Corn: Our Mother, Our Life by Margaret Visser


One-ingredient histories have become an important part of our current reading and writing of food. Here’s one on corn – that ingredient both loved and hated – written way back in 1986.


Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 8.27.39 AMTo continue reading go to Much Depends on Dinner by Margaret Visser, Chapter One.


Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – The Feast of the New Yam


Here’s a story with food in it – it’s an excerpt from a novel. Well-known anthologies on foodwriting have been published which include chapters excerpted from novels. The author probably did not originally sit down to purposefully write about ‘food’. Nevertheless, food plays a big part in these scenes taking place within larger themes. The great Chinua Achebe, and yams . . .

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to continue reading, go to Things Fall Apart on google books, Chapter Five.

Flesh in the Valley by Sudha Koul

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 9.40.53 AMKitchen hierarchy, tradition, religion and how things taste inform and flavor this memoir of life in Kashmir.

We might have a modern kitchen now, but I look forward to the formal occasions when our old cook, Sudarshan, now a venerable grandfather, comes back to cook for us. He will never touch a gas range if his life depends on it, and within moments of his arrival the old hearth fires are ablaze once again, crackling as they joyously send fountains of red and yellow embers into the chimney. The flames remember and find their way to the base of an entombed man-tall vessel, heating up the water inside. We now use the hot water from the old bathroom only for doing the dishes in the kitchen, but it feels good to have the medieval water-heater called up from retirement once in a while.

Continue reading this memoir here at ‘A Matter of Taste’.