One of the most memorable sayings you learn when you first study Spanish is, “Dar/vender gato por liebre,” or to “give or sell a cat instead of a rabbit,” meaning deception. Digging into the history of Spanish cookbooks, you’ll find a famous — and oft-quoted — recipe for roast cat in Ruperto de Nola’s* fifteenth-century … More Eating Cat Meat: A Taboo?
[A photograph, and nothing more, for silent contemplation.]
For years, I’ve been carting around a number of books about Chinese medicine and food, fascinated by the ancient linkage of food with medicine (similar in some regards to the Ayurvedic system of India). As you can imagine, getting down to the bone on this matter is not an easy proposition, given the lack of … More Sour and Bitter Blended in the Soup of Wu:* Very Early Chinese Herbals
When it comers to food, we humans live in a paradox these days. In the West, there’s too much food — as long as one has money with which to buy it — and because of that excess, we begin to look like the Michelin Man or the Pillsbury Doughboy. And on the flip side … More Hunger, Starvation, Famine and the Sweep of Human History
[A picture, and nothing more, for silent contemplation.]
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 … More No Thanks to Marco Polo: An Encyclopedia of Italy’s Pasta Shapes
According to Science Daily, Freshwater fish are an important part of the diet of many peoples around the world, but it has been unclear when fish became an important part of the year-round diet for early humans. A new study by an international team of researchers, including Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts … More Fish in the Diets of Early Modern Humans in China 40,000 Years Ago — Direct Evidence