Food and eating are everywhere: in the blogosphere, in bookstores, on TV and streaming platforms, in social media such as Instagram. Nearly all newspapers, large and small, have cooking sections or extra food editions, and the portion of food-related print magazines has expanded hugely over the last years. The “foodie” has even become a characteristic social figure of our time, much like the “flaneur” of the emerging urban metropoles of modern society at the turn of the 19th century, or the “nerd” as the prototype of the emerging digital revolution during the 2000s. What does the “foodie,” then, stand for? Is it a coincidence that we seem to be somewhat obsessed with food, eating, and cooking? I don’t think so.…

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Just as the field of food history has achieved prominence in recent years it is true to say the same of popular interest in Native foods. Around the country, Native heirloom crops frequently show up at farmers’ markets. Interested consumers can even purchase produce in the form of a monthly TSA (“Tribally Supported Agriculture”) share. Gardeners across the world can order seeds to grow Ute squash or Cherokee “Trail of Tears” pole beans to plant in their backyards. In southern Arizona, O’odham farmers are raising tepary beans, sixty-day corn, and harvesting ciollim buds, all of which you can purchase online. Almost any grocer in the United States, from the grungiest co-op to the swankiest supermarket, stocks their shelves with ancient…

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Low-carb diets have long ago become a fixture in the diet scene. Their high-protein meal plans often rely heavily on meat (although there are also attempts to adapt them for vegetarians, and the label “meat diet” is scorned by some low-carbers). Other approaches go even further and promote the idea of completely eliminating carbohydrates from the human diet. Living a “no-carb” or “zero-carb” lifestyle entails not only avoiding the usual “carb bombs” (grains, potatoes, rice, sugar) but also all kinds of vegetables, fruit, most dairy products – in short, almost everything except for meat (including fish), water and, for some “no-carbers” at least, eggs, heavy whipped cream and a little hard cheese. But many of them stick to just meat…

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The burek – a pastry made of phyllo dough with various fillings, well-known in the Balkans, in Turkey (bürek) and also in the Near East by other names – probably arrived in Slovenia in the 1960s. Industrially, the most ambitious of the Yugoslav republics, Slovenia needed a workforce. And with that workforce – immigrants from the former Yugoslav republics – came the burek. To paraphrase Max Frisch: We called for a workforce and we got bureks! But the burek might have remained unknown to the majority of Slovenes if not, in the 1960s, “foreign” burek stands (run by Albanians from the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia) appeared in various Slovene towns with high concentrations of immigrants or soldiers. Until the…

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Chop suey is unknown to most Chinese other than those from Kwantung Province. However, it was this cheap and simple dish that became the icon of Chinese food in the U.S. before the advent of new Chinese immigration beginning in 1965. But why was it chop suey that became so important out of the rich repertoire of Chinese cuisine? What was the social and cultural context that facilitated the popularity of chop suey? Chop suey first made its presence felt in the U S in the late 19th century. At that time, under the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese immigrants were expelled from lucrative jobs and forced to enter the service sector. Many Chinese chose to work in the restaurant industry.…

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