Sunday, March 20, 2016


Took a ride on the train from Kandy to Nuwera Eliya for the first time in 50 plus years on my march Sri Lanka food tour. There is no buffet car on the train so we all got lunch boxes from our previous night's hotel. Shouldn't have bothered as a couple of stations up from Kandy this guy, selling prawn vada (lentil cakes with a prawn pressed in and then deep fried) accompanied by onions and fried whole dried red chilies, and a couple of others hopped on the train with street food that was streets ahead of the limp sandwiches in the box.
21 Pictures that Prove Hipsters Should be Banned from Food Forever
How could I resist posting this J I understand the shovel is already in use at a certain cafe in Alexandria.
His Paula Deen takedown when viral but this food scholar has more on his mind.
‘Twitty’s embrace of all the various parts of himself — African, African American, European, black, white, gay, Jewish — sometimes raises hackles, as does his habit of speaking his mind. An article he wrote in the ‘Guardian on July 4, 2015, suggesting that American barbecue “is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased” from its story, elicited scorn and worse: Many commenters were outraged by his idea of barbecue as cultural appropriation. Even scholars who appreciate Twitty’s insistence that the African and African Americans who helped create Southern cooking be recognized say he sometimes overstates his case. “What gives scholars pause is his tendency to make bold statements when more nuance is needed when writing about a time period — pre-colonial Africa — that is not well documented,” says Adrian Miller, James Beard Award-winning­ author of “Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine.”
To which my response is that sometimes it takes bold statements to generate questioning that leads to scholarship which may lead to documentation that answers the question.
Thanks to Jacqui Newling for the lead to this article on the fascinating Michael Twitty.

The vast bay leaf conspiracy

‘Maybe you’ve had this experience: You throw a bay leaf into a broth, and it doesn’t do anything. Then you throw the rest of the bay leaves you bought into the broth, too, because you only bought them for this, and you’ll be damned if you don’t taste a bay leaf, and they don’t do anything, either. What could be the cause of this? I’ll tell you. Bay leaves are bullshit.’

It goes on a bit but it’s a fun article. I have a good mate who would agree with the sentiment.

The Rise of Egotarian Cuisine

‘This style of dining is currently nameless. What makes the food different is that every chef is seeking to express himself in an incomparable and triumphant manner. I call it Egotarian Cuisine.
The food is ingenious. It's occasionally brilliant. Too often, it's awful.’

Love the 9 signs – especial 5. The herb in your soup is found only in botany textbooks and 9. The chef explains that his cooking has "a story to tell," and it's a romantic novel of self-love.

Ta John Newton for the lead.

What it’s like to cook for the Pope

There were certain restrictions, which were obvious because of his age: nothing spicy, no irritants, nothing too greasy,” Ibarra explained. “All the fruits had to be seedless to avoid digestive problems.

Go on! You KNOW you want to know.

21st Symposium of Australian Gastronomy

This looks seriously good with some fab OS guests. Registrations not open yet. The webpage for the Symposium and the corresonding Facebook page are a welcome advance. Signing up to the FB will keep you informed.

Just a pity I already delivered a paper on Utopias & Dystopias: Upesia & Dyspepsia at a Symposium in  2004 – available for anyone interested via moi.

Food Politics

The call for papers is now open for the Food Politics: From the Margins to the Mainstream conference, which will be held at the University of Tasmania from Thursday 30 June – Friday 1 July 2016.

No info yet on how to register but you can follow the site via its blog.

Oxford Symposium calling for donations

The Friends of the Oxford Symposium have put out a call for donations to support work of the Symposium that is ‘important to the Symposium that are not funded by registration fees’ such as Student Research Grants, prizes for Best Student Paper Presentations, the Best Presentation award for a non-student first-time presenter, Young Chef grants, and ongoing support for the website and the Proceedings Digitisation Project.