Myriad Atlases: Now Available as E-Books

UC Press is pleased to announce that the following titles in the Myriad Atlas Series The Atlas of Climate Change, The Atlas of Religion, The Atlas of Food, The State of China Atlas, The Atlas of Global Inequalities, and The Atlas of California are now available for the first time, in addition to their print format versions, as e-book editions.

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Sample interior spreads (please click to expand):


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About Myriad Atlases:

Myriad’s award-winning atlases, some of which are published in the United States by University of California Press, are unique visual surveys of economic, political and social trends. By ingeniously transforming statistical data into valuable, user-friendly resources, they make a range of global issues – from climate change to world religions – accessible to general readers, students and professionals alike.


UC Press staff cook the book: New Mediterranean Jewish Table potluck

“A cookbook that educates as well as inspires.”—New York Times

With the critical mass of media coverage for Joyce Goldstein’s new cookbook, the New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home, some UC Press staff members were indeed inspired to get cooking themselves!

The cooks gathered for a celebratory potluck lunch last week, fortuitously aligned with the beginning of Passover.

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The photos do not do justice to all the bright colors and flavors, but the dishes we feasted on were the following:

  • Red Pepper, Walnut, and Pomegranate Spread (Muhammara)
  • Turkish Nine-Ingredient Eggplant Salad (Dokuz Türlü Patlıcan Tarator)
  • Cucumber and Yogurt Salad (Cacık)
  • Beets with Yogurt (Borani ye Laboo)
  • Chickpea Purée with Tahini Dressing (Hummus ba Tahini)
  • Turkish Lentil Salad (Adas Salatası) with Mint Vinaigrette
  • Lebanese Bulgur and Parsley Salad (Tabbouleh)
  • Persian Yogurt Soup with Chickpeas, Lentils, and Spinach (Ashe Sbanikh)
  • Fried Eggplant with Sugar (Papeyada de Berenjena)
  • Tunisian Passover Stew with Spring Vegetables (Msoki)
  • Orange Custard (Flan d’Arancia)
  • Olive Oil, Orange, and Pistachio Cake
  • Greek Yogurt Cake (Yaourtopita)
  • Purim Butter Cookies (Ghorayebah)

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Join in with sample recipes from the book, such as Hazelnut Sponge Cake; Persian Yogurt Soup with Chickpeas, Lentils and Spinach; Fish with Green Tahini, and Moroccan-Inspired Honeyed Eggplant.


Passover Hazelnut Sponge Cake

This is the final part of a series of recipes from our forthcoming cookbook The New Mediterranean Jewish Table by Joyce Goldstein. Check out the other recipes here.

 

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Passover Hazelnut Sponge Cake

Pan di Spagna alle Nocciole

A family favorite, this light, flourless Italian Passover cake is fragrant with sweet toasted hazelnuts—a specialty of the Piedmont region—and with subtle hints of citrus.

Serves 10 to 12

 

Ingredients:

10 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange (3 to 4 tablespoons juice)

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons juice)

11/2 cups finely ground toasted and peeled hazelnuts

6 tablespoons matzo cake meal, sifted

2 tablespoons potato starch

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have ready a 10-inch tube pan.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the citrus zests and juices. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speeduntil the mixture is thick and pale and holds a 3-second slowly dissolving ribbon when the beaters are lifted.

In a second bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. On medium-high speed, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg mixture just until combined, then fold in the hazelnuts, the matzo cake meal, potato starch, salt, and vanilla.

Pour the batter into the tube pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Invert the cake still in the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely. To serve, lift off the pan and transfer the cake to a serving plate. Cut into slices and serve.

—–

Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Prior to opening Square One, she was chef at the Chez Panisse Café and visiting executive chef at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Today she is a cooking teacher, consultant to the restaurant and food industries, and prolific cookbook author.


