A Dearth of Pleasure: The Curse of Modern Food Writing

Thankfully, the Millennium Bridge across the River Thames didn’t sway under my feet that day, giving lie to its other name, the Wobbly Bridge. But the chilling wind whipped at everything not tied down, painting a disagreeable redness on my nose and a deep-seated hunger in my belly. The aroma of roasting sugary peanuts floated … More A Dearth of Pleasure: The Curse of Modern Food Writing

Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz: Remembering Her Latin American Food Writings

She was British, he was Mexican.  And from a meeting at the United Nations in New York came a surfeit of riches of cookbooks and food writing. Articles for Gourmet and House and Garden flowed from her pen. thanks to the support of José Wilson, editor of House and Garden, who opened the publishing door … More Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz: Remembering Her Latin American Food Writings

Lessons from Medieval England: The Relationship Between the Sick Room and the Kitchen

Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food. ~Hippocrates Food and medicine, always intertwined in the human  imagination. Because – obviously – the earliest English settlers brought their food habits and medicinal beliefs with them to what is now the United States, I relish books that provide background to the English way … More Lessons from Medieval England: The Relationship Between the Sick Room and the Kitchen

“To Fry Tomatoes”: Sarah Rutledge Mixes Up a Few New World Foods

Sarah Rutledge’s cookbook, The Carolina Housewife, surprised me the other day. Try as I might, I could only find one recipe for pork in the whole book! “Ham Toast,” on page 75. I kid you not. “Meat” seems to be beef or veal. That’s it. Ms. Rutledge’s book did include a number of vegetable recipes, … More “To Fry Tomatoes”: Sarah Rutledge Mixes Up a Few New World Foods

Mulacolong, from Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife:

With a name like that, of course, I couldn’t resist the recipe. “Mulacolong.” What on earth did that mean? It seems that no one else knew either, thanks to a Google search and more. So I decided to split up the word, to look at components rather the whole. One tantalizing bit of information kept … More Mulacolong, from Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife:

What’s That You Say??? Medieval Culinary Terminology Unmasked*

If you’ve ever tried to read Chaucer in the original language, you know what you’re up against when you tackle a recipe dating from the poet’s time period. Actually, when you read The Canterbury Tales, you have it fairly easy, for there’s a multitude of resources to help you as you plunge through Chaucer’s Middle … More What’s That You Say??? Medieval Culinary Terminology Unmasked*

Who was Gervase Markham? A Forgotten English Food Writer Comes Alive in a New Book

His quirky, pixy eyes belie his prolificity as a writer, one that some dub the first so-called hack writers in modern history, and possibly the first to import an Arabian horse into England.** And possibly one of William Shakespeare’s rivals? Some writers such as Robert Gittings, in his tepidly received Shakespeare’s Rival (1960), suggest that … More Who was Gervase Markham? A Forgotten English Food Writer Comes Alive in a New Book