Category Archives: Publishing Food

Ecology a la Carte

Hot on the heels of my menu donation to the New York Public Library comes this intriguing news story about a team of ecologists using Hawaiian restaurant menus to reconstruct long-term changes in local marine populations. The menus provided the evidence needed to trace historical ecological shifts during “a critical 45-year gap” in the state’s […]

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Menu Accession

I am somewhat astonished to find that I haven’t written about the New York Public Library’s amazing menu collection on Edible Geography before. IMAGE: A pizza delivery menu from Radisson Hotels, 1987. NYPL Menu Collection. NYPL Culinary Collections Librarian Rebecca Federman spoke about it during Foodprint NYC, describing the ways in which researchers have used […]

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Tweeting Breakfast

Twitter is easily (and somewhat tediously) mocked as simply providing a forum for the publication of endless narcissistic minutiae. This argument is most commonly summed up by citing the breakfast example. As Steven Johnson put it, writing for Time in 2009: You hear about this new service that lets you send 140-character updates to your […]

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The Atlas of Aspirational Origins

Provenance is a tricky issue. Over the past few years, the names of agricultural regions, villages, and even specific farms have proliferated on urban menus and shelf labels, providing the aspirational consumer with a shorthand guarantee of authenticity, taste, and, often, local origin. The idea is that by listing the farm on which your heirloom […]

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Food Studies

My team of eleven brave Food Studies bloggers. I’m extremely pleased to announce that I’m editing a new series called Food Studies for the online environmental magazine Grist. Thanks to the superhuman efforts of Grist’s new food editor, Twilight Greenaway, we launched today, and you can start following the series online here. Those of you […]

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Land, Language, and Wine Labels: An Interview with William L. Fox

William L. Fox (Bill) is a writer and the Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. His ongoing interest, whether writing about Antarctica, the Great Basin, or Los Angeles, is in the ways in which people make sense of landscape. To that end, he has accompanied NASA astronauts […]

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Publishing Food #4: The Case Of The Fictional Label

IMAGE: Chapter 1, The Case of the IPA, via Slashfood. “It started with a summons from a wealthy brewer named Cornelius Fuggle (no relation)….” So begins The Case of the IPA, a detective story in twelve parts, published serially on a beer brewed especially for the purpose. According to Buzzards Bay Brewing Company co-owner, Bill […]

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Publishing Food #3

April 1st has seen its share of food hoaxes, including the BBC’s legendary 1957 spaghetti harvest documentary, which featured a family from Ticino in Switzerland gathering a bumper spaghetti crop, following a mild winter and the “virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.” But April 1 also marks the birthday of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, grandfather of […]

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Publishing Food #2

On a recent excursion to The Morgan Library & Museum (to see their gorgeous William Blake exhibition), I spent some time in the gift shop leafing through a big book about miniature books. Based on a 2007 exhibition at New York’s Grolier Club, Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures contains such curiosities as “thumb bibles,” a truly tiny copy of Mao’s Little Red Book, and a two-by-three inch autobiography of Robert Hutchings Goddard, inventor of the liquid-propellant rocket, which accompanied the astronauts on their Apollo 11 mission and thus became the first book on the moon.

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Publishing Food

Food publishing is a curious business: cookbook sales boom in lockstep with the rise of ready-meals, testifying to a fascination with food that elides the act of actually preparing it. Nonetheless, most follow a proven formula, leavening glossy photos of gorgeously styled food with a sprinkling of concise instructions, titillating sensory details, and hackneyed personal […]

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