The Scent of Cinnamon and Chasing Down Humoral Theory

Purple bougainvillea flowers hung thick and rope-like over the sand-colored walls, their little white hearts nearly pulsating in the blazing noon heat of Rabat, Morocco. The door of The English Bookshop stood half-opened. The stern English proprietor stood behind the counter, his thin pale fingers reaching into scuffed cardboard boxes, filled with the newest shipment of books…

10 Blog Posts You Loved: A “Thank You” to All My Readers

Happy anniversary to Gherkins & Tomatoes! Since I wrote my first post on July 28, 2008, I have written over a thousand posts, on many, many topics. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading for all these years. It means a lot to me! Here are the most popular posts from…

Pride and Pudding: An Ode to British Cooking

“Captivated by British cuisine – from its ancient savoury dishes such as the Scottish haggis to traditional sweet and savoury pies, pastries, jellies and ices, flummeries, junkets and jam roly-poly – Regula tells the story of British food, paying homage in particular to the great British pudding, which is versatile and wonderful in all its…

The Power and the Glories of Eating Alone

King Louis XIV did it. M. F. K. Fisher did it. The faceless man in Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks,” did it. Mr. Bean did it, too. And so did I. Daring to eat a proper meal alone in public probably ranks as one of the few acts that cause normally confident people to quiver a…

The Dangers of Nostalgia at the Stove: A Critique of Modern Food Writing

Is nostalgia dangerous? More to the point, is nostalgia a dangerous weapon when held in the hands of some food writers? I’ll confess to a salient fact: I’ve written about food  through a thick lens of nostalgia, licking the pot of myth and stirring with the spoon of longing . I’ve cooked the iconic dishes of…

A Baker’s Dozen of British Cookbooks for the Christmas Season – Book #4

Elizabeth David presents yet another example of how British culinary sensibilities influenced American cuisine. None other than Alice Waters attributes her love of terroir to Elizabeth David’s work, citing the cover of Ms. David’s French Provincial Cooking as representing how she wanted food to be. And thus Chez Panisse was born. The rest is history, as they…