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“Coffee?” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Climate change has recently been disturbing coffee production in countries such as Cameroon, Haiti, and Côte d’Ivoire.  The consumer’s concerns about reduced flavor quality and increased pricing for a cup of coffee (due to a […]

“Rayt . . . or Wright: Why Moroccan Teapots Look British” by Iziar de Miguel

By the end of the nineteenth century, metalwork made in Europe began competing with the local production of Morocco.  European merchants started to sell objects inspired by the local craftsmanship from the North of Africa. […]

“Food vs Words” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Whether words are more important than food or vice versa — interesting stances about this have been taken.  The following are a few examples.  Bon appétit!

 

I.   Food

1.   Je vis de bonne soupe, et non […]

“Tea with a Spot of Gallic Flair” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Tea being made into a French drink almost as if by the sheer attitude of the fashionable crowd— that is a notion suggested in a number of magazines and newspapers during the early 1900s in […]

“Do Not . . .” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Around 1512/1514 in France an illustrated manuscript seemingly made for the heir apparent to the crown shows a number of sayings that use food as a way to talk about morals.  At the time, François […]

“At the White House: Honoré Julien, Edith Hern Fossett, and Frances Gillette Hern” by Anna Soo-Hoo

April 3, 1807 was a regular workday for the chef Honoré Julien (1760–1830) and his assistants Edith Hern Fossett (1787-1854) and Frances Gillette Hern (1788-after 1827), both of whom were slaves.  When they were preparing […]

“A Very Sweet Present: Moroccan Sugar Loaves” by Iziar de Miguel

In Morocco sugar loaves are offered on the occasion of a marriage proposal (two sugar loaves), weddings, births, or visits to persons celebrating their return from the pilgrimage to Mekka.  It is said that sugar […]

“Marmelade: La Fontaine, Zola, Verlaine, Sartre, Sand, Sade, Céline” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Jam on bread can be comforting, routine, pleasant, appetizing, or too sweet.  We step into different territory, however, when we look at the French word marmelade as it has been used in figurative ways by […]

“Compotier” by Anna Soo-Hoo

The compotier (a generally long-stemmed dish or bowl for serving dessert or uncooked fruit) has been reworked in exceptional ways by Pierre Reverdy (1889-1960), Juan Gris (1887-1927), Marcel Mültzer (1866-1937), and Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933).

 

Like […]

“Pears and . . . Ladies High Fashion? Mais oui!” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Pear trees were a distinguishing feature of aristocratic gardens in France during the fifteenth century, but it was under the reign of Henri IV that this luxury fruit became even more prominent.  When the Edict […]

“Peasant Women Selling Apples” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Apple Marys and Apple Annies were women so nicknamed when they sold apples on the street as a way to eke out a living in New York City and other US cities during the late […]

“Lady Apples and the Big Apple” by Anna Soo-Hoo

Is the borough of Queens in New York City really that much less interesting than Manhattan?  Not if you know that the Huguenots who had settled in colonial Flushing (present-day parts of Queens and Long […]

“Perilous Pears Pickled, Please: Philipon and Louis-Philippe I” by Anna Soo-Hoo

The pear motif in caricatures of King Louis-Philippe I (1773-1850) that were drawn by Charles Philipon (1800-1862) and his fellow caricaturists has been analyzed by critics from many angles, but an approach that seems not […]