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Food Sites for December 2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

 More pumpkins, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

The past month has given us much to celebrate and much to mourn—opposite conditions that are usually treated with a strict regimen of over-eating. For better or worse, the upcoming holiday season will provide ample opportunities for such treatments.

Penwipe Publishing continues to remain in staycation mode, but—while the pandemic has provided plenty of time—our obsession with following the news has provoked and unprovoked such writing. This month, we’ve tried to add to our still-growing collection of fables. One new story, in process, is more food-centered than most, but Covid news is slowing its progress. 

Maybe next issue...

Listed below are a few more podcasts we’ve found that provided opportunities for procrastination (as if we needed any).

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.

In honor of November—and procrastination—a couple of items not found in On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well. Mark Twain

I’m going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow! Sam Levenson

December, 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 Roz Cummins), 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 —

10,000 Vintage Recipe Books Are Now Digitized in The Internet Archive’s Cookbook & Home Economics Collection

(Josh Jones opines on old cookery books, and ways to access them, electronically)

Analysis of Indian Restaurants

(Vivek Aithal explores, graphically, the food scene in India)

Brief History of the TV Dinner, A

(Kovie Biakolo’s article, in Smithsonian Magazine, about what were originally intended to be called “Strato-Plates”)

Celery Forever: Where America’s Weirdest Soda Came From and How It’s Stuck Around

(Chris E. Crowley writes about the origins—and survival—of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, in Serious Eats)

Confusing Tastes and Smells: How Odours Can Influence the Perception of Sweet and Sour Tastes

(article in the Oxford University Press journal, Chemical Senses, by John Prescott and Robert Boakes)

From Apicius to Gastroporn: Form, Function, and Ideology in the History of Cookery Books

(Abigail Dennis’ entry in Studies in Popular Culture, Vol. 31, No. 1, Fall 2008)

Historical Dig Sheds Light on the Food of the Underground Railroad, A

(Reina Gattuso on archaeological findings in Maryland)

How Enslaved Chefs Helped Shape American Cuisine

(Kelley Fanto Deetz’s article in Smithsonian Magazine)

How Flavor Chemists Designed the Controversial Pumpkin Spice

(Madeline Muzzi’s Inverse interview with Hedy Kulka, a principal flavorist at McCormick)

Indigenous Food Systems Network

(a Canadian resource)

It’s Bread, Jim, But Not As We Know It

(a comparison between modern and medieval English baked goods)

Male Bias in the History of Bread: Logo for Fleischmann’s Yeast

(An article from William Rubel’s baking blog)

Newly Digitized Menu Collection Shows Off America’s Lost Railroad Cuisine, A

(from the collection at Northwestern University’s Transportation Library)

Not a Fan of Hawaiian Pizza, Processed Cheese, and California Rolls? Blame Canada

(Emily Monaco’s Gastro Obscura post that shifts the onus for some questionable foods northward)

On the 19th-Century Food Writer Who Embraced Gluttony As a Virtue

(Joy Lanzendorfer, for Literary Hub, discovers “the complicated pleasures of Elizabeth Robins Pennell“)

Passionate Professional from Puglia Has a Face-to-Face with the Pandemic, A

(L. Aruna Dhir interviews cooking-school host, Silvestro Silvestori, for hospitalitynet)

Punk Domestics

(archive of defunct site about DIY food preservation methods; embedded links may no longer work)

Science of Lactic Acid Fermentation, The: Pickles, Kraut, Kimchi, and More

(Tim Chin tells all, at Serious Eats)

Taínos Refused to Grow Food, The

(Jess Romeo, at JSTOR, on interactions between the explorers and native peoples of the Caribbean; spoiler alert: “the Spanish starved”)

Those Funky Cheese Smells Allow Microbes to “Talk” to and Feed Each Other

(a report on research about the complexity of cheese-ripening, from Tufts University)

Varietal Vinegars Are on the Rise—Here’s What You Need to Know

(Siobhan Wallace shows, at VinePair, that good vinegar is not just spoiled wine)

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

Cookbooks Are Much More Than Just Recipes

Cookbooks Help Me Escape These Days

Dealing with the Inner Critic

Delectably Indulgent History of Perfect Food Photos, The

Every Foodie Has an Origin Story

Pitching a New Editor: Don’t Be Too Clever

— more blogs —

Food Dictator, The

My Kitchen, ‘tis of Thee

— podcasts, etcetera —

Big Apple Episode, The

Eaters Guide to the World

Italian Reacts to “Italian” Food Videos, An—Gordon Ramsay, Lidia Bastianich & Instant Pots, Oh My!

“Nose Dive” into the Science of Smell, A

Start Here! (An African Podcast)

— 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 our 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 own 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 #242 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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