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Food Sites for December 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

French Red Shallots, Allium cepa var. aggregatum

The holiday season of excess is crouched outside the door, and soon we’ll be begging not to even think about another rich dish. But, until then, the cool weather makes firing up the oven, or having something simmering on the back burner all day, seem magically domestic.

Roll Magazine published “Thanksgiving,”  a somewhat cantankerous look at the holiday—one that brazenly refuses to include even a single recipe. 

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner.

This month’s quote (from On the Table’s culinary quote collection) leans upon some thoughts about the staff of life.

Proust had his madeleines; I am devastated by the scent of yeast bread rising. Bert Greene  
The toaster is part of a system and only has significance relative to the wrapped, pan-made, thin-crusted bread that can be used in it … Ultimately, the toaster is an apology for the quality of our bread... the toaster represents a heroic attempt to redeem our packaged bread... Every piece of toast is a tragedy. Arthur Berge 
A three-year-old gave this reaction to her Christmas dinner: “I don’t like the turkey, but I like the bread he ate.” Author Unknown
Gary
December, 2016

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites weve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those of you who have introduced us to sites like the ones in this newsletter (such as Dianne Jacob), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if youve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or don‘t wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. Were happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and well see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.

PPS: Want to give On the Table a holiday gift, without spending a dime of your own money on it? See the bottom of this newsletter!

---- the new sites ----

(Courtney Humphries, at Cook’s Science, on the role of bitterness in beer—and foods—and recent attempts to moderate it with mycological extracts)

(something sweet from Lauren Rothman, at Serious Eats)

(the online companion to Cook’s Illustrated)

(Mexico Cooks!’s own Cristina Potters)

(The New York Times’ Mimi Sheraton ponders a ponderous question)

(Erin Ross, at NPR’s The Salt, on how archaeologists are using evidence from fossil teeth to discover what our ancient ancestors ate)

(Jancis Robinson on the debunking of “minerality” in wine descriptions)

(Sarah Laskow, at Atlas Obscura, on the history, and fortunes, of America’s founding fish, shad)

(José R. Ralat, at Cowboys & Indians, on the history, mythology, and culture of a misunderstood traditional regional specialty)

(assembling a collection of agricultural photos at The Farmer’s Museum, in Cooperstown, NY)

(a guide to sake, by Tasting Table’s Lizzie Munro)

(Matthew Braga, at Atlas Obscura, on recent attempts to re-create the staple foods of sea-farers of the past)

(Kristy Mucci, at Saveur, on persimmons that won’t pucker you)

(Adam Kinkaid, on a museum dedicated to Poland’s rogale świętomarcińskie, a pastry that is nothing like the familiar French crescent)

(Eater’s Daniela Galarza soft-serves the regional names for a lot of frozen treats)

(Evan Edwards, at 3 Quarks Daily, on the poet’s conflicted feelings about carnivory)


---- an inspirational (or otherwise useful) site for writers/bloggers ----



---- still another blog ----



---- thats all for now ----

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

Occasionally, URLs we provide may link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation—other than the fact that they looked interesting to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs: 

Want to give On the Table a holiday gift, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you plan to do your holiday shopping on Amazon, click on any of the book links below, then whatever you buy there will earn a commission for this newsletter without adding to your cost (it doesn’t even have to be one of our books).

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(Paper)
(Kindle)
(these newsletters merely update the contents of the book; what doesn’t appear here is already in the book)

The Herbalist in the Kitchen
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries
(Hardcover)
 (Kindle)

Human Cuisine
(Paper)
(Kindle)

Herbs: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sausage: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Terms of Vegery
(Kindle)

How to Serve Man: On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating
(Kindle)

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #194 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the authors prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Gary Allen.


Rules of Engagement

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Editor’s Note:
For the life of me, I cannot undertand why otherwise reasonable people continue to invite this “party pooper” to their weddings. It must be because his wife—who is not, at all, a wet blanket—is a desirable guest. Inexplicably, after decades of failure, she has not given up her efforts to civilize him. 
I guess that makes TWO things I cannot understand.
At a recent wedding—where he confirmed his antisocial bona fides by sitting alone with a thickish book, and by being conspicuously absent from the dance floor—he instead mused on the nature of the proceedings. 
It should be noted that, while he has no personal knowledge of the subject on which he pontificates, that has never stopped him before.


