New analysis on Richard III's bones reveal the richer diet available to a king
, as well as his drinking habits.
The Imperial Kitchen
Among the kiosks, halls, reception chambers, and harem baths, I suspect that visitors today spend the least time of all in the palace kitchens—unless they have an interest in Chinese porcelain, which is displayed in there. Otherwise there’s nothing much to see, just a series of domed rooms. Outside you can count the ten pairs of massive chimneys, but there’s no smoke.
It’s a pity that the building is so quiet, because it was in here, over four centuries, that one aspect of Istanbul’s imperial purpose was most vividly expressed.
"In peace or war, the ultimate refuge—the sanctuary of all that is humane—lies distilled within the warmth of the kitchen."
Journalist Paul Salopek pauses in the middle of his 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk from Africa to South America -- Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego -- to reflect on the food
shared with him during his time in Israel and Palestine. "Watching the women of Nablus move briskly, efficiently, purposefully about their tasks, chatting, often joking (about men, politics, life), I am reminded of all the meals that admitted me briefly into the conflicted lives of Israelis and Palestinians." [more inside]
Where Restaurant Reservations Come From: Why did the practice develop? In the startup terms of our day, what problem did the institution of restaurant reservations solve? Well, the answer boils down to... sex and propriety.
"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897)
online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
Pass the Garum
is a cooking blog focused on the recipes and cuisine of ancient Rome. [more inside]
“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway
? (Smithsonian Mag)
The history of the hamburger
could be a relatively short story, or one spanning centuries and continents, depending on how far you disassemble the modern hamburger. If you look for the origins of ground meat between two pieces of bread, that's something American, but where and when exactly is the question
. But how did we get the ground meat patty? You can thank the Mongols and Kublai Khan, who brought their ground meat to Russia
. Oh, and don't forget the fish sauce
! [more inside]
As part of the preparation for a special exhibition on the history of Chinese food in America, the Smithsonian opens the world's oldest can of fortune cookies
. More posts on the exhibit research under the Sweet & Sour tag
The Ministry Of Food was a British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II. They made many newsreels and PSAs to inform the citizenry how to use the food rationing system: Rationing is introduced in 1939 The new ration books are coming! Cod Liver Oil Here's spud in your eye Don't cut that bread! DON'T WASTE FOOD! Dig For Victory! Milk is here!
In addition, some short films instructed people in how to best use the new rationing system : Two Cooks And A Cabbage How To Make Tea Rabbit Pie Buying black market meat: a Partner in CRIME A US view explaining UK rationing to the States.
"In between surviving multiple point-blank-range assassination attempts and a failed kidnapping in which he emerged alive from the burning wreckage of a battleship his own air force had just bombed, Pibulsongkram decided that Thailand needed noodles
that would advance the country’s industry and economy."
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]
"New Englanders learn quickly to dismiss the chowder where tomato ruins its gorgeous broth, where references to New York tarnish its name...However, few know how such distinctions came about in the first place, what processes were involved that resulted in one person's disgust of another's beloved creation, and why, to this day, do we stand by such convictions?" The New England Chowder Compendium
, from the McIntosh Cookery Collection
at the UMass Amherst library. [more inside]
We know the Obamas planted a vegetable garden
in 2009, bringing back the tradition of a White House Vegetable Garden
(7:44 YT video
), and Barack has home-brewed beer
. The White House then released the recipes for their honey ale and honey porter
, but what of the other White House recipes? Here are some modern Thanksgiving recipes
, but what about the rest of the year? Our White House
provides a glimpse into past White House kitchens, menus, and recipes
, but that's still too thin. More than 50 White House recipes
? Still not enough! OK, how about the complete White House Cookbook from 1887
(on Archive.org, also on Project Gutenberg
and Google books
). Vintage Recipes
has kindly provided a tidied up table of contents
and recipes for quicker browsing, but be warned, the techniques are dated
, and some of the household tips are a bit questionable
. More on presidential gastronomy, previously
's creation, Marshmallow Fluff
, followed a winding path
to household name.
