Thursday, May 20, 2010
A Side Trip into Food History
So have I, in fact, for many years. Long ago I wrote a master's thesis about cooking and eating habits among a group of people in Atlanta, Georgia. Historians give that branchlet of research the name "foodways", among other monikers. Back then it seems most of us relied on written resources to learn about what how people prepared food, how they ate it, and why.
Photo: screen capture of the Bites of Food History blog.
You can't eat paper, though, nor smell a dish through paper, nor know how your arms and hands feel when you have hefted a pot from coals, or tested the temperature of an unreliable gas oven, or kneaded a dough with your fingers.
So I am happy to see that food history has gone concrete and that historians, professional or amateur, are testing the foodways of days long past with their eyes and arms and fingers and tastebuds. Here are two blogs that I find particularly fun and useful. There are many more out there. Do you have favorites you would like to share?
Bites of Food History
Historian Susan McLellan Plaisted's experiments in cheesemaking, brining, baking, ice cream making, chocolate making from cacao seeds (yes, that's right), roasting on a string...
The Old Foodie" From food writer Janet Clarkson.
Photo: screen capture of The Old Foodie blog.