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Food Sites for July 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bacon Butty, York, England.

We’ve recently returned from a trip to Ireland, the U.K., and France. Needless to say, we ate and drank well... and are happy to have proved to ourselves that the horror stories about the food of England are utterly false. At least they are now (we suspect that post-war gastronomy might have been a different story). We never sought fancy restaurants, but found even ordinary places were as good as better-than-average eateries in the U.S.

What with all the browsing and sloshing, we didn’t get any writing done, but did take thousands (several thousands) of photos... and walked enough so that none of those foreign calories had a chance to take hold. 

We did learn that our sausage book is now available in Japanese, and Can It! has been translated into Korean. Neither of those events required any effort on our part, which is just the way we like it.

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 cover a range of scurrilous slanderings of the English table. We include them even though they are no longer valid (but still amusing).

The English have only three sauces—a white one, a brown one and a yellow one, and none of them have any flavor whatever. Guy de Maupassant 
Speaking of food, English cuisine has received a lot of unfair criticism over the years, but the truth is that it can be a very pleasant surprise to the connoisseur of severely overcooked livestock organs served in lukewarm puddles of congealed grease. England manufactures most of the world's airline food, as well as all the food you ever ate in your junior-high-school cafeteria. Dave Barry 
If the English can survive their food, they can survive anything. George Bernard Shaw 
Every country possesses, it seems, the sort of cuisine it deserves, which is to say the sort of cuisine it is appreciative enough to want. I used to think that the notoriously bad cooking of the English was an example to the contrary, and that the English cook the way they do because, through sheer technical deficiency, they had not been able to master the art of cooking. I have discovered to my stupefaction that the English cook that way because that is the way they like it. Waverly Root 
English Cooking: You just put things in hot water and take them out again after a while. Anonymous French Chef 
...the true spirit of gastronomic joylessness. Porridge fills the Englishman up, and prunes clear him out. E.M. Forster 
All in all, I think the British actually hate food, otherwise they couldnt possibly abuse it so badly. Americans, on the other hand, love food but seldom care what it tastes like. Bill Marsano 
Ill bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal. Martha Harrison 
Britain is the only country in the world where the food is more dangerous than the sex. Jackie Mason 
More than any other in Western Europe, Britain remains a country where a traveler ... has to think twice before indulging in the ordinary food of ordinary people. Joseph Lelyveld
 Gary
July, 2017

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 who have pointed out juicy sites (like Jeri Quinzio & Andy Smith), 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. Youll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


---- the new sites ----

(Joe Pinsker interviews Ai Hisano—a fellow at the Harvard Business School—about the history of artificially colored foods; in The Atlantic)

(Gastropod looks at Great Britain’s attempts to deal with ever-more sophisticated food fraud; podcast)

(Tanya Lewis, at Science Alert, serves before-and-after photos of some familiar grocery items)

(Sharanya Deepak, at Munchies, on the two-century-long fusion of Chinese and Indian cooking)

(Rocio Gomez, at Nursing Clio, on the social history of the Mexican staple)

(Russ Parsons interviews Ole Mouritsen, author of Mouthfeel: How Texture Makes Taste, for The Splendid Table)

(Jonathan Katz on a classic multicultural “Cape Malay” dish from South Africa)

(Chef Anthony Scanio, at NOLA Defender, on a local salad dressed in an ethnic slur)

(Sarah Bond, at Forbes, on “Race, Food and the Debate Over Cultural Appropriation”)

(Shane Mitchell, at The Bitter Southerner, on the curious historical connections between Carolina Gold and what some have called “perverted rice”)

(Helen Hollyman’s interview, at Munchies, with the executive chef of this NYC sibling of the San Franciscan fusion restaurant)

(Bonnie Tsui, in The New York Times, on the “casual racism” and inherent vagueness of this ubiquitous menu item)


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





---- yet 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 help On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you plan to go 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 #201 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) 2017 by Gary Allen.



Food Sites for June 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Peacock (Pavo cristatus), wandering freely at the Bronx Zoo.

We’ve included the peacock, above, not because peacocks are food (‘though they certainly have been in the past), but because—amazingly enough—this is the TWO-HUNDRETH issue of these newsletters! The bird’s combination of pride and gaudy excess seemed somehow apt.

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) feature at least two pretty questionable recipes.

Pecok Rosted: Take a Pecok, breke his necke, and kutte his throte, And fle him, the skyn and the ffethurs togidre, and the hede still to the skyn of the nekke, And kepe the skyn and the ffethurs hole togiders; drawe him as an hen, And kepe the bone to the necke hole, and roste him, And set the bone of the necke aboue the broche, as he was wonte to sitte a-lyve, And abowe the legges to the body, as he was wonte to sitte a-lyve; And whan he is rosted ynowe, take him of, And lete him kele; And then wynde the skyn wit the fethurs and the taile abought the body, And serue him forthe as he were a-live; or elle pull him dry, And roste him, and serue him as thou doest a henne. Recipe from the kitchens of Henry VIII.
Redressed Peacocks Which Seem Living; and How to Make Them Breath Fire Through Their Mouth: You should first kill the peacock with a feather, driving it upon its head, or else drain its blood from under its throat as with a pig; but it is better to take out its tongue and then to slice it under its body—that is, from the top of its breast to its tail—slicing only the skin and removing it gently so that it is not damaged; when you have skinned it, pull the skin back right up to the head, then cut away the head, which will remain attached to the skin; do the same with the legs, and likewise the tail, taking out the leg bones so that the iron will make the peacock stand up will not be seen; then take the skinned carcass and set it to roast stuck with lardonns, or else baste it with grease often enough that it will not burn… hang the Peacock by the heels upon a Spit, having stuffed him with sweet Herbs and Spices, and roast him, first sticking Cloves all along his brest, and wrapping his neck in a white Linnen Cloath, alwayes wetting it, that it dry not. When the Peacock is rosted, take him off from the Spit, and put his own skin upon, him, and that he may seem to stand upon his feet, make some Rods of Iron fastned into a Board, made with leggs, that it may not be discerned, and drive these through his body as far as his head. Some to make sport and laughter, put Wool with Camphir into his mouth, and they cast in fire when he comes to the Table. Also you may gild a rosted Peacock, strewed With Spices, and covered with leaves of Gold for your recreation, and for magnificence. The same may be done with Pheasants, Grains, Geese, Capons, and other Birds. Cuoco Napoletano, late fifteenth century
Here is a kitchen improvement, in return for Peacock. For roasting or basting a chicken, render down your fat or butter with cider: about a third cider. Let it come together slowly, till the smell of cider and the smell of fat are as one. This will enliven even a frozen chicken.  Sylvia Townsend Warner

 Gary
June, 2017

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 who have pointed out juicy sites (like Jeri Quinzio & Andy Smith), 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 we‘ll see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. Youll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


---- the new sites ----

(historic agricultural information preserved by the National Endowment for the Humanities)

(Clarissa Wei, at Munchies, on the traditional dishes of the Hui and the Uyghurs)

(Claire Uziel, at Jewish Food Experience, remembering Washington’s old DGS—District Grocery Stores)

(John Rees on the online collection of the US National Library of Medicine, and their usefulness to food scholars)

(Carolyn Phillips, at Munchies, on attempts to make gastronomic sense of a culture when “No monolithic Chinese cuisine exists”)

(Yanko Tsvetkov, at Atlas of Prejudice, on gastronomic xenophobia, complete with delightful maps)

(academic paper that examines two very different ways of combining flavors)

(Marguerite Preston, at Eater, on the rebirth of patisserie in the Big Apple)

(according to the Rambling Epicure’s Jonell Galloway, it’s not easy)

(Dwight Furrow asks the right questions at Edible Arts)

(Chang-rae Lee’s Korean-American culinary memoir in the New Yorker)

(Yiyun Li’s Chinese culinary memoir in the New Yorker)

(Nicole Welk-Joerger, at Nursing Clio, on the history—and future—of milk tasting)

(Susan Strasser, in The New York Times, on the history of, and social changes brought on by, this ubiquitous appliance)

(just-food’s Victor Martino on the causes, and effects, of changes to the three-square-meals paradigm)


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










---- yet more blogs ----




---- that‘s 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 help On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you plan to go 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 #200 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) 2017 by Gary Allen.



