A pulling back of skin and forceps on flesh reveal an inner world of the human body in Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Anatomy lessons entertained curious spectators throughout Europe from the sixteenth into the nineteenth century. Such spectacles danced the edge of the sacred and profane as worlds under the skin … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater Of Anthony Bourdain
Ah, if only our bodies featured an ever-growing fruit basket a la Arcimboldo, then food distribution would be at our hands, from our faces. Exploring the metaphysics of food includes the portrayals of its production and distribution. The seed I hold in my hand has a real growth potential and biochemistry to its existence; just … Continue reading Metaphysics Of The Food Labyrinth.
Gustave Doré portrays one of the most famous acts of chewing in literature. At the end of Dante’s Inferno, the Poet and Virgil walk upon on ice amidst the very, very damned as we read in Robert M. Durling’s translation. . . . I saw two frozen in one hole so that one head was a … Continue reading Thinking About Chewing
Our collective human memory reaches far back through many doors, many hallways and rooms, and alway we find, though never that first room, a place to cook and a place to sit down and eat with each other. In Homer’s the Odyssey, Odysseus portrays this action and place as the best life has to offer. … Continue reading Happy July 4th! Some Thoughts on Cannibalism For North Carolina.
A moment of hospitality in Django Unchained . . . until the raw ugliness of slavery appears again and all hell breaks loose. Slaves weave in and out, a mouth articulates racist physiognomy and all around plentiful, elaborate food. This fictional scene echoes history, voices letters from the past. In Culinary Conversations of The Plantation … Continue reading Southern Hospitality: Then And Now
The old stories tell of a bride . . . and then a war, and as always, banquet after banquet. Remember Helen? Daughter of Zeus and Leda. In this Peter Paul Rubens’ version (there are two) Leda and the Swan (aka Zeus) may share a kiss or you could also interpret that she’s asleep, either … Continue reading Thoughts Toward A Lecture In North Carolina: A Swan, Bride, And Fatal Banquet.
Ah, ginger beef tripe from Yum Yum Cha Cafe. Though no longer a fixture of Rice Village, many a Sunday morning the Harvey/Maya family traveled to its storefront window and entered in search of dim sum. Beef tripe comes to us from the muscle wall of the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach. The … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater: The Stomach Our Cultural Engine.
I’ve begun to read René Redzepi’s Work in Progress: Journal, Recipes and Snapshots. One thing true about the Great Forager is his abundant use of flowers: “A Light Stew of Broad Beans and Flowers,” “Spicy and Sweet Cucumber and Pickled Elderflowers,” “A Plateful of Flowers and Some Vinaigrette.” His titles read like poems–“Steamed Dandelion Leaves and … Continue reading Off The Menu
Our third president farmed, and failed in quite a spectacular and yet illuminating way, as Modern Farmer’s Thomas Jefferson”s Farming Failures reveals–“When it comes to agriculture, few have persevered more in their failures than Thomas Jefferson.” His was a philosopher’s wonder as he walked the fields and forests of Monticello. In a letter to Lafayette on April … Continue reading Thomas Jefferson And La Fruta Del Diablo: The Promise And Problems Of Harvesting Food
Here’s a menu of food-related articles from the last few days. Consider it a dinner invitation to match your refreshing beverage upon returning home from work. One for me, one for you. Our appetizer addresses one aspect of the food waste problem–just throwing it away. Oh, the above menu is from Feast–once upon a time … Continue reading Today’s Menu