Carnevale Goeth: Dipping into Austerity via Cucina di Magro

“Thin” kitchen, that’s what the “magro” part means here. No, not a galley kitchen. Not a New York loft kitchen. Not even a Paris apartment kitchen. Skinny food. That’s cucina di magro. Vegetables. Legumes. Fish. Fruit. Shellfish. The bones of the Mediterranean diet. No meat, at least none that walks around on four legs. Or … More Carnevale Goeth: Dipping into Austerity via Cucina di Magro

Carnivale Cometh, Again: Sumptuous Lasagne di Carnevale

And now for the food of Carnival, as interpreted by cooks in what is now Italy. (See previous post on Carnival for more history.) Greasy, fatty, protein-rich, oozing with cheese or sugar, the dishes created for Martedi Grasso (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday) served a higher purpose than merely feeding hungry stomachs: the severe Lenten proscriptions … More Carnivale Cometh, Again: Sumptuous Lasagne di Carnevale

Stoves & Suitcases, a Review by Leo Racicot

Noted food historian, Cynthia D. Bertelsen’s new book, Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens, knocks one out of the ballpark. Not since Jessica B. Harris’ s My Soul Looks Back has a book captured me so completely, cover-to-cover. I read it in a day. In this high-caliber travelogue of tastes, flavors, … More Stoves & Suitcases, a Review by Leo Racicot

Relishing the Cranberry: A Real American Original

Bad cranberries don’t bounce. Bad cranberries don’t float. Bad cranberries sink. In fact, cranberry growers bounce their cranberries seven times over a four‑inch high barrier before packing. Imagine buying unbagged cranberries in the grocery store, with savvy shoppers chasing after red berries boomeranging all over the produce section! Who has ever seen fresh cranberries sold … More Relishing the Cranberry: A Real American Original

Cooks, Kitchens, and Places: Josephine’s Tale

Since modern photography only came into being around 1816, when Nicéphore Niépc combined camera obscura techniques and paper with photosensitive qualities, the faces of so many people will never be known to us. Those of the rich, the powerful, and the occasional peasant – thanks to artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder – we their … More Cooks, Kitchens, and Places: Josephine’s Tale

Day 2: Oysters – Celebrate American Food History

Jonathan Swift once quipped, “It was a brave man who first ate an oyster.” And an even braver one who pried open the shell without special gloves and knives. Actually, it’s more likely that our hero (or heroine)  used a rock to smash into the mollusk. Oysters kept people alive in the early days of colonial North America, … More Day 2: Oysters – Celebrate American Food History