Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘dinner party’

Food Links, 21.03.2012

How food aid for Somalia disappeared.

Around 70% of the antibiotics used in the US are on animals, not humans.

A Marmite shortage in New Zealand.

Hamburger wrapping paper.

The Greek potato movement.

Science + Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter, a series of lectures from the Harvard School of Engineering and Science, is now available on the iTunes U app.

The return of Britain’s forgotten foods. (Thanks, Simon!)

Everything you need to know about coffee in three minutes.

The Way We Ate.

Low carbon cuisine.

The Bike-a-Bee.

Eating penguins in Antarctica.

Could football fans go vegetarian?

The periodic table of meat.

Can bagels save Detroit?

The craze for Downton Abbey-themed dinner parties.

Edward Hirsch on cotton candy.

International cheese consumption. (Thanks Sarang!)

Cooking from A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband (with Bettina’s Best Recipes), published in 1917.

The complex world of soy products.

Paula Deen announces that she’s also the spokeswoman for a…Diabetes drug. Funny, that.

A useful guide to the shelf life of a variety of foods. (Thanks Mum!)

A vegetable orchestra.

Some fantastic posters on food produced by the American government during the Second World War.

Book plates: crockery inspired by favourite novels.

Very useful: on powdered and leaf gelatine.

Eight TED talks on food policy.

Delhi’s restaurant revolution.

The mac-and-cheese-o-matic.

The taste of sound.

Pasties of the world.

The politics of koeksisters.

A guide to Ethiopian cuisine.

Foodie Pseudery (11)

The best food writing knows not to take itself too seriously. Calvin Trillin is amazing precisely because he understands that his various food obsessions are just that: personal enthusiasms for food that others may not enjoy as much as he does. He knows and cares a great deal about food, but wears this expertise and enthusiasm lightly.

It’s with great sadness, then, that I must include Michael Pollan, one of my food heroes, in this series. He has written many sane, sensible things about food. But the following is neither sane nor sensible. It’s from an astonishingly humourless article published in the New York Times titled ‘The 36-Hour Dinner Party‘, in which Pollan describes a series of meals cooked in a wood-fired oven kept blazing over a day and a half. It is a pompous and self-important piece of writing: you’d be forgiven for thinking it was about a religious experience.

8:30 a.m. The core group reassembles in the backyard for breakfast. Mike has coaxed the fire in the oven back to life. I’m starting to think of the fire as a creature with its own moods and appetites; now it needs to be fed. Chad has kindled a second fire in the pit and is toasting slices of yesterday’s bread. Melissa, meanwhile, has prepped an unexpectedly intricate yet goat-free breakfast: in individual clay pots, she arranged sautéed porcini on a bed of blanched amaranth greens picked from Mike’s garden. Over that, she cracked an egg and drizzled some cream. The pots go into the oven for several minutes, and when they come out she gives each a dollop of green-tomato chutney and dusts them with dukkah, an Egyptian spice-and-nut blend. … One of the best bites of the weekend, if not of all time, is of a slice of Chad’s toast spread with Mike’s cheese and Jenny’s apricot jam and then liberally sprinkled with dukkah. It takes a village to make some toast, apparently, but this is one sublime piece of toast.

9:38 a.m. We’re still at the breakfast table when Mike starts pouring glasses of Vouvray to mark the 24 hours that have passed since we lighted the fire. By now, having shared so much eating and drinking and cooking, everyone feels comfortable enough not to have to talk; we’ve all entered the same psychological space.