I was cavorting in a kayak yesterday in the Monterey Bay and happened to drift into raft of kindly otters, one of whom was generous enough to offer me a 7 foot length of bullwhip kelp. I thanked him profusely, complimented him on his finely kempt coat and promised I would put the estimable sea vegetable to the best possible use. I have eaten exquisite pickled kelp before, but I admit, I have never made it. I have serious doubts that it could be fermented, so I made a sweet vinegar pickle, much like the one I tasted years ago. Soaked a bit then sliced in rounds and spears. They are rather fetching. I will let you know how they fare after a week or two, but I suspect a little salty, a little sweet, a little sour, a little spicy and a whole lot of fishy sea krauty crunch. Can there possibly be a superior confluence of flavors to tickle the taste buds?
Food Historian at the University of the Pacific. Director of Food Studies in San Francisco.
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!