April Goodreads Giveaways Round-Up

We’re excited to bring you more Goodreads giveaways this month! Entries are free, and all Goodreads members residing in the United States are eligible to win. Just click to enter!  Be sure to visit our Goodreads profile often, as new giveaways will be appearing every month– and don’t forget to review, rate, and add your favorite UC Press books to your Goodreads shelves.

Check out the following giveaways for new and upcoming Press books.

 

The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home
 
by Joyce Goldstein 

(click for Goodreads giveaway)

The New Mediterranean Jewish Table is an authoritative guide to Jewish home cooking from North Africa, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and the Middle East. It is a treasury filled with vibrant, seasonal recipes—both classic and updated—that embrace fresh fruits and vegetables; grains and legumes; small portions of meat, poultry, and fish; and a healthy mix of herbs and spices. It is also the story of how Jewish cooks successfully brought the local ingredients, techniques, and traditions of their new homelands into their kitchens. With this varied and appealing selection of Mediterranean Jewish recipes, Joyce Goldstein promises to inspire new generations of Jewish and non-Jewish home cooks alike with dishes for everyday meals and holiday celebrations.

(Giveaway ends on May 8th.)

 

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror by Eric Stover and Victor Peskin

(click for Goodreads giveaway)

Hiding in Plain Sight tells the story of the global effort to apprehend the world’s most wanted fugitives. Beginning with the flight of tens of thousands of Nazi war criminals and their collaborators after World War II, then moving on to the question of justice following the recent Balkan wars and the Rwandan genocide, and ending with the establishment of the International Criminal Court and America’s pursuit of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, the book explores the range of diplomatic and military strategies—both successful and unsuccessful—that states and international courts have adopted to pursue and capture war crimes suspects. It is a story fraught with broken promises, backroom politics, ethical dilemmas, and daring escapades—all in the name of international justice and human rights.

(Giveaway ends on May 8th.)

 

Rembrandt: The Painter Thinking by Ernst van der Wetering

(click for Goodreads giveaway)

Even during the artist’s lifetime, contemporary art lovers considered Rembrandt van Rijn to be an exceptional artist. In this revelatory sequel to the acclaimed Rembrandt: The Painter at Work, renowned Rembrandt authority Ernst van de Wetering investigates precisely why the artist, from a very early age, was praised by prominent connoisseurs. He argues that Rembrandt, from his very first endeavors in painting, embarked on a journey past all the foundations of the art of painting that, according to (up until now misinterpreted) contemporary written sources, were considered essential in the seventeenth century. Rembrandt never stopped searching for solutions to the pictorial problems that confronted him; this led over time to radical changes in course that can’t simply be attributed to stylistic evolution or natural development. In a quest as rigorous and novel as the artist’s, van de Wetering reveals how Rembrandt became the best painter the world had ever seen. Gorgeously illustrated throughout, this groundbreaking exploration reconstructs Rembrandt’s closely guarded theories and methods, shedding new light both on the artist’s exceptional accomplishments and on the practice of painting in the Dutch Golden Age.

(Giveaway ends on April 18th.)

 

Living at the Edges of Capitalism: Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid by Andrej Grubacic and Denis O’Hearn

(click for Goodreads giveaway)

Inspired by their experiences visiting Cossacks, living with the Zapatistas, and developing connections and relationships with prisoners and ex-prisoners, Andrej Grubacic and Denis O’Hearn present a uniquely sweeping, historical, and systematic study of exilic communities engaged in mutual aid. Following the tradition of Peter Kropotkin, Pierre Clastres, James Scott, Fernand Braudel and Imanuel Wallerstein, this study examines the full historical and contemporary possibilities for establishing self-governing communities at the edges of the capitalist world-system, considering the historical forces that often militate against those who try to practice mutual aid in the face of state power and capitalist incursion.

(Giveaway ends on May 8th.)

 

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
by Carlos Castaneda

(click for Goodreads giveaway)

In 1968 University of California Press published an unusual manuscript by an anthropology student named Carlos Castaneda. The Teachings of Don Juan enthralled a generation of seekers dissatisfied with the limitations of the Western worldview. Castaneda’s now classic book remains controversial for the alternative way of seeing that it presents and the revolution in cognition it demands. Whether read as ethnographic fact or creative fiction, it is the story of a remarkable journey that has left an indelible impression on the life of more than a million readers around the world.

