It was Julia Child‘s favorite outdoor market in Paris. La Mouffe. Or rue Mouffetard, in the 5th arrondisement. Ancient street, cobblestone-strewn. Romans trod there, and marched, too. In the third century, Legionnaires laid the first rock in the town they called Lutetia Parisiorum. And that thoroughfare stretched all the way to Rome via the modern … More La Mouffe
As Notre Dame burned on the night of April 15, 2019, all my memories of Paris converged, accordion-like, folding inward, into that deep place of mine where not much gets in. Sobs, tears, disbelief. History ignited, bursting into flames, before my very eyes. Never mind that history, by its very nature, changes day to day, … More Memory, My Old Friend
When you bite into a chicken taco or scoop up guacamole, you probably won’t be thinking about France. Yet, France left indelible fingerprints on the cuisine of Mexico. Jeffrey Pilcher, in Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Dialogos) (1998), attempted to examine the question, but much remains to be done. … More The Shadow of France Hovers Over Mexican Cooking
You’re not supposed to begin a piece of writing with a question. Why not? No idea, except that the “experts” seem to think that it’s an easy way out. “You can do better,” they say. So what was my question? Oh yes. Why is traditional French food so terribly unpopular at the moment? Many authors … More Speaking of France …
Nine years ago, I decided to poke a toe into the world of food blogging. I settled on the name, “Gherkins & Tomatoes,” based on a painting by Luis Meléndez, a tribute to the period of history known as “The Age of Exploration.” Faced with a blank screen demanding something, anything, the first words that … More 9 Years of Writing about History … A Celebration!
When it comes to the kitchen, I’ve always been a seeker, a pilgrim in a more modern sense of the word, “A person travelling to a place of particular personal interest.”* It all began on a diesel-perfumed street corner in Puebla, Mexico. I stood in the shadow of a broken streetlight, sunshine and sweaty bodies … More Seeking Food at the Crossroads of History
I didn’t mean to write about Campbell’s soup. You see, I started out pondering a super French soup recipe, Velouté aux Champignons. Somehow I ended up contemplating Campbell’s canned Cream of Mushroom Soup, definitely not one of Antonin Carême’s sauces mères or Mother Sauces (velouté, espagnole, allemande, béchamel)! Though you could argue that Campbell’s soups … More From Velouté to Casserole: A Question of Green Beans, Amandine, and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup