All posts tagged: Literature

A little dinner before the play

By Agnes Jekyll Here’s another grerat title from the Great Food Penguin Series a great mix between snobbery literature, food and etiquette. Although many of these texts were articles where recipes are incidental each piece indeed an essay that flirts but not quite turns into a memoirs. They’re too edited and polished to feel that intimate Cooking should always fit the occasion and temperament which is an interesting idea when you think of it, a very romantic way to translate one’s feelings, the surrounding environment and even the weather and into a meal that echoes and blends those features. I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that much as we learn more about this fascinating woman. Agnes Jekyll was Scottish artist, journalist and writer. She married Sir Herbert Jekyll brother of the very famous landscape and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll . Agnes was quite actively involved in the artistic scene of the time, she was a generous patron of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and close friends of Ruskin, Burne-Jones and Browning. Amongst her most recognisable works are …

Farts, tinned food and famines. Food. The vital stuff. Granta #54

On the previous post I reviewed two texts by J.M. Coetzee and Joan Smith who talk about vegetarianism and anthropophagy amongst other things. This time I’ll make a different exercise and make a parallel analysis of Margaret Visser’s The sins of the Flesh, Laura Shapiro’s Do women like to cook and Amartya Sen’s Nobody need starve. The starting point for Visser is that anthropology has taught us that most human groups have evolved to regard meat availability as a triumph of civilization. Wars in general and WWII in particular had many deep impacts in food technology, especially for preserving and preparing food. In modern times when everything occurs at an increasingly faster pace, women as Shaphiro notes have had extra pressure to cook faster using these products, but “faster” doesn’t mean “better” and it has ended up translating in a decline of culinary expertise. In the past centuries famines in the western world have been isolated and rare but in the developing world is a harsh and very real threat as Sen analyses. Curiously famines are …

Food. The vital stuff. Granta #54

Penguin, 1995. Foreword. I selected of the 19 texts that conform this GRANTA issue. The two criteria of selection where its relevance regarding food studies from different contemporary or historical perspectives and also those are the same which I personally found engaging and rich. On this post I’ll talk about the texts by J.M. Coetzee and Joan Smith and in a future piece I’ll discuss the remaining three by and make a parallel analysis of Margaret Visser, Laura  Shapiro and Amartya Sen. Meat Country. by J.M. Coetzee Theosophists, anarchists and vegetarians seemed to appear out of nowhere in the late 1890s. Some had political motivations, others religious, philosophical or ethical. In their high minded naivety their belief that the problems of the world were few and simple and easily solved […] the events reduced them to a footnote in history. Eccentric and unsustainable only a handful of people in the world opted out from the conventional omnivorous diet and remained so for the rest of their lives. Most of them, first generation converts as its …

Because Eggs

Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg until it is broken. Until then, you would think that its secrets are its own, hidden behind the impassive buautiful curvings of its shell, white or brown or speckled. M.F.K. Fisher.