Michael Ruhlman mulls over whether food writing is important

Michael Ruhlman

Over at the HuffPost, Michael Ruhlman has a very thoughtful essay carrying on a discussion that should strike a chord with all our members. He simply asks “Is Food Writing Important?” We’ll leave it to you to read his insightful comments, but couldn’t help but reproduce the following – a mantra I believe we all can stand behind:

I dream of a day when we no longer need to be obsessed with food, because that would mean that we had figured it out, we had all come to a common understanding of how to grow our food, distribute it, and consume it in ways that don’t make us sick and crazy, but rather healthy and happy; that, rather than being guilty, fearful, and intimidated by food, we instead rejoiced in food; that we would cook together, with our families and friends, and then sit down to share this cared-for food and tell each other the stories of our day.”

Bring on the food storytellers.

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  • manycookbooks  on  September 25, 2012

    Michael Rhulman is right on the mark! Writing about food, food history, food preparation, food trends, etc. is one of the benchmarks we have to trace our roots and our civilizations. Like any other history, culinary history defines how we got where we are and who we are. In the days when I operated a small on-line business, 'The Vintage Cookbookery', I collected vintage, antique and 'collectible' cookbooks reminiscent of our ever evolving trends in cooking, in food, in cultures around the world and it was a fascinating experience to read these recipes. From 'Take a Thousand Eggs or More', a collection of 15th century recipes by Cindy Renfrow, to 'Feed the Brute', published by Marjorie Swift in London in 1925, to 'The Axis of Evil Cookbook by Gill Partington, published in 2007, one doesn't necessarily have to be engaged in 'food' to appreciate the historical significance of food writing. I recently purchased a copy of 'Russian Regional Recipes', by Susan Ward, published in 1993. I was fascinated to read a recipe for Marinated Mushrooms, which advised the reader that '…some of the enthusiasm for wild mushrooms is now tempered with fear, since fungi – particularly the thick-stalked cep or boletus…..have been shown to be severely contaminated by the fallout from Chernobyl'. How telling is this of our cultural and societal histories? Keep on writing Michael!

    Albuquerque, NM

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