Skip to main content


Styles of Eating

She’d gathered ramps in the woods, although she found them
A hyperbole of the food world, an over-priced scallion

With a finish of garlic scapes. But finding them in the forest,
He thought, and picking them with her strong hands,

Books That Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal. Edited by Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite. New York, 2014. 384p. HB, $30.00.

Meant to Cook

April 16, 2015

Foods and culinary customs from several ethnic groups and every region of the United States are presented, but the Southwest and South are the most memorably conjured. In “Puffballs: Finding the Inside,” English professor Thomas Fox Averill describes a little pueblo north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where food is inextricably braided into the townscape itself:

A traditional three-stone fire—such as this one in Lalibela, Ethiopia—transfers as little as 10 percent of the heat it produces to a cooking pot.

Three-Stone Fire

The three-​stone fire remains nearly universal among the 3 billion people who rely on solid biomass fuels like firewood, charcoal, and dung. But the three-​stone fire is hellishly inefficient, transferring as little as 10 percent of the heat it produces to a pot and the food it holds. 

The Cookbook Writer as Food Anthropologist

September 18, 2009

The great anthropological cookbooks of the 1960s and 1970s have been all but replaced by the fluffy side-projects of TV personalities, further alienating home cooks from their kitchens.