When boys are growing up, they’re vaguely aware that weddings and marriage exist, but they lump them together with other  “things to be avoided”—like skunks, poison ivy, and soap. As they get older, and the inevitability of the unthinkable approaches, they realize that there are but two details about which they should be concerned: picking out the right engagement ring, and coming up with the least-objectionable way to present it without making complete asses of themselves. 
Once past those obstacles, there’s only the engagement. 
Most males mistakenly believe that the engagement is a kind of grace period that was designed to provide either party a chance to weasel out of the contract. The poor deluded chaps were either unaware of, or simply weren’t paying attention to, children of the female persuasion who grew up in their vicinity.
Many of these inscrutable creatures (who, for all the boys knew, were of some entirely different species) had, from an early age, been planning imaginary weddings—either alone or in concert with similarly-minded females. The details of their imagined weddings might have changed, but their complexity only increased, with each passing year. By the time a girl reaches marriageable age, with a wedding date already inked in, a set of plans as convoluted as the outline of a Russian novel of the larger sort are formulated. 
To layout one of these metaphorical novels, she must consider mood, theme, character development and interrelationships with other characters, setting(s), multiple plots and sub-plots, previous novels or historical facts (if any of the characters, settings, and events had appeared in print before), as well as times and distances required by all sub-plots, so that no unexpected conflicts present themselves. 
The groom, of course, is blissfully oblivious to all this.
At first.
Gradually, like an unfortunate frog that discovers that his smallish pond is actually a pot that has been set on the stove, the boy begins to notice that he’s in hot water. 
While he is busy worrying about the likelihood of choking or mumbling his lines at the altar, his future bride is manipulating the numberless details of the impending event. Relationships of which he has no knowledge—or, if he does, are of no consequence to him—are of paramount importance to the growing circle of female co-conspirators who orbit his bride-to-be. Clothes, which for him are no more than a collection of unmatched items that need only shield him from weather are instead—and utterly new to him—a cacophony of competing fabrics, styles, cuts, colors, and god-knows what-all attributes, every one of which is of critical importance to the bride and her cohorts. 
The fact that such details are indistinguishable to him does little more than make him a lodestone of feminine disapproval.
Still, he cannot comprehend the reason for their long engagement. This despite the fact that the bride’s inner circle might need two months just to determine the seating arrangements at the reception. Layers of social and familial entanglements rivaling those of the Hatfields and McCoys, must be identified and parried through meticulous planning. The groom—who, frankly, had never really paid attention to who, exactly, all these relatives were, let alone the forces that attracted them to, or repelled them from, each other—is learning all this for the first time. 
Whether he wishes to or not.
Weeks and weeks of interviews with potential DJs, printers of wedding invitations, florists, bakers, hairdressers, organizers, clergy and/or justices, facilities managers, caterers, hoteliers, chauffeurs, mixologists and moon-shiners—and possibly fools, jugglers, acrobats, peacocks and trained apes (but nary a belly-dancer) will occur. 
Much as he would like for all this to proceed without him, he will be expected to participate in every decision. Knowing, beforehand, that any suggestions he might offer will be disregarded would be merciful. 
No one will be merciful.
He will, eventually, discover that he has achieved the status of an ancient feeble-minded uncle. That guy who shows up at all family gatherings, only to be shown to a soft chair in a remote corner and ignored until dinner time—when the unfortunate person who drew the short straw has to sit beside him, assigned to pick up dropped flatware, wipe up occasional spills, and mop drool from his grizzled chin.
It is the time-tested training method for married life.

Food Sites for November 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016


Summer is definitely over around here, which means cleaning out the last of the frost-averse parts of the harvest. The final batch of basil is in, and green tomatoes that will never have a chance to ripen have been fried or turned into chutney.

Roll Magazine published “Oysters,” some thoughts about our favorite mollusk. Meanwhile, we’ve been on the stump a bit for Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Food, doing readings and being interviewed. This was an especially (almost embarrassingly) positive example of the latter.

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner.

This month’s quote (from On the Table’s culinary quote collection) features this line from the 1991 film, Fried Green Tomatoes (a line, you may recall, that had nothing whatsoever to do with fried green tomatoes):

The secret’s in the sauce.

Gary
November, 2016

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites weve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those of you who have introduced us to sites like the ones in this newsletter (such as Dianne Jacob), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if youve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or dont wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. Were happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and well see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


---- the new sites ----

(Mexican cookery: articles, recipes, links to blogs; in Spanish)

(Nick Hines, at Vinepair, on what used to be the best part of a British tar’s day)

(Lynn Brown, at JSTOR Daily, on something that has little to do with pad thai)

(Lily Starbuck, at Lucky Peach, tears into some flaky fakelore)

(Adán Medrano, on the origin of the ubiquitous Mexican starter, at Hispanic Network)

(the etymology of the back of the house)

(interview, by Cara Parks at Roads & Kingdoms; how Naomi Duguid was able to encounter the real foods of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan)

(Paige Villiard on the origins of the ubiquitous hand-held favorite)

(Cristina Potters on Mexican food that won’t have you saying “Yo quiero Taco Bell”)

(Dwight Furrow on why winemaking is both art and science)


---- inspirational (or otherwise useful) site for writers/bloggers ----








---- still more blogs ----








---- thats all for now ----

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

Occasionally, URLs we provide may link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation—other than the fact that they looked interesting to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs: 

Want to support On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you want to shop on Amazon. Com, click on any of the book links below, then whatever you buy there will earn a commission for this newsletter without adding to your cost (it doesn’t even have to be one of our books).

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(Paper)
(Kindle)
(these newsletters merely update the contents of the book; what doesn’t appear here is already in the book)

The Herbalist in the Kitchen
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries
(Hardcover)
 (Kindle)

Human Cuisine
(Paper)
(Kindle)

Herbs: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sausage: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Terms of Vegery
(Kindle)

How to Serve Man: On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating
(Kindle)

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #193 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the authors prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Gary Allen.


Food Sites for October 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

A bin full of live frogs. Asian Supermarket, Colonie, NY.

We have fond memories of Frog Legs Provençal, the introduction to our first meal as a employee of The Culinary Institute of America, ages ago. 

Of course we’d eaten frog legs before, but they were not nearly as elegantly prepared or served. For example, sometime before, we had brought home a bag of live frogs to process into dinner. Our (then) girl friend walked in—saw the throbbing bag that was trying to hop off her kitchen table—and developed a sudden urge to become a vegan. 

We have other froggy memories, even less savory, such as time we stepped on half of a frog that had  been left for us—quite thoughtfully—by one of our cats.  We were, at the time, wearing our favorite pair of bare feet. The precise memory of cold, moist amphibian innards squeezing up between one’s toes does not fade with time, we might add.

Assuming that you’re pretty much sated with froggy memorabilia by now, we can move on to other news.

Roll Magazine published “Preserving Food, Preserving Culture,” an adaptation of parts of the introduction to Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Food, along with three recipes from the book. 
Aside to On the Table insiders: “Preserving Food, Preserving Culture” was my working title for the book. The publisher’s marketing team created the final title.

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner.

This month’s quotes (from On the Table’s culinary quote collection) returns—you’ll be thrilled to learn—to this month’s amphibian theme.

Three million frogs’ legs are served in Paris—daily. Nobody knows what became of the rest of the frogs. Fred Allen 
Waiter, there’s no fly in my soup! Kermit the Frog
Gary
October, 2016

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites weve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those of you who have introduced us to sites like the ones in this newsletter (such as Rachel Laudan, who has been very busy lately), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if youve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or dont wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. Were happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and well see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


---- the new sites ----

(Smithsonian blogpost, by Jessica Carbone, about the evolution of sushi, mostly in California)

(Abby Reisner reviews Paul Freedman’s Ten Restaurants That Changed America, at Tasting Table)

(baked by Miguel Esquirol Rios, at The Historical Cooking Project)

(Sarah Yager, writing in The Atlantic, on the ubiquitous, hard, long-lasting, and relatively flavorless fruit)

(Paula Felps, at Live Happy, on recent experiments in neurogastronomy)

(an interview, at Civil Eats, with Emelyn Rude, author of Tastes Like Chicken)

(Mikhail Horowitz, on New York Jewish delicatessens, at Jewish Currents; or, as William Blake said, “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”)

(Rachel Laudan explains how the food of Hawaii enriched her understanding of food history, far beyond that of the islands)

(an early report on the state of agriculture in the Southeastern colonies)

(Tejal Rao, in The New York Times; forget fry bread and pemmican)

(Rachel Laudan looks at recent works that question our assumptions about the relationship between geography and cuisines)

(catalog of an exhibit, in the University of Michigan Library, on the history of beer in the US—from seventeenth-century home-brewers, through industrialization, prohibition, and back to home-brewing in the mid twentieth-century; coverage ends before the rise of craft brewing and brewpubs)

(a podcast on what we do, and don’t, know about the health effects of salt in the diet)

(Dwight Furrow, at Edible Arts, on the limitations of scientific language in writing abut wine)