(Giveaway ends on May 8th.)

 

Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent edited by Pratapaditya Pal

(click for Goodreads giveaway)

Puja and Piety celebrates the complexity of South Asian representation and iconography by examining the relationship between aesthetic expression and the devotional practice, or puja, in the three native religions of the Indian subcontinent. This stunning and authoritative catalogue presents some 150 objects created over the past two millennia for temples, home worship, festivals, and roadside shrines. From monumental painted temple hangings and painted meditation diagrams to portable pictures for pilgrims, from stone sculptures to processional bronzes and wooden chariots, from ancient terracottas to various devotional objects for domestic shrines, this volume provides much-needed context and insight into classical and popular art of India. Featuring an introduction by the eminent art historian and curator Pratapaditya Pal; accessible essays on each religious tradition by Stephen P. Huyler, John E. Cort, and Christian Luczanits; and useful guides to iconography and terms by Debashish Banerji, this richly illustrated catalogue will provide a lasting resource for readers interested in South Asian art and spirituality.

(Giveaway ends on May 8th.)

 


Persian Yogurt Soup with Chickpeas, Lentils and Spinach

This is part three of a series of recipes from our forthcoming cookbook The New Mediterranean Jewish Table by Joyce Goldstein. Check out the other recipes here.

 

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Persian Yogurt Soup with Chickpeas, Lentils, and Spinach

Ashe Sbanikh

There are two ways to make this creamy soup. You can start with the stabilized yogurt and then add the other ingredients, or you can simmer the soup first and add the yogurt at the end. Either way will work as long as you do not let the soup boil and curdle the yogurt. With the jewel-like pomegranate arils, yellow turmeric tint to the yogurt, and the green of the herbs and spinach, this soup is visually a stunner.

Serves 6

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight in 4 cups of water

3- 4 cups thick yogurt

½ cup basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for a half hour or longer

1 egg

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon

5 cups vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup lentils, soaked overnight in 2 cups of water, drained

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cups chopped green onions

1 pound spinach, well washed and chopped

5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced very fine

Pomegranate arils

 

Instructions:

Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about 45-60 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the lentils in water to cover until tender but still a bit firm.

Spoon yogurt into a large saucepan. Add the egg, flour, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and stir with a whisk. Add the rice, and 3 cups of stock or water to the pot. Cook gently, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes. When the rice is tender but firm, add the cooked chickpeas, lentils, the parsley, green onions, spinach and 3 tablespoons of chopped mint and the rest of the stock. Simmer for ten to 15 minutes.

In a small sauté pan, melt the butter. Sauté the garlic until soft but not colored. Add to the soup, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with remaining chopped mint. Garnish with pomegranate arils.

—–

Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Prior to opening Square One, she was chef at the Chez Panisse Café and visiting executive chef at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Today she is a cooking teacher, consultant to the restaurant and food industries, and prolific cookbook author.


Fish with Green Tahini

This is part two of a series of recipes from our forthcoming cookbook The New Mediterranean Jewish Table by Joyce Goldstein. Check out part one here.

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Fish with Green Tahini

Samak al Sahara

Samak is Arabic for fish. This recipe is a variation on the traditional Middle Eastern samak ba tahini where the fish is covered with sesame paste flavored with garlic, lemon, and onions and served at room temperature. Here the fish is served hot. To the basic tahini sauce the Egyptians and Lebanese add a tingle of heat with cayenne and add chopped cilantro and parsley, which tint the sauce pale green. The tahini crust on the fish keeps it moist throughout the baking process. You may garnish this with olives, chopped walnuts, or pine nuts along with more chopped cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges and a rice or bulgur pilaf. Spinach or roasted cauliflower or carrots are good accompaniments. If you do not want to bake the fish under the tahini you may also bake, broil or grill the fish and spoon the sauce on after cooking.