The Grapes of Wrath Make a Passable Chardonnay

Monday, April 24, 2017


Jobless man asks judge for jail time
POSTED: 2:55 p.m. EDT, October 12, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—A man who couldn't find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for police.
On Wednesday, Timothy J. Bowers told a judge a three-year prison sentence would suit him, and the judge obliged.

When this story began to circulate on the internet, some people said it “sounded” true; others said it was probably an urban legend.  Some others decided it was time to go to the bank.

The elderly gentleman stopped, just inside the front doors of the Lorraine, Ohio branch of the Bank of America, and began to talk about the weather with the uniformed guard. It was just small talk, a pleasant, if somewhat boring, conversation—the sort of thing that happens everyday, making the day feel a little more human, yet utterly forgettable.

The man’s wife carefully filled out the appropriate slip of paper, then waited patiently for the next available teller. She noticed the nameplate at the counter and, when it was her turn, she said, “Good morning, Charlotte—what a pretty name—I’d like to make a withdrawal, if you don’t mind.” She placed her purse on the counter, and handed the paper to the young teller. “Certainly, ma’am,” she smiled professionally at the nice little old lady. When she looked at the withdrawal slip, she saw that it was blank. “Sorry ma’am—I’m afraid you forgot to fill this out.”

“Silly me,” she replied, “just turn it over, Charlotte.”

On the back—in neat, if slightly shaky script—were the words, “This is a robbery. Please keep away from the alarm button, and put only the contents of your drawer into my pocketbook.” The teller was stunned, but the whole thing was done so calmly that she did exactly as she was told.

The guard, whose attention had wandered away from the pleasant old man’s monologue, noticed the look on the teller’s face and started in her direction. The old man beside him interrupted his commentary on all things meteorological, and said, “I wouldn’t do that. I have a gun, and I would much prefer that we keep all this on a sociable level. Don’t you agree?”

The guard looked at the gun. In fact, he never took his eyes off it as the elderly couple walked slowly out of the bank.

When the police asked for descriptions of the robbers, neither the teller nor the guard could say anything more specific than, “Longish grayish white hair. Glasses. He might have had a small beard or mustache—I didn’t really notice. You know… old.” The surveillance tapes confirmed everything the witnesses said. There was absolutely nothing distinctive about the robbers.

They looked just like all the other bank customers.


Food Sites for May 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus)
in the Hudson Valley’s Black Creek

Sure, it’s trout season, but the arrival of herring in local streams is a much more dramatic indicator of the arrival of Spring. These spunky little fish push their way upstream from the ocean into little streams to spawn... by the millions. If ever there was a demonstration of the “lusty month of May,” it’s the sight of a tiny brook, filled bank to bank with silvery bolts of pure energy.

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) are still pretty fishy.

How like herrings and onions our vices are in the morning after we have committed them. Samuel Taylor Coleridge 
The herring are not in the tides as they were of old… William Butler Yeats
Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest... with... a herring! Monty Python

 Gary
May, 2017

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 who have pointed out juicy sites (like Cynthia Bertelsen), 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 we’ll 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 ----

(Ken Sayers, at Phys.org, provides a different view of the paleo diet)

(links to online texts of 19th & 20th century cookbooks, from LeMoyne University)

(Robert Moss, at Serious Eats, dishes on the dish’s non-Texan origins)

(Zenia Malmer, at The Victorianist, on “...the blundering Victorian cook, a much overlooked figure in culinary history...”)

