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Food Sites for November 2023

Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Pottery at Plymouth Plantation.


November, as near as we can tell, has but one thing going for it: Thanksgiving dinner. Well... maybe leftovers. And pies... we mustn’t forget pies. 

This holiday is—in one sense—a uniquely American invention, ’though it has predecessors that go back as far as the Paleolithic (because almost everyone, at least in the northern hemisphere, wanted to celebrate the plenty of harvest with one big blow-out of a feast before the arrival of winter). Included, below, are several podcasts from the Smithsonian, suitable for listening while you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner... even one that is specifically about the first Thanksgiving.


Bon appetit!


Despite this being a larger issue than usual (a feast of sorts), we’ve still been scribbling—some work on old projects that have been lying idle and, of course, posting Substack pages:
On the Road, Again” traverses a road less traveled;

Bibliomania Revisited” explains the reason these updates exist, and how they got started;

Book. Cover. Judging By...bares all. Sort of;

Reading Poetry Was Hard...” reminisces about, of all things, eighth-grade English; 

Clothing Optional?” is another embarrassing trip down memory lane;

Hurtling Down the Gastro-intestinal Track”...a gustatory confessional;


Why Bother?” is about these updates (but you already suspected that didn’t you?)


You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook (where, among other things, we post a lot of photographs), and Twitter. Yet more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner and other Substack pages. There’s even an Amazon author’s page, that covers both food writing and whatever else we manage to get into print


The impending holiday season—coinciding with the approach of the darkened part of the year—almost requires the inclusion of some drinking quotes (especially those in a darker voice) from On the Table’s culinary quote collection.

...all our respected forbears indulged in the flowing bowl to such an extent as to make fishes seem land animals by comparison. H. P. Lovecraft 

With so many other destroying agencies at work, liquor may well be classed as a minor evil—and after all, it does not greatly matter whether or not civilization decays—or at what speed it decays. H. P. Lovecraft 


I feel like a midget with muddy feet has been walking over my tongue all night. W.C. Fields


November 2023


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 Sally Ekus—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 —


14 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee Backed by Science

(Michael Van Gerpen’s cuppa’ joe justification for java junkies at Filtered Grounds)


Eat Like an Ancient Greek Philosopher

(Andrew Colletti waxes rhapsodic about the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus, for Gastro Obscura)


Here’s What Actual Witches Eat on Halloween

(Jamie Davis Smith stirs the cauldron at Huffpost)


How Cults and Religious Groups Forever Changed American Food

(Diana Hubbbell’s review of Christina Ward’s book, Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat—An American History)


In Jordan, an Ancient Bread Tradition Rises Again

(Sam Lin-Sommer’s Gastro Obscura article about the resurgence of baking with Jordanian native wheat)


Is an All-Meat Diet What Nature Intended?

(Manvir Singh’s New Yorker article, which could be summarized as “Humans eat whatever’s available”)


Karuk Cook Restoring California’s Native Cuisine, One Acorn at a Time, The

(Naomi Tomky’s review of Sara Calvosa Olson’s Chími Nu’am: Native California Foodways for the Contemporary Kitchen)


Like Hungry Locusts, Humans Can Easily Be Tricked Into Overeating

(Tim Vernimmen, in Knowable Magazine, explains that low-protein/low-fiber diets are the cause of obesity)


Made in Taiwan Is a Love Letter to the Island Nation

(Diana Hubbell’s Gastro Obscura interview with Clarissa Wei—author of the first cookbook dedicated to the food of Taiwan)


Mastering the Art of Ecuadorian Cooking

(Abril Macías Avila, in New Gastronome, compares and contrasts the Manual de la Cocinera with Mastering the Art of French Cooking)


Oktoberfest’s Beer-Soaked History, Explained

(Dana Hatic raises a stein at Eater)


Remembering “America’s Beer,” Old Milwaukee

(Pete O’Connell’s VinePair article)


Rewriting the History of Cacao

(New Worlder article on archaeological evidence of chocolate’s origin—in Ecuador)


Salt Taste Is Surprisingly Mysterious

(Amber Dance, in Knowable Magazine, on how our sense of taste tells us that the amount of salt in a dish is just right, not too much)


Understanding Food and Culture; Finding Their Quintessence in Cookbooks

(PDF of Abza Bharadwaj’s paper examining “the cultural fabric embedded in the narrative styles of writers of food”)


Understanding the Mechanisms of Umami Taste

(Carmen Leitch, in labroots, on why we’re able to perceive certain tastes)


Where Does Salt Come From? Ask Paul

(Paul Adams asks and answers, in Cook’s Illustrated)



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


Additives and Ingredients That These Food Scientists Personally Avoid, The


AI Detection Startups Say Amazon Could Flag AI Books. It Doesn’t


Ají, Excluded While Essential on Our Table


Beekeepers Who Don’t Want You to Buy More Bees, The


Big Farms and Flawless Fries Are Gulping Water in the Land of 10,000 Lakes


Black Pepper: From India’s “Black Gold” to Afterthought


Coffee Drinks Are Sweeter and Sillier Than Ever—and That’s a Good Thing


Does 75% of the World’s Saffron Really End Up in Fernet?


Food Studies in the Romantic Period:(S)mashing History


Food Writing and Food Cultures


Her New Cookbook Takes Readers (and Chefs) on a Journey Through History


How Much Coffee Is Too Much Coffee?


How the UK Stole Portugal’s Marmelada and Convinced the World to Change Its Definition


How TikTok Is Reshaping the American Cookbook


“It’s Like Trying to Quit Smoking”: Why Are 1 in 7 of Us Addicted to Ultra-Processed Foods?


It’s Time for a Glorious, Uncompromising Re-Politicizing of Wine


Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum


Next Time You Read a Food Nutrition Label, Pour One Out for Burkey Belser


On the Edge: Exploring Cookbook Spines


Once-Popular Foods That We All Stopped Eating


OpenAI’s GPT-4 Scores in the Top 1% of Creative Thinking


Queens of Prohibition: The Wild Story of 8 Women Bootleggers, Moonshiners, and Rum Runners


Sexual Politics of Cooking, The: A Feminist Analysis of Culinary Hierarchy in Western Culture


Taking a Break As an Online Creator


These Iconic Fast Food Chains No Longer Exist


Three Types of Publishing: What You Need to Know


Totally Normal Comments for Online Recipes


What Would You Eat in a Cold War Fallout Shelter?


Writing My Next Book, Here, Live



— podcasts, etcetera —


America’s First Food Spy


Did Meat Make Us Human?


Discovering the World’s Oldest Winery


Latest Findings on What to Eat and What Not to Eat, The


Live! Cookin’ Up Stories


On the “Grandma Rule”


Poison of Tomorrow, The


Red, White, and Brew


Special: People Eating People


Stopping Knockoff Knockwurst and Phony Fromage


That Brunch in the Forest


We’d Like to Teach the World to Slurp: The Weird and Wonderful Story of Ramen’s Rise to Glory


Why Do Men Keep Fingering Food?



— 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 are providing 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


The Backstories: As retold by Gary Allen


Tabula Rasa, Baby: (Not Written in Stone)


Unbelievable: A Modern Novella






Hot Hot Hot/Risky Business

The Long & Short of It: A Miscellany


Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...


...for the moment, anyway.




The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #276 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 ©2023 by Gary Allen.




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