Category Archives: history

CHoWline: Food in the Gilded Age

In the 1980s there was a Texas congressman who was skeptical that there were hungry people in the US–poor people looked too fat to be hungry. He was an idiot. Just because there is “food” doesn’t mean it’s healthy, a … Continue reading

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CHoWline: The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery

Have you had that odd jolt yet when you realize you are part of history? Talking to someone in their 20s about the Allman Brothers? That making a shopping list is suddenly considered a life hack? Watching jeans styles go … Continue reading

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Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C.

Examining how we use words, in this case “food desert,” makes us see people and places in new ways–more complex and complete. In this book, Ashante Reese examines a single DC neighborhood and finds agency in food that might otherwise … Continue reading

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CHoWline: The Rise of Tea Culture in China

This review appeared in the December 2018/January 2019 issue of CHowline, the monthly newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Washington, DC. The book is a deep and detailed look at how tea became a marker of refinement and connoisseurship in … Continue reading

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CHoWline–Dessert, A Tale of Happy Endings

Dessert has a long history, even though it wasn’t always dessert. It began as an in-between course, meant to delight the eye and spark the palate. In some forms, it was even considered medicinal–an aid to digestion and a way … Continue reading

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CHoWline–New Art of Cookery by Juan Altamiras

This review appeared in the October 2018 issue of CHoWline, the newsletter of the Culinary Historians of Washington, DC. Juan Altamiras was the pen name of the Spanish friar who published his recipes in 1745. But never mind that date, … Continue reading

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T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks

This book records the cooking and shopping experiences of two American educators in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, and is an excellent mix of research, experience, and recipes. And yes, some of the tales of privation–wonky stoves, uneven markets–are true, but … Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Basement–Persephone Books 2

This is another superbly chosen and tailored book from Persephone Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street in London. And what I didn’t mention in the previous Persephone post is a tasty bit of urban planning. Lamb’s Conduit Street is not a … Continue reading

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The Galloping Gourmet

An Englishman teaching an American about food is like the blind leading the one-eyed. A. J. Liebling I was once at the Smithsonian Museum of American History’s exhibit on Julia Child’s Kitchen where I overhead one teenager describe Child to … Continue reading

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Historical Notes on Montgomery County Foodways

I’ve been working on a cookbook titled Bread & Beauty, A Year in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. Along with interviewing farmers and agricultural advocates, attending events, and developing recipes based on Ag Reserve produce, I’ve had the great pleasure of … Continue reading

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