E. C. Spary, “Eating the Enlightenment: Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670-1760” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
By focusing on food and eating from the dinner table to the laboratory, E. C. Spary‘s new book shows how an increasingly public culture of knowledge shaped the daily lives of literate Parisians in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spary’s work is at the same time a rich and... Read More
Barak Kushner, “Slurp!: A Social and Culinary History of Ramen – Japan’s Favorite Noodle Soup” (Global Oriental, 2012)
I bet you’ve never heard of the “Smash the Baltic Fleet Memorial Togo Marshmallow.” I hadn’t either, before reading Barak Kushner‘s lively and illuminating new book on the history of ramen in Japan. Grounded in ample research that incorporates archival and ethnographic methods, Slurp!: A Social and Culinary History of... Read More
Signe Rousseau, “Food and Social Media: You Are What You Tweet” (AltaMira Press, 2012)
The other day I found myself in a cooking situation that’s fairly common: I had a few odd ingredients–some oxidized strips of bacon, a withered red pepper, a bunch of half-wilted parsley–and needed to use them before they went bad, but how? The cookbooks on my counter didn’t have an... Read More
William Kerrigan, “Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard: A Cultural History” (Johns Hopkins, 2012)
Not many of us, not even the most ardent foodies, think of the crab apple as a fruit worth eating, much less extolling, but Henry David Thoreau saw something like the American pioneer spirit in this hard, gnarled, sour hunk of fruit. In his essay “Wild Apples,” he celebrates the... Read More
Bob Spitz, “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” (Knopf, 2012)
I confess I knew nothing about Julia Child prior to reading Bob Spitz‘s new book. And yet, from the dramatic opening passages through its 500+ pages, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child (Knopf, 2012) held me captive. How many people, much less women, change our attitudes, beliefs, and culture?... Read More
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