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"Diet sensibility-wise I find myself straddled several yards short of the spooky Eat Nourish Glow brigade ... yet far from a woman who eats a double-stack patty with onion rings dipped in chipotle mayonnaise at lunchtime guilt-free. Although, if I’m honest, I can, and have done, and several photos of me exist on the internet standing at parties with my arms around gaunt, size 6 showbiz chums resembling, in relative terms, an amiable Tyrannosaurus rex that has entered a toddler’s sandpit."

Grace Dent

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Saturday
Mar052016

Grace Dent on burgers

"The fetishisation of the burger continues. Despite the bombardment of Honest, Byron, Dirty Burger, Patty & Bun and MeatLiquor aiming to put a 3,000-calorie blowout of brioche, batter and bourbon on every corner, London shows no signs of ennui. I am not their average customer. Diet sensibility-wise I find myself straddled several yards short of the spooky Eat Nourish Glow brigade — who claim to survive on tepid egg cups of boiled bones — yet far from a woman who eats a double-stack patty with onion rings dipped in chipotle mayonnaise at lunchtime guilt-free. Although, if I’m honest, I can, and have done, and several photos of me exist on the internet standing at parties with my arms around gaunt, size 6 showbiz chums resembling, in relative terms, an amiable Tyrannosaurus rex that has entered a toddler’s sandpit."

Grace Dent

Thursday
Oct292015

Counihan on bread

"Like all foods, bread is a nexus of economic, political, aesthetic, social, symbolic, and health concerns. As traditionally the most important food in the Sardinian diet, bread is a particularly sensitive indicator of change."

Carole M. Counihan

Counihan, C.M. 1999. The Anthropology of Food and the Body. New York: Routledge. 25.

Saturday
Mar282015

Janisse Ray on seeds

"If you haven’t heard what’s happening with seeds, let me tell you. They’re disappearing, about like every damn thing else. You know the story already, you know it better than I do, the forests and the songbirds, the Appalachian Mountains, the fish in the ocean. But I’m not going to talk about anything that’s going to make us feel hopeless, or despairing, because there’s no despair in a seed. There’s only life, waiting for the right conditions – sun and water, warmth and soil – to be set free. Every day millions upon millions of seeds lift their two green wings."

Janisse Ray

Sunday
Aug102014

Professor Stephen Mennell on food porn

"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had. In gastronomy, however, vicarious enjoyment is more definitely intended to be a prelude to, not a substitute for, direct and actual enjoyment." 

Stephen Mennell

Mennell, S. 1996. All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to Present. 2nd ed. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 271-272.

Thursday
May222014

Symons on the importance of gastronomy

I came across this quote while doing research for my dissertation on Australian and British cuisines. I am lucky enough to be in email contact with Michael who said that he thought (when he saw my email address) that I meant One Dish Closer to Death! I thought this quote was quite funny in light of that. Indeed, that is certainly a valid way of looking at it, so make sure you enjoy it.

"I have done a quick calculation and decided that: You can reasonably expect 76,650 meals during your life, but to die only once. We can look on these everyday events as nourishment, sensual gratification, conviviality, cultural expression and, in accumulation, a commentary upon society and life. Surely that's enough for any intellectual."

Michael Symons

Symons, M. 1984. A Potted History of Australian Gastronomy. In Santich, B. ed. The Upstart Cuisine: Proceedings of the First Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, Carclew, Adelaide, March 12 and 13, 1984. Adelaide: No publisher given.