Most famous as a component
of the Fluffernutter sandwich
, this icon
of New England cuisine appears in hundreds of other recipes
, including whoopie pies
and Mamie Eisenhower
's Never Fail Fudge
. You can even try making it yourself
. . Other homages include the pop-style "Fluffart"
of Susan Olsen
, perhaps better known to us as the Brady Bunch's Cindy
; some video tributes
, and the What the Fluff? Festival
in Somerville, MA (previously
A Guide to Writing Sherlockian-Tea Habits.
In which EnigmaticPenguin (of death) schools fanfiction authors in correct English tea theory and practice. Follow up: Biscuits.
This had to be the most amazing merchandising operation I had ever seen! I don't remember whether I ate a hamburger for lunch that day or not. I went back to my car and waited around until about 2:30 in the afternoon, when the crowd dwindled down to just an occasional customer. Then I went over to the building and introduced myself to Mac and Dick McDonald. (very previously) [more inside]
Food Fight: Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive?
In which the blog Get Rich Slowly chronicles an argument about nutrition vs cost and then invites readers to chime in.
Aspic and other delights
showcases the absolute horrors of good, old-fashioned home cooking. Or, at least the advertisements for it. Aspic
, in case you were wondering, is food, often meat
encased in gelatin or cooled meat stock.
26 years ago today, we said goodbye to Ettore Boiardi
- who fed the Plaza Hotel, Woodrow Wilson, millions of GIs, and - more likely than not - you
. [more inside]
You can tell how strongly a man or woman yearns for freedom by counting the condiments in his or her refrigerator.
- Tom Nealon's series
on the secret history of condiments.
The Language of Food
is a blog with only four entries, but each one is an excellent, well-researched essay on, yes, food and language: ketchup
, and ceviche
. The author, Dan Jurafsky, teaches a parallel course at Stanford, the syllabus for which you can peruse here
. via (mefi's own) honestengine.blogspot.com
Scans of early 20th-century American menus,
courtesy of Colorado College's Tutt Library.
Just nae call i' English!
Food historian Catherine Brown
, the traditional Scottish dish, was invented
in England rather than Scotland
. Scottish butchers have dismissed the daft claim
. But just in case she turns out to be right, there's always... curry
? [more inside]
A daily photoblog of the mediterranean island of Mallorca.
Checking the tags is a good way to trawl the archive.
; customs and traditions
is both chef and historian. Using old equipment and original research in primary sources for recipes and descriptions,
he can "cook a meal from any time from the Battle of Agincourt to the First World War,
" recreating historic banquets and collations in full detail. Galleries of his food exhibitions
show that he can back that claim up, and that rapid changes in culinary trends are not of recent vintage. [more inside]
According to legend, Einstein was eating chocolate when he came upon the theory of relativity. These sites are all about chocolate and candy in general. Chocolate Obsession.
Hyperbole? Maybe. Just a little. Ok, a lot. Chocolate does have a lot to offer, though. It is a one of a kind food characterized by a truly unique and intense flavor. The idea of Jim's Chocolate Mission
came after a discussion with friends about the greatest chocolate bar. Was is the Wispa? Galaxy? Clark? The Chocolate Review
is most likely to review English chocolate because that's where they're from, but they also do imports. [more inside]
Top Events USA
lists their top 20 events across the USA, the top 10 events and festivals for each of the United States, and lists of the best annual events and festivals by category or theme. [more inside]
Animal Rights History
collects quotes and original source documents from historical figures concerned with animal welfare, animal rights and vegetarianism
throughout history, including John Locke on kids' cruelty to animals
, Voltaire on vivisecting dogs
, the author of history's first protected species list
, lots about Pythagoras
, a survey of anti-cruelty laws
King of Fruits,
Tempter of Adam, Prize of Paris: It's apple-picking
time. The apple's origins
reach into prehistory. Thanks to tremendous genetic variance
in each new generation, humans have cultivated a dizzying number
of named varieties
, as many as 17,000,
of which 7500
are available as growth stock. In the past, different apples
were prized for particular strengths: cider pressing
, or eating out of hand. Despite this bounty, just 15
shelf-stable, shiny, easy-to-pick
varieties account for 90% of apple sales today. But heirloom apple
growers are working to preserve the old flavors
of the Roxbury Russet
, the Westfield Seek-No-Further
, the Fallawater
, the Limbertwig
, the King Luscious