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Food Sites for September 2021

Friday, August 13, 2021

Paperback Writer: words—a LOT of words—which, fortunately, are not written in stone.

It’s been bloody hot lately; we’ve tried to go outside only long enough to grill a chunk of some creature for dinner. Otherwise, just sit in front of the laptop—near the air conditioner—and write. Or read. With a cocktail.

Life is hard.

We’ve recently self-published a paperback edition of Prophet Amidst Losses—a book that had previously been available only as a Kindle book. It’s a collection of short stories connected by a common theme. The main characters, who sometimes act as narrators, all have to deal with some form of loss. The situations they face are often painful—but not for you, gentle reader. Some of the stories have their own form of dark humor, because other people’s suffering is so easy to bear.

We’ve also edited and released yet another Kindle book—Ephemera—as a paperback. It’s also a collection of short stories (some them, VERY short). Unlike the Prophet book, the stories are not thematically-connected.

An older book, previously available only in Kindle form—How to Serve Man: On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating is finally out in paper. It’s non-fiction (mostly) and, while it will entertain the curious, it’s probably not ideal reading for the squeamish.

We think we’re finally up-to-date with converting Kindle books to paper—and have, at last, gotten back to actual writing. BTW, all nine of the books have a common design, page size, and cover color. 

“A foolish consistency,” as Emerson said in some completely different context.

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.

From the Some-things-never-change Dep’t, here’s an excerpt from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

When we examine the story of a nation’s eating habits, describing the changing fashions of preparation and presentation and discussing the development of ifs cuisine throughout the ages, then we find an outline of the nation’s history, harking back to those distant days when a scattered tribe lurked in dismal caves, feeding on raw fish and plants and the hot, quivering flesh of wild beasts, lately slain with a rude spear. Auguste Escoffier

September, 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 Bob DelGrosso), 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 —

Appetizer: Words, Concepts, Contents

(another trip down menu memory lane, with Jan Whitaker as guide)

Baghdad was in the Limelight of Medieval Arab Cuisine

(Nawal Nasrallah, writing for Inside Arabia, about what we can learn from the earliest Arabic cookbooks)

Before Farm to Table

(a team of scholars studying “early modern foodways and cultures“ at the Folger Library)

DU’s Cookery and Foodways Collection Whets the Appetite for Discovery

(Denver University’s collection of 11,000 titles; not—unfortunately—online)

Everything You Need to Know About French Wine Regions in Under 5 Minutes

(Vicki Denig decants the short version for Taste France magazine)

Evolution of Israeli Cuisine, The

(Joan Nathan reports—at My Jewish Learning—on the culinary changes that have happened since 1948; an excerpt from The Foods of Israel Today: More than 300 Recipes—and Memories—Reflecting Israel’s Past and Present Through Its Many Cuisines)

Hash House Lingo

(Jan Whitaker’s blog—Restaurant-ing through history—discusses food industry jargon that is often “racy, picturesque, humorous [and] only by the initiate”)

How 12 Female Cookbook Authors Changed the Way We Eat

(Lily Katzman’s review, in Smithsonian magazine, of Anne Willan’s book, Women in the Kitchen)

How Freezing Changed the Green Pea

(Veronique Greenwood’s history—and explanation of how frozen can be better than fresh—at BBC Future)

India Pale Ale, a Name to be Reckoned With

(Anja Madhvani, at Sourced Journeys, corrects the familiar, but “...rather loose interpretation of a somewhat patchily documented history” of the popular brew)

Invention of the Fried Clam, The

( least according to the New England Historical Society)

Is the Croissant Really French?

(Amanda Flegl’s answer[s] in Smithsonian Magazine)

Learning to Love G.M.O.s

(Jennifer Kahn examines the state of GMO crops, and the way they’re perceived by consumers, for The New York Times)

Long Good-bye, The: A Writer’s Plea to Save the Foods We Love

(Keith Pandolfi’s review of Bread, Wine and Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, for Serious Eats)

Morel Compass—John Cage’s Mania For Mushrooms

(Josie Thaddeus-Johns’s review, in Apollo Magazine, of John Cage: A Mycological Foray—a beautifully-illustrated book from Atelier Éditions)

Mystery of the Lost Roman Herb, The

(Zaria Gorvett discusses silphium—or laser—for BBC Future)

Obsessed: Finding Your Food in the Field

(Sho Spaeth’s interview, at Serious Eats, with forager Tama Matsuoka Wong)

Oddly Autocratic Roots of Pad Thai, The

(Alex Mayyasi’s GastroObscura article about how Plaek Phibunsongkhram got Thailand to eat more noodles)

Origin and Art of Japanese Rice, The

(Dan Q. Dao’s Saveur article)

Real Reason Jack Daniel’s Is Called Old No. 7, The

(Travis Gillmore adds to the speculations at VINEPAIR)

Revealed: The True Extent of America’s Food Monopolies, and Who Pays the Price

(exposé in The Guardian, by Nina Lakhani and Alvin Chang)

Understanding Black Southern Funeral Food Tradition

(Robin Caldwell’s article, in Black Southern Belle, on current and historical practices)

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

6 Relics of Forgotten Fast-Food Dynasties

18th-Century Cookbook That Helped Save the Slovene Language, The

Black Food Heritage: Wild Game Receipts (Recipes) from the Past that Live On

Cancel “Curry”? Why South Asian American Chefs Say It’s Time for the Word to Go

Cooking with James Baldwin

Dick Soup

Growing Eggplant: A Complete Guide

Hot Diggity Dog!

How Vittles Is Revolutionising Food Writing

Is Soft-Serve Healthier than Ice Cream? Chemistry Debunks a Common Myth

Lilac Syrup and the Underrated Art of Eating Flowers

Meat and Pets: A Double Feature

Meat Marketing: The Truth About Food Labels

Mighty Vegemite

Nach Waxman, Founder of a Bookstore Where Foodies Flock, Dies at 84

New Evidence Busts New Haven’s Claim as “Birthplace of the Burger”

Rome Finds There’s No Accounting for Taste, Artistic or Culinary

Singapore’s Last Traditional Coffee Roasters May Soon Disappear

So, What’s in Food Coloring?

Sold: Sylvia Plath’s Rolling Pin and Recipes

Stop Calling Food “Exotic”

Tamales de Tia Tila: Steamed Comfort

This Writer Is Tweeting Everything Sylvia Plath Ever Ate

Trade Cards: An Illustrated History (Highlights from the Waxman Collection of Food and Culinary Trade Cards)

What Did the Ancient Romans Eat?

What Is Good Taste, Revisited

Why Are Restaurants’ Cheapest Bottles of Wine Becoming So Expensive?

Why I Won’t Self-Publish a Cookbook Again

— another blog —

Passionate Foodie, The

— podcasts, etcetera —

Baking of the Legendary Samarkand Bread

Ethnographic Eater, The 

Food Chain, The: What’s the Appetite for Gene Edited Food?

History of the Legendary Delmonico’s & New Delmonico’s Cookbook, The

Onion Pakora Weather

MSG—Seasoning Non Grata

Wine 101

— changed URL —

Buzz on Our Forgotten American Tea Plant, The

Online Historic Cookbooks

— 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 #251 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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