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Food Sites for November 2022

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Wellfleet oysters, in Wellfleet.


We never went away on vacation this summer, so we took an early autumn trip to Cape Cod. It was mostly an excuse to indulge in a week-long bacchanal of unlimited marine invertebrates. 


Clams, oysters, and lobsters, oh my!


An oyster is a metaphorical literary treat. Inside its hardback cover, once opened, we discover (“discover”—isn’t that an apt term for what happens when we open a book?) a sight that might very well discourage a newcomer from proceeding. And yet—for the initiated—the sight engenders an appetite that propels them through to the last “page” of bivalves. Edible oysters rarely produce pearls, but who really needs pearls? Like reading a great book, eating a perfect oyster is pure experience—an experience more lasting and lustrous than mere pearls.


Many autumnal rainy days have let us finish the first draft of a novella, interspersed with several more Substack newsletters: 

Gene Therapy celebrated the life of another writing friend, one who prided himself on being as delightfully tasteless and cantankerous as ourself.

Salt of the Earth(ly) is, as you might expect, about Sodium Chloride.

Vital Tooth used a visit to the dentist to speculate on what we have on common with some of our primate relations.

Not Going to be Invited... allowed us to indulge in a bit of convivial spleen.

Pull Out a Plum let us pontificate about publishing (and writer’s block).

Balderdash went on a fruitless search for truth.

Navelgazing wondered who we are, or were, or both.


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


The world may not be our oyster... but here are a couple, ready-shucked, from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans. Ernest Hemingway


I have long believed that good food, good eating is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime “associates,” food, for me, has always been an adventure. Anthony Bourdain

November 2022


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 virtual hat to Nancy Harmon Jenkins), 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 —


16th Century Origins of the Word Curry, The

(Autumn Swiers’s account, at the Tasting Table, about an ingredient and concept created by “culturally inarticulate foodies”)


America’s Best Regional Desserts: 15 Sweet Treats to Try

(reading this gave me a three-year-old’s sugar rush)


Anthropology of Food

(excerpt from The Oxford Handbook of Food History, edited by R. Kenji Tierney, and Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney)


Are Babies “Super Tasters?” 

(“A Food Scientist Indulges in the Secret,” at Inverse)


Brief History of the S’more, America’s Favorite Campfire Snack, A

(Jeffrey Miller, in The Conversation, on the antecedents of the Girl Scout’s treat)


Eating Like an Explorer Once Called for Plenty of “Portable Soup”

(Laura Kiniry’s Gastro Obscura post on the dessicated stock that provisioned expeditions before canning was invented)


Fork, The

(the tines they are a changin’: Marc de Ferrière le Vayer’s history in Alimentarium)


Free the Tonka Bean

(beloved by pastry chefs, the beans are still “...illegal in the United States... because they contained trace elements of... coumarin”)


Global Diversity of French Fry Dips Is a Window into the Way We Eat Today, The

(Dan Nosowitz, at Gastro Obscura, begins with the history of fries, then categorizes the vast list of dipping sauces in a way that is manageable and informative)


History of Chicken and Waffles: Part 1, A

(H.D. Miller’s substack history of a southern favorite; Part 2)


History of Doughnuts, The

(Tori Avey expands on the entry in the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink


Issue 69, MEADOW TEAS, Part 2: Catnip Tea

(David Shields’ substack post about a forgotten beverage)


Many Quelites De México, The

(Julie Etra on the wide range of edible wild greens, in The Eye, a magazine from Beach, Village & Urban Living in Oaxaca)


Mysterious, Vexing, and Utterly Engrossing Search for the Origin of Eels, The

(Christina Couch, at Hakai Magazine, on a seafood mystery)


Owamni: A (R)evolution of Indigenous Foods

(Stefanie Ellis, in the BBC’s World’s Table, about a restaurant that is turning Native American foodstuffs into haute cuisine; more, on similar restaurants, here)


Pacific Coast Food: An Insider’s Guide to L.A. “Russian Costco”

(Hadley Tomicki reviews this store for culinary backstreets but, along the way, introduces westerners to many unfamiliar Soviet-era foodstuffs)


Remembering When America Banned Sliced Bread

(Diana Hubbell recounts the story of a WWII-era rationing measure for Gastro Obscura)


Review: Evolution of a Taboo

(Aren M. Maeir’s review, in Biblical Archaeology, of Max D. Price’s book, Evolution of a Taboo: Pigs and People in the Ancient Near East)


Science Behind Nonalcoholic Wine, The

(Lauren Oster’s Smithsonian article)


What Has the Battle of Vienna Given Us?

(another culinary myth busted by Karol Palions blog, Forking Around with History)


Who Invented Mac and Cheese? This American Favorite Has Ancient Roman Roots

(Karima Moyer-Nocchi and Adrian Miller answer at epicurious)



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


Baby Formula: The Story of How America Helped Invent One of the Great Life-Saving Technologies for Babies, Made Parents Dependent on It, Then Let the System Collapse Is… Uniquely American


Brain Signatures Tied to Appetite Could Reveal New Treatments for Depression


Can You Really Eat Crocs? An Investigation


Fear Not. Have Fun: Ann Beattie on Lessons in Cooking and Life from James Haller


Governmental Grub


Hemingway’s Famous Sandwich Isn’t as Gross as You Think


How an Ancient Food Technology Is Being Restored on BC’s West Coast


H.P. Lovecraft Writes Olive Garden’s Dinner Menu


Indulgent Pleasure of a Very Late Dinner, The


L.A. Has Been Obsessed with Healthy Foods for a Century—These Cookbooks Prove It


Me, Myself, and My Mason Jar: What Our Glassware Choices Say About Us


Nikolaos Tselementes: The “Father” of Greek Cookbooks


Philosophers Drinking Coffee: The Excessive Habits of Kant, Voltaire & Kierkegaard


Recipe, The


Recipes and Food Discourse in English—a Historical Menu


Sally Schmitt, Trend-Setting Restaurateur, Is Dead at 90


Science Can’t Take the Art Out of Winemaking


Slow Down


Struggle Cookbook Authors Face In 2022, The


This Is Your Brain on Food Porn, a New Study Reveals


Understanding the Reader Without Pandering to the Reader


Wine Drinker as Sensualist, The


“World’s” Greatest Wine Library Continues to Grow



— another blog —


Bob on Sonoma




— podcasts, etcetera —


Babylonian Cooking


Cocktail College


Jacques Pépin Is a Chef AND a Cook


Talking With My Mouth Full



— changed URL —


Art of Eating, The (trailer 2022)



— 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 take you to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them), or publications that have paywalls. 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


Tabula Rasa, Baby: (Not Written in Stone)


Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...


...for the moment, anyway.




The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #265 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 ©2022 by Gary Allen.




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