 

Serves 6

 

Ingredients:

6 fillets of snapper, rockfish, sea bass, each about 6 ounces

1/2 cup tahini, including some of its oil

3-4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

¼ teaspoon cayenne or a bit more

1/2 teaspoon salt

½ cup tightly packed cilantro leaves

½ cup chopped parsley leaves (optional for more greenery)

1/2 cup water or as needed to thin

Chopped walnuts or pine nuts for garnish (optional)

 

Instructions:

Combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, salt, cilantro and parsley if using, in the container of a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine. Add water as needed to thin. Adjust heat and salt to taste.

To cook the fish, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place fish fillets in an oiled baking dish and spread with a layer of the Sahara sauce. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Variation: Yellow tahini: Omit green leaves and add 1 teaspoon turmeric to the tahini when blending the sauce.

Variation: Red tahini: Omit green leaves and add chopped tomato or some tomato paste when you blend the tahini sauce or 1 roasted red bell pepper.

—–

Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Prior to opening Square One, she was chef at the Chez Panisse Café and visiting executive chef at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Today she is a cooking teacher, consultant to the restaurant and food industries, and prolific cookbook author.


Moroccan-Inspired Honeyed Eggplant

Over the next four weeks we will be sharing recipes from our forthcoming cookbook The New Mediterranean Jewish Table by Joyce Goldstein. Check back each Friday morning for a new recipe from the kitchens of three Mediterranean Jewish cultures: the Sephardic, the Maghrebi, and the Mizrahi.

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Moroccan-Inspired Honeyed Eggplant

Aubergine au Miel, or Barania

Traditionally served for breaking the fast at Yom Kippur, this dish is so seductive it will convert people to eggplant lovers. Using fresh ginger instead of dried makes all the difference.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 small or 2 medium Japanese eggplants cut in half lengthwise

Or 2 globe eggplant, peeled, and in one inch dice

Olive oil

2-3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ras al hanout

2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin

6 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt

Instructions:

Score the cut sides of the Japanese eggplants with a knife in a crosshatch pattern. Brush liberally with olive oil and place on griddle or in heavy sauté pan adding a bit more oil as needed. Cook on medium heat until eggplant is softened and golden, turning a few times.

If your market does not have Japanese eggplants you can also use 2 globe eggplants, peeled and cut in 1 inch dice and sauté in oil until golden.)

Mince fresh ginger and garlic in mini processor or grate or chop finely. In a wide saute pan large enough to hold the cooked eggplants (in one layer if possible) warm 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Add ras al hanout and cumin and then stir in the honey, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Simmer for a few minutes, then transfer the eggplant to the pan, adding ¼ cup water if the sauce is stiff). Coat the eggplant with sauce and cook over low heat until eggplant absorbs most of the honey lemon mixture and becomes caramelized.

Variation: If you are entertaining and do not want to make this at the last minute, prepare the sauce and turn eggplant in the sauce for a few minutes. Then transfer to a baking dish and heat in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, about 25 minutes. If you like, sprinkle with sesame seeds, as for the dessert barania on page xx in the preserves chapter.

—–

Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Prior to opening Square One, she was chef at the Chez Panisse Café and visiting executive chef at the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. Today she is a cooking teacher, consultant to the restaurant and food industries, and prolific cookbook author.


Food Matters – But It’s Not Magical

by Garrett Broad, author of More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change

9780520287457Stop me if you’ve heard this oft-repeated claim of the alternative food movement:

We know that low-income people who live in “food deserts” tend to eat unhealthy foods and suffer from diet-related disease. So, if we could simply get them to understand the importance of healthy eating – perhaps by having young boys and girls taste a carrot grown in their own school garden – we would all be well on our way toward community health and sustainability.

I beg to differ, and my new book – More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change – counters this oversimplified, feel good story.

