The Messy History of Emily Dickinson’s Black Cake Recipe

IN THE DARK PANDEMIC DAYS of last December, 667 people gathered on a video call to celebrate Emily Dickinson’s birthday—and her black cake. Participants were invited to bake the recipe before the gathering, and many appeared on camera with their own rendition of the cake. The tradition had started five years before, when Emily Walhout, a … Continue reading The Messy History of Emily Dickinson’s Black Cake Recipe

Go Beyond the Grocery Store With These Seven Innovative Spice Companies

IN 2016, SANA JAVERI KADRI found herself at a crossroads. After moving from her hometown of Mumbai to California, she wanted to learn more about the historical forces shaping her own identity and experience as a queer woman of color in the United States. A food photographer, Javeri Kadri turned to culinary history to better understand … Continue reading Go Beyond the Grocery Store With These Seven Innovative Spice Companies

Keep Your Quarantine Garden Growing With These 8 Unique Seed Companies

WHEN THE REALITY OF THE pandemic hit, nearly a year ago, something unexpected happened: Americans began gardening. Alarmed by a possible breakdown in food supply chains, and inspired by wartime Victory Gardens and lockdown boredom, people across the country who never grew food before developed green thumbs. For many pandemic gardeners—including me—the experience was a revelation. … Continue reading Keep Your Quarantine Garden Growing With These 8 Unique Seed Companies

The Museum Treating Home Cooking as Fine Art

LIKE MOST THINGS THIS YEAR, the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Reclamation exhibition did not go as initially planned. Curator and director of public programs Melani N. Douglass wanted to treat kitchen labor—the often-invisible daily work that disproportionately falls on women and feminine people—as high art. She envisioned an exhibition centered around kitchen-like spaces physically installed at … Continue reading The Museum Treating Home Cooking as Fine Art

The Italian Immigrants Who Grew Fig Trees in Unlikely Places

THEY BROUGHT THEM IN SUITCASES and in trunks, tucked into the corners of boats and, later, on airplanes. Seeds that became rapini, cardoons, artichokes, cucuzza squash. Cuttings from knobby grape vines that flourished into backyard arbors. And, above all, bits of stick that grew into fig trees. Starting in the late 1800s, when Italian immigrants poured … Continue reading The Italian Immigrants Who Grew Fig Trees in Unlikely Places

In Sydney, a Cafe Serving Aboriginal Food Brings Comfort and Challenges

FOR NYOKA HRABINSKY, GROWING UP in Queensland, Australia, “bush tucker” was a delicious part of everyday life. Of the native foods that have sustained Aboriginal communities for millennia, “wallaby was my favorite. Swamp turtle was my other favorite,” she says. A member of the Yidindji people, Hrabinsky grew up “on country”—in her community’s traditional land—watching her … Continue reading In Sydney, a Cafe Serving Aboriginal Food Brings Comfort and Challenges

How to Recreate Your Lost Family Recipes, According to Historians and Chefs

Michael Twitty was leading a conversation on African diasporic food when the woman he was speaking to broke into tears. Twitty, a food writer, historian, and historical interpreter, had just explained that the word for “eat” in Wolof, a West African language, is nyam. The woman, a Massachusetts resident from an African-American and Puerto Rican family, had … Continue reading How to Recreate Your Lost Family Recipes, According to Historians and Chefs