food words, no puns*

Do ya ‘nduja? (I did.)

I hate that the North American media seem to have suddenly “discovered” ‘nduja, that lovely, chile-dense, fatty-fatty, Calabrese pork-o-rama wonder. I also hate that no one who serves it seems to be able to pronounce its name correctly. (Not the same stuff at all, but consider the etymological relation to andouille…) I ate my first…

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Get yer cmd-w fingers ready

Over the course of this so-called sabbatical, I have been trying to figure out some of the sense of loss I am feeling, now that I am both moving towards and not moving towards having my next academic job. There are many possible relationships, linkages, and agencies among my choices and these feelings, so it’s…

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A week in Spain (plus transit): Part II

It turns out I don’t really like writing as a food traveler. (Quelle grande surprise.) Yes, I dutifully kept notes during my time in Madrid, but I ran out of glibness rather quickly. In retrogust, I also felt weirdness about the colonial tourist gaze. And then it just got hard to keep up with all…

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A week in Spain (plus transit): Part I

1a. One of the things I love about traveling is eating up all the food in my fridge before I go away. I like calculating the Leftover Arc. How many things I need to eat during the three days, then two days, then three hours before the taxi arrives. It’s a consumption puzzle—an edible enigma,…

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∂r/∂y (gastronomy, yoga)

Lately, it seems that a lot of people who are doing (or have completed) a PhD in food want to go and open a yoga studio instead. By “a lot” I mean three. And by “three” I mostly mean me. (Actually, there have been two others who mentioned something similar to me at one point…

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Translation

“The thing about translation is that something is always added, and something is always taken away.” So said the great documentarian Liz Miller, when talking about the ways that screen-based media operate. Translation is not transparent; it transforms. My ex-partner and I used to have a great time talking about differences and similarities in the…

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Alt ‘n’ Pepa

Nine years ago, I was at a food studies conference in New Orleans, and during a post-paper question period, one of the presenters was asked if she thought there could be such a thing as “gay food.” (She had done a bit of discourse analysis on The Gay Cookbook, a fantastically bizarre thing from the…

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A Patch of Frog

The road between the cottage (where I am staying) and my parents’ house is about 250 meters long and crosses a wetland, what we collectively refer to as the bog. (My father wrote what I consider his best book about the bog, nature observations interwoven with other wet and memorable bits of his life.) The…

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Chthulu and HACCP Walk into a Coffee Bar…

Sitting through a one-day FOODSAFE Level I course while being partway through Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble produces an exquisite type of mental agony. It’s like gastronomic matter and antimatter coming together, over a cup of coffee. They meet up for a little chat about food practices, and one’s cortex is the café table…

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Food Drags Along (or, A Wrinkle in Spacetime)

Frieda A. Stahl’s 1987 article, “Physics as Metaphor and Vice Versa,” is a reassuring, well-constructed, and excitingly cross-disciplinary piece of text. I say reassuring, because for many years now, I have used (or been tempted to use) various concepts and constructs from quantum physics (and classical mechanics) as metaphors for different themes within gastronomy. I…

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