(Ryan F. Mandelbaum decants at Gizmodo)

(leafing through the Anonyma Toscana, a fourteenth-century Italian manuscript)

(Raymond Sokolov, at The Best American Poetry, on how trying to recreate am authentic dish is a fool’s errand)

(Craig Cavallo spills the beans... and lentils, pulses, and other legumes)

(Mark Schatzker, on NPR’s The Salt, interviews Gordon M. Shepherd, author of Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine)

(Francisco Javier Murcia, at National Geographic, on the structure and functions of these erudite dinners; if you want to know more about the food itself, read The Deipnosophists of Athenaeus)

(Extra Crispy looks at the processes and procedures, ancient and modern, that lead to a great cuppa)


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






---- 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 help On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you plan to go 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 #199 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) 2017 by Gary Allen.


Strata

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Route seventeen rolls along New York’s southern tier, periodically dipping toward the Pennsylvania border—then rising as if to pay a visit to the finger-lakes. It passes places with names that stir the imagination—Red House, Painted Post, Horseheads. We’ve seen these signs many times. Karen merely nods toward a particular sign to indicate that she already knows what I am going to say. I say nothing, and we chuckle over the untold jokes.

The sun goes down, and I keep on driving.

Karen doesn’t like driving at night, but I am actually a safer driver in the dark. During the day, I can’t help seeing the beds of ancient Devonian streams, filled with rounded gravel that rolled along in their currents a hundred million years before the first dinosaur eggs were laid. I know not to look for dinosaurs here—any rocks that might have held their bones and footprints washed, long ago, into the sea. Where those rocks had been are rounded mounds of sand and gravel left by glaciers only yesterday.

With night, I am not so distracted. There is only the road.

Karen gradually falls asleep and I am left to think about night-driving. St.-Exupery I’m not, however, and until we pass through the convoluted and brightly lit area around Binghamton, little of interest occurs to me. I suspect that this is the sort of state in which drivers fall asleep, but a quart of Starbucks, from Erie, Pennsylvania, is still working.

I keep driving.

Around Deposit, the road begins to climb and descend and twist about—we are entering the western margins of the Catskill plateau. Signs indicate the nearness of the Delaware River. Place names—like Hale Eddy, Long Eddy and the enigmatic Fishs Eddy, conjure visions of giant trout swirling in the darkness.

We pass over a hill and enter the Beaverkill watershed—hallowed ground for fly fishermen. If there was enough light, I would find it hard to resist watching the air above the streams, looking for the tell-tale swoop of swallows and darting of cedar wax-wings that indicate a hatch of may-flies or caddis-flies, checking to see that fishermen wade near the best positions in the stream.

But it is night, and a car is tail-gating me. Hes so close, I can see the ribbed texture of the glass over his headlights in my mirror.

We pull into a rest area between Livingston Manor and Liberty—the tail-gater follows us in, then parks several cars past us. No one gets out of the car. Perhaps a dozen cars are parked there—but no one is walking around. We notice that raincoats and such are hanging inside the car next to us, and the windows are covered with condensation on the inside.

At the back of the rest area, flowing silently in the dark, is the Willowemoc—the most trouty of the streams that feed, first, the Beaverkill and then the Delaware. The cars are filled with sleeping trout fishermen. It is nearing midnight, on a Friday, and they have driven—probably straight from work—so that they can wake up next to some of the prettiest water in the east.

Karen dozes lightly through the familiar mountains as we drive the last hour or so.

I smile in the dark, picturing the white inside a huge brook trout’s mouth as it tries to inhale my home-made dry fly: the fly bouncing along perfectly, swinging naturally through the darkness under a mountain laurel that overhangs a Catskill stream, the great spotted antediluvian head emerging from unexpected depths.


The image is a quarter century old. 

I did not hook that trout, but I have seen its rise a million times, in perfect clarity. I no longer fish for actual trout, but still, I envy the sleepers in the cars. Not, of course, the aching stiffness they will certainly feel in the morning—but definitely the cool damp grass before dawn, the taste of coffee from a stainless steel thermos, and the promise of that glossy black current beneath the mountain laurels.

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