by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Cooking

Jan 28 2021

Food trends predicted for 2021

I’ve been collecting predictions of what’s going to happen to the food industry this year.  Here are some, about cooking, sales, products, flavors, regulations, e-sales, robotics, and agriculture.

Dec 16 2020

Holiday gift idea—for kids: Chop Chop Eatable Alphabet

Chop Chop Family’s website teaches kids to cook.  It publishes Chop Chop magazine.  And it has just produced the Eatable Alphabet.

This is a box of stiff cards from A to Z, aimed at teaching kids ages 2-6 to cook up a storm.

For fun, I picked the letter M: Mushroom, or seta in Spanish.

Flip the card over, and you get a cooking lesson:

  1. Count out 4 mushrooms.  Slice teh mushrooms and put them in a bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon oil, and pinch of salt.
  3. Mix well and enjoy!

The cards also suggest activities.  E for Egg (huevo), for example, suggests:

Move.

Sit on the floor and hug your knees to your chest.  Roll around on teh ground like an egg rolls around on a table.

Have a kid of age 2-6 in your family or pod?  These will keep them busy for hours.

I can’t think of a better holiday gift.  And for older kids, check out the magazine.  It’s good too.

ADDITION:  If you are looking for items for kids, Food Tank lists 26 books about food to Nourish Kids’ Minds.

Jul 27 2018

Weekend reading: Amy Trubek’s Making Modern Meals

Amy Trubek.  Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook Today.  University of California Press, 2017.

Amy Trubek, an anthropologist (who also trained as a chef) at the University of Vermont, turns her attention to the meaning of cooking in our current era.  Cooking is, as she titles her chapters, at once a chore, occupation, art, craft, and means to achieve health.

She approached these topics as an anthropologist, using participant observations of bakeries and interviews with city and rural participants about their thoughts about cooks and cooking.  She uses this research as a window on contemporary life.

So, what of the dominant narrative that cooking is in decline because home cooks don’t cook…Can we trust this assumption?  Not really….Perhaps the culprit is the organization and structure of modern life.  In multiple discourses (occurring in cookbooks, historical and contemporary media, interviews with cooks, etc.) there exists a pervasive sense of lack and loss as to what we can and should do in our domestic lives.  Almost seventy years ago, Avis DeVoto complained that she did not have time to cook…In this narrative, home cooking is much more episodic than in earlier times because it needs to be, given the expansion of daily demands, and skills and tasks related to meal preparation are given up so that cooking can be fit into modern life [pp. 106-107].

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Nov 3 2017

Weekend cooking: Sullivan Street Bakery

Jim Lahey with Maya Joseph.  The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook.  Norton, 2017.

Jim Lahey of My Bread, No-Knead Bread, and Sullivan Street Bakery fame, has produced this marvelous cookbook with his wife, Maya Joseph, featuring all the great foods he serves at Co., his New York restaurant on 9th Ave @25th Street.

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of both, not least because Maya, who holds a doctorate in political science from the New School, was my teaching assistant in several courses at NYU, and we’ve co-authored several papers:

  • Joseph M, Nestle M.  The ethics of food.  Lahey Clinic Journal of Medical Ethics 2009;16(1):1-7.
  • Joseph M, Nestle M.  Dialogue: the ethics of food [response].  Medical Ethics 200916(2):7-8.
  • Joseph M, Nestle M.  Food and Politics in the Modern Age: 1920 – 2012   In: Bentley A, ed.  A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Age, Vol. 6.  Berg, 2112:87-110.

Maya is a superb writer and I can hear her voice throughout this book.

The recipes are terrific and easy to follow and the book is beautifully illustrated.  You can taste the recipes at Co. and then have some fun with them at home.  Enjoy!

Feb 20 2016

Weekend reading: Three books about eating: 1. First Bite

You might think that eating is one of those things that comes naturally, but for the next three weeks I’m going to be posting books telling us how.  Here’s the first:

Bee Wilson.  First Bite: How We Learn to Eat. Basic Books, 2015.

Bee Wilson speaks from experience.  She once was a picky eater bordering on having an eating disorder.  Simply eating when hungry and stopping when full is a challenge for many of us.  Wilson explores how food preferences are acquired or made and how culture and environment turn biological needs into obesity-promoting hazards.  Her advice boils down to aphorisms, for example:

  • No one is too busy to cook.
  • Eat soup.
  • Rethink what counts as a main course.
  • Regular exercise definitely helps.
  • If you want your children to eat better, don’t tell them what to do: eat better yourself.
Dec 4 2015

Weekend Reading: Digesting Recipes

Susannah Worth.  Digesting Recipes: The Art of Culinary Notation.  Zero Books, 2015.

I did a blurb for this unusual book:

Digesting Recipes takes an off-beat and highly refreshing post-modern look at cookbooks as markers of cultural identity.  Recipes, it makes clear, are far more than cooking directions.  After reading this, I have a whole new appreciation for what recipes can tell us about the deeper meanings of modern society.

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Sep 4 2015

Weekend reading (and cooking): Eating Well on $4 a Day

Leanne Brown.  Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 / Day.  Workman, 2015.

Leanne Brown is a graduate of our food studies program at New York University who, while in graduate school, became concerned about the plight of SNAP (food stamp) recipients who must feed their families on an average of $4 per day.

She wrote this book for them, first as a class project, then as an online gift, free for the taking.

It was downloaded 700,000 times.

Then she went to a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish the book.  At some point Workman picked it up.

It’s won an award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and a place for Leanne in Forbes 30 under 30 for 2015.

The book has truly delicious recipes.  It starts with tips useful for anyone on a food budget.

I’m proud of what she’s accomplished.  The book is beautifully photographed, the recipes are terrific, and every time a copy is sold, Workman will donate another one to someone who needs it.

Aug 7 2015

Weekend reading: Cricket Azima’s Everybody Can Cook (this means kids, disabled and not)

Cricket Azima.  Everybody Can Cook.  DRL (Different Roads to Learning) Books, 2015.

This is for kids ages two and up.  It’s more than a cookbook.  It’s a curriculum. Cricket Azima, who founded and heads The Creative Kitchen, aims this at all kids, but especially those with physical and developmental disabilities.

I gave it a blurb:

People like me are always talking about how important it is to teach kids to cook.  You aren’t sure how?  Cricket Azima’s Everybody Can Cook is just what you need to have fun with your kids in the kitchen.  The recipes are easy and delicious.  Get your kids to start making dinner!