Happy New Year, if it’s not too late for that sort of thing. I was away for about 3 weeks and it is 4 weeks since the last newsletter, so prepare for a bumper edition.
I know I complain too often that way too many of the things I find originate in the USA, so let’s start with some things from all over:
- From Deptford, in London, the closure of a pie and mash shop signifies far more than the closure of a pie and mash shop.
- From northern Tanzania, where some hunter‐gatherers do not eat a palaeo diet. Maybe they didn’t get the memo.
- From Ireland: The rise and fall of bread baking as a craft industry.
- From Belgium, a banana fave-off: Gros Michel vs Cavendish I should note that I was quite impressed by Gros Michel, but didn’t have a Cavendish on hand and wasn’t blind.
- And the ultimate story from somewhere else: Gluten Free Antarctica.
- The New York Times asked What Foods Are Banned in Europe but Not Banned in the U.S.? Is anything permitted in the EU but banned in the US?
- Like, maybe, microbial transglutaminase, a possible cause of coeliac disease.
- A Delectable Collection of Illustrated Gastronomy Books now at the Getty Research Institute.
- From empire-building plant products to forgotten flavourless relics: how spices fell out of f(l)avour.
- Food-based ethnic slurs, a New Year’s Guide. Use with discretion.
- After the episode on prison food, I wrote about last meals. Now Julie Green, one of the artists who worked with last meals, is interpreting prisoners’ first meals after exoneration.
- Innovation in meat space, which reminded me of a long-ago episode of the Planet Money podcast, Can You Patent a Steak?. (Yes, you can, an exception to the usual rule about simple questions in headlines.)
- Weight Loss Is a Rock Fight, in The Atlantic, is a pretty heart-breaking account.
- And here’s a final tip for readers in Europe, and eslewhere, who are fed up with US websites hiding behind a bunch of less-than-savoury cookies. You can always go to The Internet Archive and search there for a specific link. Like this one to that weight-loss article
And then, moving on