With the exception of those weirdos like the finger lime, all other citrus fruits are derived from natural and, before long, artificial crossbreeding, and then crossbreeding the crossbreeds, and so on, of those three fruits. Mix certain pomelos and certain mandarins and you get a sour orange. Cross that sour orange with a citron and you get a lemon. It’s a little bit like blending and reblending primary colors. Grapefruit is a mix between the pomelo—a base fruit—and a sweet orange, which itself is a hybrid of pomelo and mandarin.
A search for “cheesecake,” for example, will result in 189 references, including Robert Abbot’s 1790 recipe for almond cheesecake, Hannah Glasse’s 1805 recipe for lemon cheesecakes, and E. Smith’s 1742 recipe for potato or lemon cheesecake. If this research on the evolution of cheesecake makes you want to learn more about Robert Abbot himself, you’ll find that his 1790 Housekeeper’s Valuable Present or Lady’s Closet Companion also included instructions for how “to make very good wigs.
Walking doesn’t improve the taste of coffee, but coffee improves the experience of being in the world. It blunts the harsher edges. Without coffee, there is public space and private space. With coffee, the whole city is your living room.
Usually, I think only rich people and babies get to blur these sorts of boundaries. Babies get security blankets; rich people get status sweatpants. The rest of us are supposed to generally contain ourselves.
But as soon as a truckload of 8,600 bags were unloaded at the company’s fulfillment centers, they were flying out the doors to customers, leaving the company out of stock until the next truck came in. It was the same pattern at grocery stores. As far as most consumers could tell, there was no flour anywhere, at any time, even though about half a million bags a week were being sold.
The goal of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, according to Nosrat, is to get home cooks cooking, but the show breaks new ground in so many other ways: through its revival of the instructional cooking show format in a TV era when travel documentaries dominate; through its unprecedented casting of women and people of color as culinary experts; through its focus on the ‘grannies’ who historically perform so much domestic labor uncredited; even through its radical vision of unalienated labor and food production.
Not long ago, you could see this playing out on the menus of hip restaurants across the country. At AL’s Place in San Francisco, squash tahini was served with burrata, sumac-galangal dressing, pickles, and dukkah; in LA, there was preserved Meyer lemon and lacto-fermented hot sauce in Sqirl’s sorrel pesto rice bowl, and a ‘Turkish-ish’ breakfast of vegetables, a sumac- and Aleppo pepper-dusted egg, and three-day-fermented labneh at Kismet. Over in Nashville, Cafe Roze put a turmeric egg in its hard-boiled BLT and miso ranch in its barley salad.
In fact, Roman cuisine wasn’t at all like Italian food. It was all about contrasting sweet with salty and sour foods (they liked to eat fishgut sauce, garum, with melon). Instead Rowan compares it to modern Chinese food. ‘If it was edible, they were eating it nothing was off the table,’ she says.
— The mystery of the lost Roman herb, Zaria Gorvett in BBC Future