The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.
is a writer
for The New Inquiry
and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen
. [more inside]
Hungry? Meet Rocky and Mayur
-- two likeable blokes who happen to host an Indian food/road show called "Highway On My Plate."
Since 2005 they've been traveling around the country sampling the culinary delights of the subcontinent, and lately they've been visiting school and college cafeterias. Youtubery ahead! [more inside]
The five scholars explored the question, “What is the meaning of food?” and debated its role in ethnic and religious tensions. They also examined the possibility that “food, which is something that all of us share, albeit in different ways, can be used to bring people together instead of differentiating between us.” According to Goldstein, one of the most important ideas to come out of the group was that food is a social process rather than a commodity and thus is central to multicultural understanding: “[Food] has to do with how we live and it’s not just an object that we ingest.”
Food: History & Culture in the West
[PDF], was a 2010 UC Berkley Symposium exploring multiple links between food and culture: [more inside]
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel
or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer
. It's Doomsday Preppers
, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) thinks
that new school lunch standards derived from the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act equal rationing. His constituents' kids are "starving," says the congressman.
But the HHFKA
actually expanded access to school breakfast and lunch programs and improved school nutritional guidelines. Is this a nanny state, or a culture war? [more inside]
Let's Get Critical
is "a new Longform.org
partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
In Praise of Fast Food:
A historian takes on the "Culinary Luddism" the fresh/local/natural food movement. Originally published in the journal Gastronomica
and featured as part of a series on food culture from the Utne Reader
. [more inside]
Japanese Element Symbols
is an introduction for non-Japanese to the Japanese language through Kanji symbols
, its alphabet
, elements of Japan's culture
, and what to expect on the culinary front
A daily photoblog of the mediterranean island of Mallorca.
Checking the tags is a good way to trawl the archive.
; customs and traditions
Pocketful of dough
- an article on where the art of, er, tipping up front
can get you. Originally printed in a year 2000 edition of Gourmet. Via Juicy Tidbits.
The Southern Foodways Alliance
is one weighed-down church-supper table, full of oral history/blog projects like The Tamale Trail
, the Boudin Trail
, interviews and recipes from the Bartenders of New Orleans
, photo essay/interviews from Birmingham's Greek-Americans
, a mess o'homemade films
, and a passel of event and BBQ-shack photos on Flickr
, all smothered in the tangy-sweet academic goodness of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture
at Ole Miss. These folks get my vote for most flavorful, funkiest food-loving folklorists in the lower forty-eight. [more inside]
: A true American hallmark
, that first appeared on the horizon
in the early 70's (the 1870
's that is), and has remained a fixture
on the American psyche since. If you've never been to one
, why not go ahead and have your next meal there
? There maybe one right around
from where you live. If not, well, like me, you can sit back and look at the glorious images that are available
and hope that one day your dream comes true. But until then: remember to adhere to the Ten Commandments
, and yeah--if you can--get a copy of Diner (youtube)
and watch it. It might not be "strictly" about Diners
, but it's fun all the same. [previously]
looks different to different people. That alone made me wanna post this cuz that's just hella cool, but after I saw that, I started wondering what does breakfast sound
should we even bother with breakfast? Here's some more
thoughts on breakfast. Hungry yet? This was a great movie
by the way. I guess that one
was okay too. So what did you have for breakfast? [previously]
The Near-Fame Experience
: A fascinating interview with former contestants of Bravo
reality television shows Project Runway
and Top Chef
, presenting the fickle nature of fame and how it can come at significant professional and personal cost, if at all.
may call up a few memories of mornings in front of the TV (or phone phreaking
, for some of you). Now you can find out the rest of his story
(or at least the first installment of it) - and, for the first time ever, his first name
Everyone’s got one.
From the boys and girls
who go to school, to the working women and men
of India, who depend on the Dabba Wallahs
to bring them their meals. The margin of error for these tiffin carriers has been clocked at an astonishing 99.9999999%
, which has earned them the Sigma 6
rating, and has made them popular in other
parts of the world.
How We Eat
A photo gallery of families around the world, and what they eat over the course of one week. Text in French.
OK, I’ve been a good American. I’ve done the turkey and stuffing routine for more than three decades now. But next year is gonna be different. Next year I shall celebrate Thanksgiving by flying out to Iceland, where I intend to harpoon a big ugly shark
. My friends and I will then bury the bugger
in a gravel pit. After several weeks, it’ll be good and rotten
. Then we’ll hang the strips of meat
up to dry. When it’s ready, we’ll slam down some shots of the local liquor
and consume dainty little cubes of fermented shark flesh.
We’ll finish the feast with pumpkin pie.
"In a close-knit Chesapeake Bay community, the world’s fastest muskrat skinners face off in a truly cutthroat competition at the National Outdoor Show. One lucky young lady gets to be their queen."
[Warning: Fiddle tunes!
] Muskrat Lovely
, a documentary about the conflation of the world muskrat-skinning championships
with the Miss Outdoors beauty competition. The film will air soon on the PBS program
Catch some of the brackish flavor of the Chesapeake Bay's traditional regional culture
, including some muskrat recipes and skinning tips.
. And don't miss the link to Everything Muskrat
- central aim ... is to convey the richness and complexity of links
between Britain and South Asia, through the story of plants and people
The best American hamburgers?
The American Hamburger is one of those things that I truly miss about the US and one of those things that we Brits try to copy but, for some reason, just never seem to get right.
Forget the golden-arches, we need some proper
hamburger joints serving up half-pound burgers, real milkshakes and endless refills...
The Challenge: Purchase, prepare and eat healthy, mostly organic meals on a food stamp budget. These are the results
- from that old English classic spotted dick
to more unusual offerings like bum bum bananas
energy drink, and Prick
potato crisps, here's a wonderful collection of worldwide food items that bring out the giggling 12-year-old boy in all of us.
The story of Fred Harvey
and the Harvey Girls
is the story of the civilization of the American West
. From 1896 to 1945
, Harvey House Restaurants and Hotels
along the route of the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe
represented first-rate food
served in clean, stylish surroundings
at reasonable cost. His corps of well-trained waitresses
, wearing their distinctive uniforms
and bound by a code of hard work
and good conduct
, provided both adventure and independence
to generations of young women
. Today, all that is left of the Harvey empire is the remembrances
of former employees, beautiful buildings
which dot the southwest
, some vintage recipes
, a 1946 Judy Garland film
, and (possibly) the enduring term "Blue-Plate Special"