Food Manga: Where Culture, Conflict And Cooking All Collide [NPR.org] “In Japan, nearly every interest has a manga dedicated to it, whether it's sports, music or shooting pool. So it's no wonder that food, which has always been tied to Japan's cultural identity, has skyrocketed as a genre of manga, which represents about 40 percent of all books published in that country. Food manga first appeared in the 1980s, when the Japanese economy was strong, says Nancy Stalker, professor of Japanese history and culture at the University of Texas at Austin. One of the first, Oishinbo, ran for more than 20 years and became the basis for an anime series, as have many manga since. Conflict and cooking are at the heart of many food manga: Food Wars, Soldier of Food, Wakakozake, Detective Glutton, Solitary Gourmet, Criminal Grub, Cooking Master Boy, Antique Bakery, High Plains Gourmet.” [more inside]
"Whatever [the ingredients] taste like together is not particularly relevant." Terry Gross interviews married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe on the culinary history of the Great Depression and their new book 'A Square Meal' (37:00 audio, transcribed sections)
NPR's Planet Money explains the history of the sales tax in the United States by tracing what kinds of sandwiches get taxed and why: How the Burrito Became a Sandwich. Bonus: In-N-Out Burger history in the podcast.
What Pizza Hut's Crown Crust Pizza Says About Global Fast Food Marketing. [Food Porn] [Pizza Hut-blue?] Perhaps you've heard by now of the Crown Crust pizza, the pizza-cheeseburger hybrid recently unveiled by some of Pizza Hut's international franchisees. Available only at Pizza Hut Middle East, this fast food chimera features a vaguely crown-shaped crust studded with "cheeseburger gems," topped with lettuce and tomato, and drizzled with "special sauce." Many foodies have decried it as a "culinary abomination," "a sign of the apocalypse," or proof that America is finally losing its monopoly on gluttony. A reviewer at Serious Eats, who tried the Crown Crust in Dubai, wrote: "There seems to be no rational explanation as to why this pizza was created." [Via: NPR.org]
"FAME is a fickle food / Upon a shifting plate, / Whose table once a Guest, but not / The second time, is set."
A Coconut Cake From Emily Dickinson: Reclusive Poet, Passionate Baker. [NPR.org] Poet Emily Dickinson withdrew from society for most of her adult life. And yet, she was known to lower a basket full of cakes from the window of the home she rarely left to crowds of expectant children on the street below. The Poet's House in New York City put on exhibit an original manuscript of a Dickinson cake recipe that contained coconut. That recipe calls for the following ingredients. 1 cup coconut, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Hunting and gathering in your own backyard: "Alistair Bland was a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara last year when he decided to spend 10 weeks as an urban hunter-gatherer. He foraged for food in that city and survived on what he could kill or find growing outside . . ." (Real Audio required). Bland reported on the project in more detail in the Daily Gullet.