Melting Pot I: The Diverse Dish that Is Gumbo, and a Recipe for Seafood Gumbo

There are three key elements to the best gumbo–an excellent seafood stock, a solid brick roux, and quality ingredients to go into it–fresh seafood when possible, okra in season, and so on. While you may sometimes have to make due with frozen or out-of-season ingredients, the stock, roux, and giving the gumbo the time it needs to develop flavor will still always give you incredible results.

Forgotten Feast II: Offal Rising

Offal’s descent into ignominy is a mainly Western, modern phenomenon that is tightly bound up with issues of class. But there are pockets of our food culture that have either never stopped eating the “humble” parts or who have returned to it, finding something wholesome, exotic, or even erotic about it.

Forgotten Feast I: The Descent of Offal

Offal occupies a central place in my kitchen–but many Americans would never even try it, let alone attempt to cook with it themselves. In this article, I explore how offal used to be an integral part of the Western diet, and why it has suffered a fall from grace in modern times.

Kandaulos II: Mystery Meat, Ritual Feasts, and the Question of Jar Puppies

When archaeologists excavated Sardis, the ancient capital of Lydia, in the 1950s, they unearthed some disturbing evidence: “table settings” from ritual meals, including plates, cups, pitchers, stew pots, iron knives…and the bones of puppies. The remains forced them to consider an uncomfortable question: Might the meat originally used in the dish have been that of puppies, slaughtered for a ritual meal?

Kandaulos I: A Recipe for Souvlaki’s More Provocative Predecessor

Souvlaki is a traditional dish that is almost synonymous with Greece itself, yet it may have emerged from a much older, Lydian delicacy. Read on to find out why your favorite skewered food’s predecessor carried cultural stakes that go beyond what you might have imagined–and how you can cook a version that recovers what it may have been like to dine on the original.