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Food Sites for April 2021

Saturday, March 20, 2021


“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote,

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote...

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales might contain the world’s first restaurant review:

For many a pastee hastow laten blood,

And many a Jakke of Dovere hastow soold

That hath been twies hoot and twies coold.

Of many a pilgrym hastow Cristes curs,

For of thy percely yet they fare the wors,

That they han eten with thy stubbel goos,

For in thy shoppe is many a flye loos.

If your Middle English is not what it used to be, here’s a modern translation:

For of many a pastry hast thou drawn out the gravy,

And many a Jack of Dover hast thou sold

That has been twice hot and twice cold.

Of many a pilgrim hast thou Christ’s curse,

For of thy parsley yet they fare the worse,

Which they have eaten with thy stubble-fed goose,

For in thy shop is many a fly loose.

We suspect that it would take more than a year’s Covid-isolation to have us longen to goon on pilgrimages to that restaurant.

The Sickness has caused a feverish frenzy of writing around here—but little of it has anything to do with food. A post-vaccine visit to an actual sit-down restaurant (other than the one described by Chaucer) might change that. Should it cause a shift to culinary subjects, we’ll let you know. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to add podcasts to the updates, on the off-chance that you crave some other distractions.

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.

This might be poor marketing, on our part, but here’s an excerpt from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animals. Some of their most esteemed inventions have no other apparent purpose, for example, the dinner party of more than two, the epic poem, and the science of metaphysics. H.L. Mencken

April, 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 Elisabeth Luard), 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 —

Bun! A Taxonomy of the British Bread Roll

(Katie Mather rises to the challenge for Pellicle Magazine)

Feast Afrique

(“A Celebration of West African Culinary Excellence“ or—more accurately—of the culinary excellence of the West African diaspora)

Food Additives

(PDF of the 2001 second edition)

Food Flavour Technology

(PDF of the 2010 second edition)

High Cuisine in Ancient France

(Livia Gershon, on the 2000-year-old divide between upper- and lower-class Roman diets; review archaeologist Benjamin Peter Luley’s article, “Cooking, Class, and Colonial Transformations in Roman Mediterranean France”)

How King George III’s Kitchens Gave Britain Taste for International Cuisine

(historians Adam Crymble, Lisa Smith, and Rachel Rich discuss eighteenth-century food for The British Academy)

How to Build a Chinese-American Cookbook

(dialog, in Eater, about the collaboration of a chef with a ghost writer)

Macarons, Macaroons, Macaroni

(Dan Jurafsky’s adventure in edible etymology for Slate)

Never Heard of Khoja Ismaili Cuisine? It's Time for a Change

(Madhuri Sastry’s Serious Eats article about the food of a sect of Shia Muslims from Gujarat, India, various parts of east Africa—and now the UK and Canada)

Remembering When Only Barbarians Drank Milk

(an excerpt from Mark Kurlansky’s Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas, in Gastro Obscura)

Sex, Nazis and da Vinci: The Hidden History of Italian Rice

(CNN’s Julia Buckley reports on the complex story of rice in Italy, and the women who grew it)

Street Food: Tamales

(a “red hot” post from Jan Whitaker’s Restaurant-ing Through History)


(magazine, and videos, about regional foods)

Women Dominated Beer Brewing Until They Were Accused of Being Witches

(Laken Brooks on ancient—and residual—gender inequality, in Smithsonian)

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

Analysis of [French] Cooking Terminology

Decoding Waiter Speak

Frederick Douglass on How Slave Owners Used Food As a Weapon of Control

Guide to the History of Coffee, A (and 15 Interesting Facts)

How the Trillion-Dollar Processed Food Industry Manipulates Our Instinctual Desires

Restaurant Manifesto, The

Salt Fat Acid Defeat: The Restaurant Before and After Covid

This Is What Happens When Tech Bros Attempt to ‘Fix’ Online Recipes

Triumphant Return of the Tiki Bar, The

Type what you want, but we’re going to remove your extra space after a period.

What It Says About Us When We Want a Cook’s Recipe but Not Their Humanity

— podcasts, etcetera —

Brü Lab, The

Food That Built America, The 

Secret Life of Cookies, The 

Shameless Chef, The

— 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 #246 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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