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Food Sites for August 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Sweet Basil, the perfume of summer.

Eating, in the hot months, is all about freshness, using cooking methods that won’t heat up the house, but burst with flavors that never need the slow cajoling of a wintery braise. Give us something quickly grilled, served with a sun-soaked side dish—like a Caprese salad—and something tall and cold and sparkling to keep us company us on a shady porch or patio.

The Corona virus has forced some odd changes on most of us. Unless you happen to be a writer—in which case it’s possible that you haven’t noticed anything happening at all. Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper (or white window on a computer screen) is pretty much the same, everywhere, no matter what’s bedeviling all those non-writers in the outside world. Penwipe Publishing has been on vacation this month, which is just as well because we are plugging away at yet another book (or two), and had nothing ready for release into the wild.

On the off-chance that you get a chance to go on a roadtrip this summer, we’ve added a few more podcasts, to keep you company.

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, mostly about our food writing.

A few thoughts about the apotheosis of summer, from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes/What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes/Only two things that money can’t buy/That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes. Guy Clark
It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. Lewis Grizzard
A number of rare or newly experienced foods have been claimed to be aphrodisiacs. At one time this quality was even ascribed to the tomato. Reflect on that when you are next preparing the family salad. Jane Grigson
August, 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 Cara DeSilva), 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 —

(Adam Levy’s blogposts on “all things bibulous—wine, beer, spirits and cocktails, along with travel tips, book reviews, bar reviews, [and] recipes”)

(Sarah Wells’ article, at Inverse, about the future of nanotechnology in farming)

(Karen Chernick’s GastroObscura article about Sophia Massarella’s efforts to photographically document the traditional citrus growers of Italy)

(Murray Carpenter brews a pot of yaupon for NPR’s Morning Edition)

(Adam Levy’s blogposts on “all things cheese—type, pairing, history, trends, tips, book reviews, [and] recipes”)

(modern-traditional Native American cooking and archaeology in Kentucky; Eric J. Wallace’s Atlas Obscura article)

(Jess Eng’s article at GastroObscura; you may not be able to walk like an Egyptian, but...)

(Nishant Batsha’s article, in Contingent Magazine, on the history of spice mixtures in Indian cuisine: “the history of curry before Columbus is a history of spice”, with an emphasis on asafetida)

(Aaron Goldfarb provides the definitions at VinePair)

(notes from an exhibition that was held at The Folger Library)

(Ohio’s answer to Pennsylvania’s scrapple, substituting oat meal for corn meal)

(Gerard Paul’s article at Many Eats)

(mostly Chinese restaurant menus from US and Canada, archived at Vancouver Island University)

(Sylvia Lovegren’s smoke-ringed article in American Heritage)

(Jeff Koehler writes about the last place on earth where Coffea arabica grows wild for GastroObscura)

(peer reviewed articles on all aspects of food science and technology)

(a PDF of Andrew Dalby’s 2010 book)

(PDF of Steven Shapin’s essay on how, historically, we have described wine; in Nicola Perullo‘s Wineworld: New Essays on Wine, Taste, Philosophy and Aesthetics)

(Thomas Guindeuil’s article in Annales d’Éthiopie; in English, book in French)

(Nawal Nasrallah’s account in Rawi magazine)

(Part 1, “What We Ate,” of Zev Robinson’s Vimeo documentary)

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

— another blog —

— podcasts —

— changed URLs —

— 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

Ephemera: a short collection of short stories

Prophet Amidst Losses


Future Tense: Remembrance of Things Not Yet Past

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.


The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #238 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.


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