Most of my articles on food history and a selection of the articles on history of science are also available at

Home-Grown Cuisines or Naturalized Cuisines? The History of Food in Hawaii and Hawaii’s Place in Food History.  The final draft of the article that appeared in Food Culture and Society, 2016.

Why I wrote a book on Hawaii’s food, how that led to a world history, and some reflections on cuisines in general.

In Praise of Artificial Food (Aeon, 2016)

Introduction. Mary Sia’s Classic Chinese Cookbook. Fourth edition. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2013), xi-xviii.

In 1956, Mary Sia published her second cookbook with the University of Hawaii Press. Her first, Chinese Chopsticks, had been published in English in Beijing in 1935. Born to professional Chinese parents in Honolulu, Mary Sia married Dr Richard Sia and travelled with him to Beijing where she taught Chinese cooking and led tours of restaurants. When the Japanese invaded they returned to Hawaii. An introduction to this cross-cultural life and the use of cooking to negotiate boundaries.


Why We Should Love Fast, New, Processed Food.  (2001). A plea for culinary modernism, a hymn to the virtues of modern food.

The Mexican Kitchen’s Islamic Connection, illustrated by leading  Mexican photographer, Nacho (Ignacio) Urquiza.

Why do Mexican moles resemble Indian curries?


Why did Western (or French) High Cuisine appear so suddenly in the mid seventeenth century.  My short answer in Scientific American called Birth of the Modern Diet (pdf). A scholarly version appeared in Petits Propos Culinaires with the title A Kind of Chemistry (pdf).


What was going on in colonial Mexican food?  Chiles, Chocolate and Race, an article I wrote with Jeffrey Pilcher.

Semitas, Semitic Bread, and the Search for Community. A longer version,  Semitas.

Were semitas, a bread found on the US-Mexico border, specifically Jewish? No.

Why desperately seeking authenticity is a hopeless venture (Los Angeles Times).