Lest anyone accuse me of being unflinching in my Luddite proclivities, I think the recent IACP conference has nudged me into an oddly experimentalist (dare I say modernist?) direction. I have nothing against science per se. But honestly, I'm not into electric gadgets mostly because food tastes better using old tried and true processes. I'm not sure this does taste better, but it was fun. OK, so take an eggplant, and peel it with your baby blue kyocera peeler. Works like a charm. Then take out your mandoline (thanks Oxo folks) and slice the thinnest possible rounds. Salt lightly. Then put it into a serious MOFO dehydrator for a whole day. I bought that bitch. (NOT for myself). When it comes out, you have whisps of crispy eggplant. I was thinking I like the bitter liquid, so why salt and pour it off? Then drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and grate a raw tomato (without skin) on top. Season with pepper and oregano. And nuke it for a minute. So not really cooked. It's really spicy and lovely. Today I added some lemon juice and a little water to make it more tender and really cooked it. It sure looks like eggplant parmigiano, no? There's no cheese, but still quite nice, and not mushy, which is what happens when you just slice and nuke eggplants. OK, I am embracing the technology.
Food Historian at the University of the Pacific.
Author of Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet, Beans (2008 IACP Jane Grigson Award) and Pancake. A cookbook with Rosanna Nafziger THE LOST ART OF REAL COOKING.
Coeditor of The Lord's Supper with Trudy Eden and Editor of A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance.
Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia (4 vols.) Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican and Chinese recently won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Foreign Cuisine book in the World. The Routledge International Handbook to Food Studies is in print.
A sequel to the cookbook - entitled THE LOST ARTS OF HEARTH AND HOME.
Latest Books: Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food from Oregon State U Press, a little book on Nuts from Reaktion and The Food History Reader from Bloomsbury. The Most Excellent Book of Cookery (translation of a 16th c. French Cookbook with Tim Tomasik) from Prospect Books. Not to mention THE BEAST: The Food Issues Encyclopedia for Sage. Latest: At the Table. Noodle Soups coming up next!