Seeking Food at the Crossroads of History

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…

Journeys versus Destinations: Homesick for My Food

I’d never experienced it before. Amoebas, yes. Worms, yes. Dengue, yes.  Broken bones, yes. Malaria dreams, yes. But not cravings for thick juicy hamburgers or plump buttermilk pancakes swimming in melted butter and golden maple syrup or crispy fried chicken with cream gravy. In spite of all the years of traveling and living among cultures…

Hunger’s Fearsome Power: The Body and Soul of Vincent van Gogh

(For more about France and artists, see “Food for Art’s Sake: eating with the Impressionists.” Ask people if they’ve heard of Vincent van Gogh, and they’ll say, “Oh yeah, that crazy artist, the dude who cut his ear off and gave it to some hooker.” True. Using a straight razor, van Gogh sliced off part…

Hunger, a Weapon of War

An army marches on its stomach. ~~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~~ Unfortunately, war is the human condition. And where there is war, there is hunger. From time immemorial, hunger has always been a weapon of war and each side will use it, if possible. An enemy’s hungry army, along with time, is often the only weapon…

Hunger is the Best Sauce

A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers. [Lat., Nec rationem patitur, nec aequitate mitigatur nec ulla prece flectitur, populus esuriens.] De Brevitate Vitoe (XVIII), Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) Chronic hunger is something that most of us in the United States will never really know.* Yet…