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Food Sites for March 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021

 Garlic, Allium sativum

The corona virus has given us reason to fear its effects. Oh sure, there is that whole death thing—but, for those of us who take food seriously, the fear of losing our ability to experience taste and smell is truly terrifying. The prospect of living, minus those joys of the table, is almost worse than the risk of our demise. 

Fortunately—other than the vaccine, which is slow in coming—we still have a way to prevent becoming infected: social distancing. And what better way to make social distancing automatic than the regular, and generous, inclusion of Allium sativum in our diets?

The pandemic continues to discourage most social activities. However, anti-social activities—such as writing—are thriving. We’re still adding stories to our fairy tale book. There’s also a longish short story threatening to become a novel (we wonder if the so-called novel coronavirus is to blame for this rampant prolixity). If any of these scribbles develop significant culinary content, we’ll let you know.

Another—possibly positive—consequence of pandemic isolation is that this issue of our newsletter is larger than usual. Plenty of new sites to visit! We’ve also added more podcasts, on the off-chance that you’ve run out of ways to procrastinate.

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 older 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.

To aid in your social distancing efforts, here are a few observations on the stinking rose from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat. Old New York Proverb

Following the Jewish tradition, a dispenser of schmaltz (liquid chicken fat) is kept on the table to give the vampires heartburn if they get through the garlic defense. Calvin Trillin

It has been said of garlic that everyone knows its odor save he who has eaten it, and who wonders why everyone flies at his approach. George Ellwanger

A little garlic, judiciously used, won’t seriously affect your social life and will tone up more dull dishes than any commodity discovered to date. Alexander Wright

March, 2021

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 Sarah Wassberg Johnson), 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 —

Ancient Olives (for eating, not oil)

(a University of Haifa report on an archaeological discovery—just off the coast of modern Israel)

Beyond Fuyus: The World of Persimmon Varieties

(Georgia Freedman’s article at Serious Eats)

Chemistry of Spices

(PDF of 2008 book, with essays on 23 primary ingredients used in Indian cuisine)

Did the Italians Actually Teach the French the Art of the Vinaigrette?

(Bill Buford investigates for Literary Hub; it’s an excerpt from his book, Dirt)

Genetic Diversity Enhances Human Olfaction

(Deborah Parker Wong’s article, in The Somm Journal, on why we perceive the smells of food and wine differently from each other)


(free tools for writers: grammar, spelling, paraphrasing, proofreading, and more)

Identification of Aroma Chemicals

(PDF of Neil C Da Costa’s article in Chemistry and Technology of Flavors and Fragrances, 2004)

Ingredient Interactions: Effects on Food Quality

(PDF of 2nd edition, 2006)

Internet’s Most Incredible Collection of Food History Has Been Saved, The

(not yet available, but coming soon)

Introducing “Food Grammar,” the Unspoken Rules of Every Cuisine

(Emily Monaco’s Gastro Obscura article on various scholars’ efforts to decipher the subject)

Ka’ak, and the Case for the Ancient Arabic Origins of the Bagel

(great; an article by Reem Kassis, at Serious Eats, suggesting yet another thing on which Jews and Arabs can disagree)

More to Cheese than Meets the Eye?

(Kathryn Murphy’s Apollo article shows that—in baroque Dutch still-life painting—the cheese never stands alone)

Paradoxes of Jews and Their Foods

(PDF of Richard Wilk’s 2015 paper)

Stability of Aroma Chemicals

(PDF of Chris Winkel’s article in Chemistry and Technology of Flavors and Fragrances, 2004)

Taste History at These 6 Fast-Food Firsts

(Anne Ewbank returns to the birthplace of several iconic chain eateries for Atlas Obscura)

What Can Covid-19 Teach Us About the Mysteries of Smell?

(New York Times Magazine article, by Brooke Jarvis, on things the disease has taught us about how our sense of smell works)

When Kitchens Worked: The Rise and Fall of Functional Kitchens

(Sarah Wassberg Johnson’s article on the efficiency/home economics movements and their effects on kitchen design)

Women Chefs Before the 1970s

(article from Jan Whitaker’s blog, Restauranting Through History)

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

Absurd Logic of Internet Recipe Hacks, The

Deeper Understanding of Mexican Food at Gastronomy Underground, A

Editor’s Note: Why a Recipe Is More Than a Recipe About Food: Where to Begin

Everything You Need to Know About Cover Reveals

Impact of Editing and Proofreading Before Publication

Importance of Getting Food Right in Fiction, The

Lost Lingo of New York City’s Soda Jerks, The 

Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet Newsletter

Not All Mummies and Statues: Meet the Egyptian Archaeologist Studying Ancient Food

“Not That Good”: Montreal Restaurant’s Brutally Honest Menu Pulls in the Customers

On Ingredients: And How Recipe Developers Are Dealing with Complex Sourcing Questions

Pellet Ice Is the Good Ice

Spellbinding History of Cheese and Witchcraft, The

Taste for Husbands’ Buttocks, A: The Bizarre History of Pregnancy Cravings

What Is the Philosophy of Wine?

Writing About Food: Where to Begin

Yes, I’m a Food Writer—and That Qualifies Me to Write About Everything

— changed URL —

Food Chemistry

— podcasts, etcetera —

Eat My Globe: Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know About Food

Yiddish New York 2020 1000 Cookbooks 

— that’s all for now —

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

Advertisements are, we readily admit, annoying. However, they appear on this newsletter so that we can continue to provide it at no cost to you.

As an Amazon Associate, this newsletter earns from qualifying purchases made through it. These include our 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 #245 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 ©2021 by Gary Allen.


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March 3, 2021 at 1:34 AM  

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