Le départ des fruits et légumes du cœur de Paris: The Loss of Paris’s Les Halles

In 1969, Paris's ancient central market of Les Halles, having grown enormously, and congested to boot, moved to Rungis, just on the outskirts of the city. Émile Zola wrote of the old Les Halles in his The Belly of Paris, volume three of Zola's twenty novels examining the French bourgeoisie, civil conflict, hunger, and poverty.…

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Curl Up with a Nice Food Blog …

The creativity, wit, and wisdom of food bloggers never ceases to amaze me. And so today, I simply must let you know about some new, to me anyway, blogs (and bloggers) that I've run across lately. Here are two that provide gorgeous pictures, along with commentary and a bit of food history: "An English Kitchen,"…

To the Cooks, Prosit! Part II

He turns the spit who never tasted a morsel from it. Proverbes en Rimes, no. 117. Continuing our salute to cooks this holiday season (Thanksgiving), today's post includes some depictions of male cooks, as well as female cooks. Medieval opinions of cooks, mostly men, tended to reflect the lowly status accorded to people who worked…

To the Cooks, Prosit! Part I

Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (1516), in delineating what would make an ideal society, said: .. all vyle service, all slaverie and drudgerye, with all the laboursome toyle and busines, is done by bondmen. But the women of every famelie by course have the office and charge of cokerye ... and orderyng al thinges…

The Chicken or the Egg? 1. The Egg and Art*

The egg it is where it was at for Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, who once said, rather egotistically (!), that "When I was three I wanted to be a cook. At the age of six I wanted to be Napoleon. Since then my ambition has increased all the time" The other day, thoughts of…

Food In Art: Giuseppe Arcimboldo

One of the most  intriguing artists I know of went by the name of Giuseppe Arcimboldo (also known as Arcimboldi, 1527 - 1593). A series of four paintings hangs in the Museé du Louvre in Paris and every time I see the paintings, I wish they belonged to me. This Italian artist painted these Mannerist…

The Inauguration of 2009 Rendered in Art

Artist Maira Kalman turned the Inauguration of 2009 into an artistic rendition of universal experience. Antoine Vollon's eggs and butter caught my attention. I am offering this link in the spirit of the artist, as a celebration of America. And, of course, of food and community. Dine with your friends and sup with your enemies.…