Indeed, throughout the life of the alternative food movement, many of its most popular programs have failed to recognize that nutritional inequity is actually linked to broader histories of racial, economic, and environmental discrimination. The “magic carrot” approach to community health promotion – which imbues gardening and nutrition education with almost mystical powers – has ultimately proved ill-equipped to tackle the systemic barriers that are at the root of food injustice and the health problems associated with it.

Based on years of ethnographic research and scholar-activism, More Than Just Food highlights the work of community-based food justice activists who do engage with these systemic realities. While these practitioners employ many of the same strategies that have come to characterize the alternative food movement in general – building gardens, providing nutrition education, and improving access to healthy food through alternative food networks – they do so in the purpose of a much larger cause. Situating food as a vehicle for a more expansive, people-of-color-led social justice transformation, they look to the legacy of groups like the Black Panther Party and its “Free Breakfast for Children Program” as a model for revolutionary food activism.

A primary aim of the book, then, is to highlight the capacity of community action to serve as a power base for a twenty-first century food justice movement. At the same time, however, the research cautions against overly romanticized visions of autonomous, community-based change, emphasizing instead the complicated and often contradictory nature of nonprofit food justice organizing today.

We are in a moment in which food justice groups, inspired by the likes of the Black Panther Party, also depend upon grants from the United States Department of Agriculture to achieve their community-based goals. What does this mean for the possibilities of a food revolution?

Read the book to find out more. But be advised that it contains neither magic carrots nor magic answers.

Garrett M. Broad is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University.


What Makes A Fine Wine?

by Mark A. Matthews, author of Terroir and Other Myths of Winegrowing

9780520276956What makes a fine wine?

According to authority figures in the world of wine, there is a series of concepts that should guide winegrowing practices. It’s not at all uncommon to see a wine description mention the vineyard’s “unique terroir” or that a producer’s low yields and/or small berries create desirable flavors that cannot be found in a competitor’s bottle.

These “principles” of fine winegrowing live in the popular wine press, in the stories repeated in tasting rooms and winery tours, on the back labels of bottles, and on the websites of producers – even creeping into research publications. As a result, the wine-consuming public accepts these ideas as facts. Yet, as an agronomist, I found the ideas unsatisfying and sometimes at odds with what we know about plant and fruit development. Finally, after years of studying the grapevine, drinking wines, and interacting with wine producers, critics, enology students, and dinner guests (all wine experts by their own account) – I became suspicious that I wasn’t the problem.

For nearly ten years, I studied the most popular winegrowing concepts, to understand how each principle arose, and whether it is still applicable today. As summarized in Terroir and Other Myths of Winegrowing, the most prevalent myths in the world of wine were held up to the light of scientific scholarship, the historical record, plant biology, and a bit of economics. While each principle follows a fascinating path to prominence, I concluded that in many cases, wine consumers are being sold a pig in a poke. These winegrowing myths have real marketing clout, but allegiance to them in the vineyard impedes innovation in winegrowing and limits consumers’ access and experiences.

Is “terroir” a marketing ploy obscuring knowledge of which environments really produce the best wine? What does it really mean to have vines that are “balanced” or grapes that are “physiologically mature”? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Mark A. Matthews is a Professor of Viticulture at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science at the University of California, Davis. A respected expert in the field of grapevine physiology, he has taught courses in viticulture and grapevine physiology at UC Davis for more than three decades.


A taste of the next Gastronomica/SOAS Lecture: “Let Them Eat Stuffed Peppers”

Since 2014, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies has partnered with University of London’s SOAS Food Studies Centre to co-sponsor a Distinguished Lecture Series for leading scholars, students, journalists, practitioners and members of the public to engage in critical conversations about the nature of food.

In advance of the next event on March 16th, UC Press author and distinguished anthropologist David E. Sutton gives readers a taste of his upcoming lecture, “‘Let Them Eat Stuffed Peppers’: An Argument of Images on the role of Food in Understanding Neoliberal Austerity in Greece.” Click here to register for the Lecture.


