Author Archives: Nicola

Space Sherry

IMAGE: Bompas & Parr’s Parabolic Sherry is available for purchase at the Pop Rock Moon Shop. If you’re in London on Sunday, don’t miss “A Brief History of Drinking in Space” with Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr and David Lane of The Gourmand: To date, there has been relatively little consumption of alcohol in […]

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Food & Farming Fellowship

IMAGE: A wind-dried sausage curtain, Zhengzhou, China. Last spring, I applied for the inaugural UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship. I was very happy when I got the email saying I was one of six Fellows chosen for 2013—but, as it turns out, not nearly as happy as I should have been. The […]

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A Temperance of Cooks

IMAGE: “A Temperance of Cooks,” WOOP Studios. One of the more delightful eccentricities of the English language is its arcane arsenal of collective nouns, or particular terms for a group of a particular person, place, thing, animal, or idea. Some of these—a pride of lions, a bevy of ladies—date back to the fifteenth century or beyond, […]

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Spice Tile

IMAGE: “Beiti” (detail from a 2011 installation at CAPC in Bordeaux, France), Laurent Mareschal. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Marie Cini. Photo by Tami Notsani. IMAGE: “Beiti,” Laurent Mareschal, installation shot at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Laurent Mareschal’s “Beiti” is a carpet made of spice, carefully sieved through stencils into tiled patterns […]

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Reading Food: 2013

Don’t let its name fool you: in between shiny “phablets” and robot armies, Gizmodo still makes time for the ultimate old-school entertainment and educational device, the book. When Gizmodo‘s new editor-in-chief (and my Venue collaborator), Geoff Manaugh, asked me to contribute my top ten books of 2013 to their end-of-year “Best Books” list, I agonised […]

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Crop-Duster Spirographics

IMAGE: GPS patterns of a cropdusting aeroplane, via Mapbox. Among the public GPS tracks uploaded to OpenStreetMaps is this cropduster spirograph: swirls of pesticide or fertiliser application traced over the landscape in a rhythmic choreography that balances nozzle flow and wind conditions to “paint” the fields below.

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The Meaning of Meals

The American family dinner is an endangered custom with magical powers attributed to it. It is also, as cultural historian Abigail Carroll explains in her fascinating new book, Three Squares, “only about 150 years old.” IMAGE: Three Squares, Abigail Carroll (jacket design by Nicole Caputo). Subtitled “the invention of the American meal,” Three Squares is […]

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Eau de Fatberg

Fatbergs, another recurring theme here on Edible Geography, are sewer-blocking lumps of congealed cooking oil and wet wipes that can grow to the size of a double decker bus beneath the streets of London, with disastrous consequences for local drainage. IMAGE: London sewer flusher Danny Brackley shovels out a fatberg under Leicester Square. Photo via […]

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Cow Tunnel Quest Update

As regular readers will know, Edible Geography has been on the cow tunnel beat, on and off, for some years now. IMAGE: From “The Manhattan abattoir,” an engraving by V. L. Kingsbury, 1877, published in Harper’s Weekly, via the New York Public Library. Note the rather tiny cowboy: another unsolved mystery. Quick refresher: the semi-mythical […]

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Kindle

IMAGE: Photograph by Chris Hoover/Modernist Cuisine LLC, via The New Yorker. This image, one of a dozen in a New Yorker slideshow selection from The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, shows the very different flames produced by different salts, sprinkled over a a burner. Ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) created the two flames on the left, […]

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