourth-century Galicia, climbed toward the rocky summit of Mount Sinai. From that craggy point, she gazed at a world she defined by the holy sites mentioned in the Bible. And from there we saw beneath us…

No More “Cookery”: New Library of Congress Subject Heading

Culinary researchers: The new, official Library of Congress subject heading for over 800 cooking and food-related subjects changed recently from "cookery" to "cooking." Here's the official document, "Cooking and Cookbooks H 1475."

From Mother Russia with Love: The Domostroi

Cabbage soup and gruel are our food. (Shchi da kasha, pishche nashe.) ~~Russian peasant proverb Trying to ferret out tidbits about Russian food history can be tough going. Aside from the language barrier, anyone interested in Russian culinary history suffers from a major weakness: there is a terrible lack of written material contemporaneous with Forme…

Lent, According to American Cookery, the Magazine, That is

Lent can be a really interesting time of the year. For some of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, a mere glimpse outside our windows forces the introspection and reflection behind the whole idea of Lent. Who wants to walk around out there in that howling wind and blowing snow? Better to stay inside and…

Food Studies: A How-To Guidebook, a Bit Underdone

Since one of my primary interests is methodology for studying food in history, when I learned that Berg Publishers recently came out with Food Studies: An Introduction to Research Methods (2009), you can imagine how quickly I got my hands on a copy of this book written by Jeff Miller, a sociologist, and Jonathan Deutsch,…

Jane Carson’s Colonial Virginia Cookery: Procedures, Equipment, and Ingredients in Colonial Cooking

Colonial Virginia Cookery: Procedures, Equipment, and Ingredients in Colonial Cooking, by Jane Carson (1968, reprinted 1985). Filled with the kind of details that come only from wallowing in primary sources, Jane Carson's synthesis of several cookbooks written by a number of seventeenth- and and eighteenth-century English cookery authors offers modern readers an interpretation of how…

No Thanks to Marco Polo: An Encyclopedia of Italy’s Pasta Shapes

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…

A Honey of a Bibliography

Beekeeping is farming for intellectuals. ~~Sue Hubbell, A Book of Bees Here are some of the many resources I've relied on for the series on honey and bees (9/28/09 through 10/1/09). If you read no other material on bees and beekeeping, be sure to read Dr. Eva Crane's work. Letters from the Hive: An Intimate…

Fermented Foods of the World

For those interested in the impact of fermentation on human history, here's a useful tool: Fermented Foods of the World: A Dictionary and Guide, by Geoffrey Campbell-Platt (Butterworths, 1987). Now somewhat rare, with a price tag of over $600.00 for at least one used copy available online, it's not a book that should be checked…