How to Decide?
Many years ago, I began writing a book about herbs, The Herbalist in the Kitchen and one of my first tasks was to define them, to distinguish between herbs and spices. That turned out to be difficult, as culinary differences tend to … Continue reading
Not Really A Book Review
Several people have suggested that I should consider reviewing my book — Sausage: A Global History — under pseudonym. There is, after all, a long history of authors surreptitiously writing reviews of their own books (“long” and “history” usually have the word “noble” stuck between them, but … Continue reading
Moors and Christians: Comfort Food for an Uncomfortable Season
When winter makes the outside world a brittle and unfriendly place, we prefer to stay in the house — ideally beside a fireplace or in the congenial glow of a wood-stove, the air filled with the aroma of slowly cooking foods. Nothing comforts us like … Continue reading
A Vegetarian Unmade
Back in the late Sixties, I was, for a time, a vegetarian. Today, we might call it Politically Correct or Globally Responsible — but back then it was just the thing to do. A craving for meat was regarded as a sign of spiritual underdevelopment. A craving for red meat indicated something approaching depravity.
Prepare Yourself for the Wurst
Four decades ago, before there were any books available on sausage for the home cook, I became interested in sausage-making. Having discovered that there was little written on the subject, I began researching the topic myself, converting commercial-scale recipes to manageable size, … Continue reading
Too Hungry for Dinner at Hate
Every year or so, someone has an original idea —the exact same original idea that many other writers have pitched to magazine or newspaper editors. Surprisingly, the idea sells itself (again, and again, and yet again)— it’s nearly as predictable … Continue reading
Shaking Up Prohibition
For most of us, the era of Prohibition (1919 – 1933) in the United States will conjure up a “noir” world of tough-talking hoodlums and wise-cracking blonds. Names like Al Capone, Baby-face Nelson, Legs Diamond, and Lucy Luciano with the Hollywood faces … Continue reading
Waverley Root’s classic The Food of Italy (1971) gives carbonara but sixteen words (although he does call it “a particular favorite”). The Dictionary of Italian Cuisine defines it as: Pasta (usually spaghetti) with egg yolks, Guanciale, Pecorino Romano or (less … Continue reading