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Food Sites for April 2020

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sixty years ago, restaurants in Nashville were closed because of the fear of contagion—by even the possibility of folks of different races eating together. Today we close eateries for fear a different kind of contagion.

We may be living in fearful—and fearsome—times, when even the thought of commensality seems like risky business. We may be afraid to eat together, in public, but we can still share our conversations about food with each other around virtual tables (like this one). Bon appetit—and à votre santé!

The deadline for the Sophie Coe Prize in Food History is fast approaching (April 25th). If you're thinking of entering, go to this page, ASAP!

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook (where, among other things, we post a LOT of photographs), and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner. There’s even an Amazon author’s page

A couple of thoughts about commensality, from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

I wonder if I love the communal act of eating so much because throughout my childhood, with four older brothers and a mom who worked in the restaurant business, I spent a lot of time fending for myself, eating alone—and recognizing how eating together made all the difference. Thomas Keller
Men that can have communication in nothing else can sympathetically eat together, can still rise into some glow of brotherhood over food and wine. Thomas Carlyle
April, 2020

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites we’ve 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 corrections or tasty sites (this month we’re tipping our hat to Dwight Furrow), 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 you’ve 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. We’re 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 —

(Gastro Obscura’s Vittoria Traverso, on Isabella Dalla Ragione’s efforts to rediscover Italy’s lost fruits and vegetables)

(Teresa Carr, at Sapiens, on the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute’s efforts on behalf of the world’s cacao farmers)

(site for “...scholars and activists doing work on food and agricultural systems within the discipline of sociology”)

(Rachel Syme’s New Yorker essay)

(academic journal from Technological University Dublin)

(Henrietta Moore’s review of Martín Caparrós’ Hunger: The Oldest Problem, in Literary Review)

(Monica Eng reports on WBEZ’s Curious City)

(Michelle Cohen’s fond reminiscence, for 6sqft)

(Aimiee Maxwell’s Gastro Obscura article about a nearly 11,000-year-old indigenous foodstuff in Utah)

(Lauren Mowery explains—for Vinepair—what happens to coffee before it appears, miraculously, in your cup)

(Atlas Obscura visits Homestead Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center and the Fruit and Spice Park)

(Christine Clark, on the magic—or monster—that is Brevibacterium linens; in Vinepair)

(paper by Peter Atkins and Ian Bowler, in Food in Society: Economy, Culture, Geography)

(Andrew Egan’s article, in Tedium, about the ubiquitous point-of-sales systems used in the restaurant industry)

(Joe Pinkser reveals the best books to help in understanding what goes on in the kitchen; in The Atlantic)

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

— more blogs —

— that’s all for now —

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

As an Amazon Associate, this newsletter earns from qualifying purchases made through it. These include my own books (listed below), and occasional books mentioned in the entries above. If you order any books via those links, the price you pay is not increased by my commission. 

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 for our books:

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

The Herbalist in the Kitchen

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries

Human Cuisine

Herbs: A Global History

Sausage: A Global History

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods

Sauces Reconsidered: Après Escoffier

Terms of Vegery

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

How to Write a Great Book

The Digressions of Dr Sanscravat: Gastronomical Ramblings & Other Diversions

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.


The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #234 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 ©2020 by Gary Allen.


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