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Food Sites for August 2021

Sunday, July 18, 2021


Onions: the original social-distancing tool.

It almost feels like post-pandemic: we’ve been able to travel, dine in restaurants, and stroll through crowded farmer’s markets—thinking only of the kitchen potential of the fresh ingredients there, instead of the possibility of catching the plague. The photo, above, was taken at a farmer's market in Chicago, this weekend.

We’ve recently self-published another little book. This time, it’s Backstories: As retold by Gary Allen, a collection of nineteen (sort of) fairy tales with very different endings and narrators than the ones your parents told you. They are funny, in a dark and unsettling way—and several of them have culinary content. Don’t expect to be cooking up any recipes from it, though. (Aside: it’s also available as a paperback)

We’ve recently edited and released some of our other Kindle books as paperbacks (for those, like us, who prefer to fondle physical books):

, a novel about the urge to disappear;

The Digressions of Dr Sanscravat: Gastronomical Ramblings & Other Diversions
, an annotated collection of essays that pretends to be a kind of memoir;

How to Write a Great Book
, a humorous non-fiction look at how writers actually work;

Terms of Vegery
, an album of photographs and punning taxonomy; 

and, finally:

Future Tense, a novel about a bunch of hippies, in 1968, who have strange encounters with things that happen far in their future lives.

We still have a couple of Kindle books to convert to paper editions. Maybe next issue...

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.

As if you didn’t have enough to read, already—here’re some excerpts from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

All the best cooking is simple. There is really nothing new in it. I have 4,000 cookbooks dating back to 1503, and everything that is in nouvelle cuisine was there 200 years ago. Anton Mosimann

Americans, more than any other culture on earth, are cookbook cooks; we learn to make our meals not from any oral tradition, but from a text. The just-wed cook brings to the new household no carefully copied collection of the family’s cherished recipes, but a spanking new edition of Fannie Farmer or The Joy of Cooking. John Thorne

No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers. Laurie Colwin

Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one. L. M. Boyd

August, 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 Dianne Jacob), 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.

— the new sites —

Ancient Table Scraps Offer a Fresh Twist on Jewish Culinary Heritage

(Leviticus aside, recent archaeology reveals that the rules of kashrut have not always been the... ummm... rule)

Can America Save Its National Dish?

(Meghan McArdle airs her fear—in The Washington Post—that Americans have forgotten how to make pie crust)


(archived articles about cookbooks at Atlas Obscura)

Cookbooks and Home Economics

(an index of over 11,000 digitized cookbooks from multiple university and public libraries)

Cuisine Noir

(magazine, and blog, on all culinary aspects of the African diaspora—recipes, interviews, book reviews, news, etc.)

Deep Roots of the Vegetable That “Took Over the World,” The

(Gemma Tarlach’s article, in Gastro Obscura, about the genetic history of a species that eventually became all the members of the cole family)

Heard It On The Grape Vine

(a literary early history of wine, from Thomas O’Dwyer At 3 Quarks Daily)

How James Beard Invented American Cooking

(Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker article)

In the Beginning, There Was Ice, Snow, and Science

(a brief history of ice cream, at Trivia Genius)

Life, Death, and Barbecue Sauce

(an excerpt from Adrian Miller’s Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue)

Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

(PDF of Gordon M. Shepherd’s 2012 book)

Welcome to Coffee Country

(Eater’s articles on the evolution—and current status—of American specialty coffee in the Pacific Northwest)

What Did Italians Eat 2,000 Years Ago?

(Sara Wells reports, for Inverse, on recent archaeological findings)

What’s the Difference Between All the Types of Tomatoes?

(Brette Warshaw answers, in Bon Appétit; an excerpt from What’s the Difference?)

Wrapped Up

(Tedium’s history of the ubiquitous shrink-wrapping that encloses so much of our food)

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

5 Amazing Tools for Writers

Authors to Earn Royalties on Secondhand Books for First Time

Cheese Professor, The

Cooking Has Gone from Chore to Inspiration

Day in the Life of a King Arthur Recipe Tester, A

Deborah Madison Is Done with Cookbooks. Now, She’s Making Corn Dogs and Fried Chicken.

Dirty Secret of “Secret Family Recipes,” The

Eleven Extraordinary Foods We’ll Be Eating More in the Future

Food and Drink in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: An Overview of the Past Decade (2001-2012)

F&W Game Changers: A Kinder Publishing Model

Good Taste Is Not About Detecting Aroma Notes

How Good Grammar Saves Lives and Other Reasons It’s Still Important

My Time Traveling Cookbook

National Food Holidays

Those Old Cookbooks Are a Great Recipe for History

What 1984 Tells Us About Eating Under a Totalitarian Regime

What’s Your Beef? An Ethicist’s Guide to Giving Up Meat

Why Work from Home Professionals Should Publish a Book

— other blogs —


Pardon Your French

— podcasts, etcetera —

Nosher, The

— 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 our own books (listed below), and occasional books mentioned in the entries above. If you order anything 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

Backstories: As retold by Gary Allen

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.


The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #250 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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