 

9780520280557 “We all ate it together,” was the claim of Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos as he tried to explain the origins of the so-called Greek Crisis to an angry crowd of protestors back in 2011. This phrasing struck me at the time because it extends eating together, or “commensality,” into the domain of national politics. Such food imagery fit with my long study on the island of Kalymnos in the Eastern Aegean, where I had been filming people’s everyday cooking practices and writing about the sensory engagement of ordinary Kalymnians with their ingredients and with their kitchen environments, some of the themes that I explore in my book Secrets from the Greek Kitchen: Cooking, Skill and Everyday Life on an Aegean Island. I use my video ethnography of everyday cooking practices to open up questions of memory and transmission of cooking knowledge, tool use and the body, and the potential changes brought about by the advent of cooking shows in Greece. But most importantly in Secrets I try and give a sense of the ways that Kalymnian food culture shapes people’s larger attitudes, and how through their everyday discussions they create a shared food-based worldview, a “gustemology.”

In my talk at SOAS, “Let Them Eat Stuffed Peppers,” I will be continuing this exploration through a look at some of the ways food discourses and practices have developed over the past six years of the Greek Crisis. From debates over the relationship of eating, debt and responsibility, to the growth of solidarity practices such as the “Social Kitchen” movement and the “Potato movement,” to attempts by ordinary Kalymnians to return to past cooking and eating practices as a way of surviving the crisis, food has shaped understandings and responses to new conditions throughout Greece. I look at how certain foods have been associated with protest because of their connection to notions of Greekness, or because of their obvious foreign derivation. I also examine how Kalymnians are dusting off old recipes, and old foraging practices, to cope with times in which sources of livelihood that had been taken for granted for a generation are suddenly under threat.

I develop these themes by making an argument that a healthy food culture such as what exists in Greece is “good to think,” and that it indeed forms something of a discursive antidote to the tendencies of Neoliberal Austerity to abstract from the lives and sufferings of ordinary people. In focusing on neoliberalism I draw on the interconnected notions of “embeddedness,” (Karl Polanyi), “virtualism” (James Carrier, Daniel Miller) and “moral economy” (E. P. Thompson, James Scott), and suggest why a living food culture (a “cuisine,” in Sidney Mintz’s terminology) provides a particularly good perspective for understanding these terms and there interrelations. Indeed, I argue that the intimacy provided by food culture and food practices in Greece provides a vivid, tangible contrast to the abstractions of money and almost incalculable debt.   Food is a reminder, for many Greeks, of things that can’t be counted, and of the dehumanizing abstractions of contemporary Europe. (I will touch here on the refugee crisis as well).

These ideas tie back to discussions in Secrets from the Greek Kitchen, where I explore Kalymnian ideas about skillful cooking in contrast to some of the abstractions of molecular gastronomy. I note that taste, for Kalymnians, is always embedded in a social and sensory context that can be skillfully worked, but cannot be randomly manipulated. This forms a contrast with the cooking laboratory of Herve This, a premier molecular gastronomist and exponent of “note-by- note” cuisine, in which foods are replaced by flavor “compounds” with the potential for endless play and exponential recombination. I find these claims to abstract taste from food to be similar to approaches that abstract knowledge from social contexts, such as efforts to promote Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a solution to the woes of higher education. Kalymnian foodways were a constant reminder that cooking skills are always defined in relation to the particular challenges of specific cooking environments leads me to question the kind of context-free approach to taste (and knowledge) that has become all too common in contemporary culture.

Finally, I hope to use my lecture to suggest some of the reasons that food can no longer be seen as a specialist topic. Rather, if I have learned anything from my Greek research, it is that food is absolutely central to social and sensory worlds; like kinship, exchange, ritual or gender, it is one of the organizing principles of society and should be recognized as such by future scholarship.

——

David E. Sutton is Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University.

Can’t attend the Lecture in person? Sign up for the newsletter on gastronomica.org to receive a published transcript and other exclusive content from Gastronomica.