Link Buffet: Spring Cleaning

You know what they say about the best laid plans. I finally started to miss my food blog in March, after a year of neglect, and I started collecting links and food music again. Then I did not post for another month. These links are still good, if not completely fresh.

During my unintentional hiatus from food blogging, food scholar Janis Thiessen published Snacks: A Canadian Food History. From University of Manitoba Press:

Janis Thiessen profiles several iconic Canadian snack food companies, including Old Dutch Potato Chips, Hawkins Cheezies, and chocolatier Ganong. These companies have developed in distinctive ways, reflecting the unique stories of their founders and their intense connection to specific places. . . . Clearly written, extensively illustrated, and lavish with detail about some of Canadians’ favorite snacks, this is a lively and entertaining look at food and labour history.

The book looks simply wonderful, and I’m not just saying that because my blog has a minor citation in it–although I am delighted to see that! I’ve followed Dr. Thiessen’s blog and Twitter for years because of her contributions to food discourse, her engagement with academic peers, and her warm encouragement of less seasoned scholars like myself. When I thanked the historians of Twitter in my dissertation acknowledgments, Janis was first among those I had in mind.

From The New Food Economy: If everybody hates Red Delicious apples, who is eating them?

The fact that I did not know The New Food Economy existed until recently just demonstrates how disconnected from food writing I’ve been for the past year. Further evidence: I only just learned that the ever-entertaining Atlas Obscura has a dedicated food section called Gastro Obscura and it is almost entirely Extremely Relevant To My Interests. Examples include a rumination on food in fantasy fiction (a popular topic in the literary food world, but there are always fresh takes), the discovery of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s coffin in a wine cellar (giving him an edge on Percy Shelley for the title of most Romantic burial), and the crumbling remains of souvenir wedding cakes.

I’ve really enjoyed Helen Rosner’s writings since her paean to chicken tenders; now I enjoy her Twitter and articles in the New Yorker. I didn’t pay much attention to her initial tweet about using a hair dryer to crisp up roasted chicken; I’m confident in my chicken roasting skills, but y’all do y’all. However, it IS worth paying attention to how that tweet blew up in a short period of time. I think Rosner’s subsequent tweets and responses to the backlash have been savvy and humorous; for example, for awhile she changed her Twitter name to “Woman” after numerous clickbait websites referred to her that way, as in “Area Woman Does Something Ludicrous or Laughable” (as opposed to “Award-winning Food Writer With a Name is Not the First Chef, Male or Female, to Use a Hair Dryer in the Kitchen”). Upworthy posted a pretty comprehensive roundup of what went down.

I feel like I’ve seen a wave of articles this spring about how (straight, probably)(white, usually) cismen don’t know how to adult, and to be honest, I feel no qualms about participating in them. Insert obvious, hopefully unnecessary disclaimer that articles like Mel Magazine’s The Men Who Eat Like Boys don’t apply to all men: my gentleman friend is more than competent in the kitchen, and cooking with him (and, occasionally, being cooked for by him) is a joy. But I’ve certainly taught more than my fair share of past boyfriends how to cook and even how to grocery shop. As one of my very smart friends pointed out on Twitter, women are expected to negotiate cooking and nutrition on so many levels from such a young age. Perhaps it’s cathartic to make fun of adult men who don’t know how spinach works.

A thread about big agriculture versus small agriculture.

Historical cookbooks online!

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