(Dan Bergin-Holly waxes rhapsodic over breakfasts that tend to excess; at Extra Crispy)

(we may have receptors for more than five basic tastes, and one of the new ones might be for starch; report by Jessica Hamzelou in New Scientist)

(Nora Caplan-Bricker, in The New Yorker, on the performance art of Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter, works that examine implicit eating rituals)

(Nova McCune Cadamatre considers the effect of global warming on the wines of the future, at Snooth; Spoiler alert: it doesn’t look like good news)

(experimental archaeologists used twelve-thousand-year-old methods and tools to process Israeli wild barley into bread; report published in PHYS.ORG)


---- changed URL ----



---- inspirational (or otherwise useful) site for writers/bloggers ----







---- still more blogs ----



---- that‘s all for now ----

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

Occasionally, the URLs we provide may link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation—other than the fact that they looked interesting to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs: 

Want to support On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you want to shop on Amazon, click on any of the book links below, then whatever you buy there will earn a commission for this newsletter without adding to your cost (it doesn’t even have to be one of our books).

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(Paper)
(Kindle)
These newsletters merely update the contents of the book; what doesn’t appear here is already in the book.

The Herbalist in the Kitchen
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries
(Hardcover)
 (Kindle)

Human Cuisine
(Paper)
(Kindle)

Herbs: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sausage: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Terms of Vegery
(Kindle)

How to Serve Man: On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating
(Kindle)

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #192 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author‘s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Gary Allen.


Food Sites for September 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Beautiful Swimmers (Callinectes sapidus), crusted with Old Bay.

This may be the September issue, but it’s still August while we’re typing—and it’s bloody hot. It’s been bloody hot for ages. That means we long to wade into spicy salty foods (like steamed crabs) and hose ourselves down with icy IPA. Okay... maybe concentrate on getting most of that beer inside us (‘though a sanitizing beard shampoo wouldn’t be a terrible idea after a crabby encounter).

ANYWAY... there’s always someone who tells us that the reason spicy foods are preferred in hot climates is because it makes the natives perspire, which then cools them. Maybe that would work in the desert—where humidity doesn’t exist—but we’ve never noticed a sweat-shortage problem anywhere else. Eliminating excess moisture is more like it. 

We suspect that the cooling idea has as about much validity as the old saw about spices being used to cover the taste of spoiled meat. We scarf down spicy dishes for the same reason we swig frosty brews: We just like ‘em.

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook, and Twitter Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner.

This month’s quote (from On the Table’s culinary quote collection) is meant to encourage us to write more (and well) about food—‘though a couple of blog posts in the “inspirational” section, below, warn us to watch our language.

Do not be afraid to talk about food. Food which is worth eating is worth discussing. And there is the occult power of words which somehow will develop its qualities. Marcel Boulestin

Gary
September, 2016

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites weve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those of you who have introduced us to sites like the ones in this newsletter (such as Karla Simon), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if youve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or dont wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. Were happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and well see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


---- the new sites ----

(recipes, ingredients, restaurants, from incredibly varied regional cuisines—including Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean foods)

(an Eater interview with Andrew Zimmern that addresses all things gastronomic—and anatomical)

(the story of “the Chile Capital of the World,” in New Mexico Magazine)

(Harold McGee begins one of his fascinating conversations at Lucky Peach)

(David Chang uses logic in an unexpected way to understand the intersection between flavor and memory)

(it’s not all about Jack)

(thousands of downloadable hi-res fruit images)

(Dwight Furrow, in Edible Arts, on how knowledge can inform perception in wine tasting)


---- inspirational (or otherwise useful) site for writers/bloggers ----






---- still more blogs ----







---- thats all for now ----

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

Some of the URLs we provide may occasionally link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation (other than the fact that they looked interesting to us).

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs: 

Want to support On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you want to shop on Amazon. Com, click on any of the book links below, then whatever you buy there will earn a commission for this newsletter without adding to your cost (it doesn’t even have to be one of our books).

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(Paper)
(Kindle)
These newsletters merely update the contents of this book; 
what doesn’t appear here is already in the book.

The Herbalist in the Kitchen
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries
(Hardcover)

Human Cuisine
(Paper)

Herbs: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sausage: A Global History
(Hardcover)

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Terms of Vegery

How to Serve Man: On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating
(Kindle)


Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #191 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author‘s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Gary Allen.


The Libro-Emporium

Doorstops and lavatory entertainments abound in our book store.