La Mouffe

It was Julia Child‘s favorite outdoor market in Paris. La Mouffe. Or rue Mouffetard, in the 5th arrondisement. Ancient street, cobblestone-strewn. Romans trod there, and marched, too. In the third century, Legionnaires laid the first rock in the town they called Lutetia Parisiorum. And that thoroughfare stretched all the way to Rome via the modern … More La Mouffe

Nika Standen Hazelton: Remembering a Food Writer Chronicling a Lost World

It’s hard not to admire Nika Standen Hazelton, an outspoken and opinionated food writer who, despite the 30 or so cookbooks she wrote, quipped that “… cookbooks are mostly bought as escape literature, not to cook from … .”  Very much a prophetess! Born in Rome in 1908, to a German diplomat father and Italian … More Nika Standen Hazelton: Remembering a Food Writer Chronicling a Lost World

Remembering Mireille Johnston: Memories of a French Food Writer on a Fall Day

As I sniffed the seductive odor of pumpkin pies emanating from the bakery that day, a menu composed itself in my head, shouting “It’s FALL, finally!” I went wild over the cheap chicken thighs at my local Kroger, dumping package after package into my grocery cart. Mushrooms, walnuts, shallots joined the chicken in the cart, … More Remembering Mireille Johnston: Memories of a French Food Writer on a Fall Day

Maryse Condé’s “Of Morsels and Marvels”: A New Book by a Not-to-be-Missed Writer of Style and Substance

It’s always a marvel when I come upon an intriguing new writer, to me anyway. What’s even more wonderful is when that writer takes up food and cooking as the main topic in their work. And Maryse Condé is one of those writers. Ms. Condé, born in Guadaloupe in the French Caribbean, has been writing … More Maryse Condé’s “Of Morsels and Marvels”: A New Book by a Not-to-be-Missed Writer of Style and Substance

Keep on Feasting! For Lovers of “Game of Thrones”

Fans of the popular TV series “Game of Thrones” must be feeling bereft. And why shouldn’t they? The curtain finally fell on the last episode of that long-running megahit. Unless they love reruns, that’s it for those fans. I, on the other hand, have barely made it through the first episode so far, “Winter is … More Keep on Feasting! For Lovers of “Game of Thrones”

Culinary Manuscripts, or, Deciphering the Code

Paleography refers to the situation in which an historic cookbook is studied,* and perhaps converted to script that a modern reader can understand. The process is highly complicated and experts spend years, even whole careers, devoted to just this subject. So the following discussion is more like a scratch on a grain of sand, small … More Culinary Manuscripts, or, Deciphering the Code

Pignagoscé sur chapons (Pignagoscé on Capons), Plus Some Words on Paleography

In my latest book, “A Hastiness of Cooks”, I deliberately skimmed over France and her culinary heritage. Not because I thought her culinary heritage not worth acknowledging, but because I wanted to savor that heritage in a different medium or venue. With that sentiment in mind, I pulled Terence Scully’s treatise – The Vivendier – … More Pignagoscé sur chapons (Pignagoscé on Capons), Plus Some Words on Paleography