Rachel Laudan

A Baker’s Dozen of Food History Blogs

Browsing what popped up in my Feedly (love Feedly) this weekend, I was struck by the number of great blogs out there either dedicated to food history or covering food history from time to time.

I thought I would share thirteen, the criterion being not that they were THE best, but they were a sample of excellent posts (and blogs) from just two or three days.

  1. Duck Pie by J. S. Graboyes. “Back When We Ate Roses.”  Or how a fashion in scented sandwiches spread from England to the United States in the years before WW I.
  2. Spitalfields Life by the gentle author. “Adverts from the Jewish East End.” A glimpse into the food (and other worlds) of East End Jews in 1925 London through adverts in an almanac found in a synagogue.
  3. The Junto. Rachel Herrmann introducing a guest post by Dr. E.M.Rose. “Did Squanto Meet Pocahontas and What Might They Have Discussed?”  The Junto is a group blog for Early Americanists, which frequently has food-related posts. BTW, look for Rachel Herrmann’s book on how every group in America around the time of the Revolution used hunger for political ends. I think it should be out this year.
  4. Kitchen Butterfly by Ozoz Sokoh. “A Possible History of Nigerian Small Chops.”  How did spring rolls and samosa come to be favorite party food in Nigeria? by the imaginative and thoughtful Nigerian blogger.
  5. Kantha Shelke by Kantha Shelke. “Happy Thanksgiving aka Spaghetti Carbonara Day.” Food scientist and historian Kantha Shelke on how Calvin Trillin proposed replacing turkey with pasta.
  6. Southern Foodways Alliance. Video of Maria Godoy. “Altar Call.”  Maria Godoy, host of NPR’s The Salt, gives the closing address at the SFA conference on El Sur Latino, asking “What Did We Learn? What Burden Will We Shoulder Together?
  7. Gherkins and Tomatoes by Cynthia Bertelson. “The British Were in the Kitchen, Too: A List of Books on Food History.” I just hadn’t realized how much scholarly work was appearing on British food. Great round up.
  8. The Cook and the Curator by Jaqui Newling and Scott Hill of Sydney Living Museums. “Marking Time.” Part of a series on what 12-year old Dolly Youngein learned to cook in school in early 20th century Australia.
  9. Beer et Seq by Gary Gillman. “Navy Rum, Part III: The Deptford Blend, The Afterlife.” Powering the British Navy and much more on the history of alcohol.
  10. The American Menu by Henry Voigt. “The Emancipation Banquet.” The menu for the 25th anniversary celebration held in a St Paul, Minnesota African-American social club, with a seating plan that indicates vacant places for those who could participate only in spirit.
  11. The Recipes Project, a long-term project by scholars interested in recipes in cooking and beyond. Guest post by Charlie Taverner. “Reading the London Cries.” Much needed plea to bring context and audience to understanding earlier images of food.
  12. Imik Simik: Cooking with Gaul. “Red cabbage.”  Reflections on color in food, both in medieval Islam and today.
  13. Restaurant-ing through History by Jan Whitaker. “Turkey on the Menu.” Was turkey served in American restaurants year round or just at Thanksgiving?


There you have it. A wonderful range of backgrounds, sources, historiographical approaches.

The topics are perhaps not so various. They tend to be heavily Anglo and modern or at least in the last century or two.  Whether this is because I don’t read other languages, because blogging is particularly common in the Anglo world, because I have a built-in bias, I’m not sure.  Thoughts welcome.

And I hope there’s something new for everyone here.

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