This Week in the World of Food

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  You’ve got the UMAMI story I was just assigned to write for Thai Airlines.  Then you have BACK of THE HOUSE, out in February with Berkley/Penguin, which is my book on chefs and restaurants–SPECIAL OFFER: Buy 10, get one free!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that there was near balance.  Not new balance, near.

Meanwhile, there’s black bean soup with cumin and onions followed by roasted halibut with baby Brussels sprouts and chopped tomatoes.  And that’s just last night.  Prep to table: 20 minutes.

Does it ever end?  This seemingly ceaseless pursuit of flavor?

Where does it originate?

Could this be linked to the trace memory of the race wars of the 1930s?  Or are these cravings of a wholly independent biological etiology?

One place where the answer might be found is in the fascinating, brilliant, mildly overwrought in places book, “Au Revoir to All That,” by Michael Steinberger.  I finally picked up a copy after reading some time ago an exceptionally interesting review by Steve Shapin in the London Review of Books.  Steinberger is contextual in his analysis of food and his efforts to understand how meaning is conveyed through gastronomy?  First rate.


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