This category contains 28 posts

Chinese Restaurant Menu, Chengdu Spring 1990

This morning while cleaning my office I happened upon a menu that I collected over twenty-five years ago in the spring of 1990 while studying in Chengdu, Sichuan. I don’t remember what restaurant it is from, but the fact that the first page lists Green Leaves Beer (绿叶啤酒) and that page two lists “guo kui” … Continue reading

Donkey Meat BBQ(驴肉火烧)

While on the street in Zhengzhou looking for a quick lunch we passed a roadside shop selling chopped donkey meat in northern style Chinese bread bing. The meat looked like it was cooked in a style approximating the slow cooking of BBQ. It had a healthy amount of tasty fat and was chopped together with cilantro, raw … Continue reading

Mystery Object #21: Frosted Turkey Cake

This Thanksgiving featured something that I just couldn’t resist adding to my online collection of mystery objects—a cake frosted to look like a roast turkey, complete with frosted lettuce and carrot garnish. (I took a photo of it next to a butter dish for effect.) Why anyone would ever want a cake-shaped meat is beyond … Continue reading

Good Food Class: Ramen Cookoff

“In fact, instant noodles may well be the most successful industrially produced food, at least in terms of world penetration: they constitute a huge social reality—and one inviting attention. Much like sugar, instant noodles are a capitalist provision that provisions capitalism…Because they feed people quickly and cheaply, they appeal to busy and economy-minded people everywhere” … Continue reading

Good Food Class Midterm Tasting Meal, Part Two

  This past Monday night our First Year Seminar gathered together for a food tasting meal—an event that gave us a chance to taste a wide variety of foods in dialogue with the books we have been reading and discussing so far this semester. In Part One of this post I summarized some of those … Continue reading

Good Food Class Midterm Tasting Meal, Part One

This semester I am teaching a First Year Seminar titled Good Food: Eating and Culture. For the first half of the semester we have been learning about different aspects of the American food system and its history. Beginning with Michael Pollan’s classic Omnivore’s Dilemma and James E. McWilliams Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can … Continue reading

American Chinese Food

This past weekend while visiting a nice Sichuan Restaurant in New York City I was surprised to note that the menu had its own category of “American Chinese Food.”

Good Food: First Day Food Activity

This semester I am teaching a first year seminar (FYSEM) called Good Food: Eating and Culture. The primary goal of the class—in addition to all of the standard introduction-to-college kinds of things required of all FYSEMs—is to consider what makes a food “good.” Humans can and do eat pretty much everything on the planet that … Continue reading

Hotel Breakfast. August 10, 2014. USA.

Mystery Object #20: The Goat Almighty

  The first night of this summer’s road trip we stopped in Chicago and enjoyed a meal at The Little Goat. As I often do, I asked the waiter to suggest something on the menu that is unique to the restaurant that I would regret not trying. Our server suggested the “Goat Almighty” a huge … Continue reading


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