Libraries, Passageways to the Universe

Without libraries, I would not be the person I am today. Without free access to books that libraries (and taxes) provide, I would have been bereft indeed as a child. My family only owned a couple of copies of the Bible foisted on my father by Baptist grandmother and volumes of novels from the Book…

Some Notable Food Books of 2008

There are food books and there are food books. The following list contains no whispers from FoodTV icons or other foodie celebrities. Just dedicated scholarship and authenticity (or as much authenticity as is possible when it comes to real food). The brief descriptions following each title following come from product blurbs provided by the publishers….

Reading about Food: Musings on a Cold Winter Morning

Brillat-Savarin, a French philosopher, once wrote “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” He sure had that right. Food serves as a metaphor for some larger truths about humanity. In contemplating food and our ways of dealing with it, we learn certain things about ourselves. When we talk about food, we’re really talking about ourselves. What is revealed in the way a culture approaches? What’s revealed in our culture when we contemplate our approach to food?

Hog and Hominy: Soul Food From Africa to America, by Frederick Douglass Opie

Several books on African-American cooking tempt me right now, all brilliant in their own way. See Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power, by Psyche Williams-Forson; Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America’s First Food, by Andrew Warnes; African American Foodways: Explorations of History and Culture, edited by Anne…

Arab Food and Cuisine — Inspirations

Cooking in the Arab world, in general, adheres to one of the most healthful food patterns on earth, probably healthier in many ways than the Mediterranean model (and that is the stuff of a special future post). The freshest food, the most beautiful colors, the greatest imagination in wielding the pan, this is what the…