Historical Cooking Classes
Anne Bramley of Eat Feed is offering historical cooking classes, on line I think. You’ll get not just recipes (duh) but the whole cultural background. A great opportunity if you are interested particularly in her specialty, early modern English food. Eat Feed » Classes.
The Old Foodie is always worth reading but when she gets on to the topic of grindstones (here called curry stones because they were used for grinding spices in India), then I can’t resist. Have any of those interested in historical kitchens run across these stones? Or are they just ignored as “only stones?”
“I don’t know how common genuine curry stones were in the kitchens of England in the late nineteenth century, but the great interest in ‘curries’, and the instructions in the above recipe, suggest that they were not unknown. Cookery books of the time catered for the great interest in ‘curries’, and one in particular makes much of the use of curry stones to grind one’s own curry powder. The book is The Curry Cook’s Assistant or, Curries, How to Make them in England in Their Original Style (3e 1889) by Daniel Santiagoe, General Servant.” via The Old Foodie: Using Your Curry Stone.
Reminiscences of Borlaug
Some years ago, I went to vist a colleague at Texas A & M because she was an expert on what actually happens in nixtamalization (the process of treating maize with alkali so central to Mexican cooking). I had parked illegally, that being about the only option on most university campuses. “I don’t think Norm will be in today,” she said. “Why don’t you take his slot?”That Norm. Oh my goodness. If I had had my camera I would have snapped my car in Norm’s slot. Here’s a long personal account of Borlaug, thanks to Agrobiodiversity. Worth reading the whole thing for many reasons, including the India-Mexico interchanges.
“Borlaug wanted me to join his program as postdoc in Mexico, and accordingly I accepted the offer to work with Glenn Anderson and the Rockefeller Foundation in India for a period of six months. This life-changing decision came at a time of momentous change in the world, when questioning and protests were the order of the day, and after three months, the postdoc offer in Mexico matured. At the same time, a temporary offer from IARI was made, with a view to permanency. Swayed by Glenn Anderson and lured by the challenges offered by Borlaug and CIMMYT, I reluctantly declined the offer from IARI and set my sights on Mexico in May 1969.” via Norman Borlaug: The Man I Worked With and Knew – Annual Review of Phytopathology, 49(1):17.
Photos of a fair in Regents Park, London in 1943
Not just of food, but plenty of food there including chocolate substitute ice cream. And the auction of a small banana that sold for five pounds sterling, a large sum of money in those days. Don’t miss the last photo. Wow. The Passion of Former Days: War Fair.
Ah, Cornwall asserting rights over the pasty tradition
One of my arguments at the recent Taste of Home conference in Brussels was that it was highly likely that Cornish pasties were created as much, probably more, by the Cornish diaspora to mining communities around the globe than by the Cornish in impoverished late nineteenth-century Cornwall. And that the overseas Cornish had no need to cede pasty authenticity to Cornwall itself. But there’s money in culinary heritage. Here’s Cornwall asserting its pasty rights.
“Amery is one of the cooks, professional and amateur, who have journeyed from across the globe to compete at the inaugural World Pasty Championships this weekend at the Eden Project in St Austell.” via Pasty competition brings international flavour to Cornwall | Life and style | guardian.co.uk.