Gastronomic Writing

I am sitting here looking at my books on gastronomy. Not cookery books or recipes books – all gastronomic literature. Authors like Ruth Reichl, Jeffery Steingarten, M.F.K Fisher and Barbara Santich. Now, back in the early ’80’s when I was frantically trying to find something to read there was nothing. Well, there was Elizabeth David and M.F.K Fisher, but it is only in the last 20 years that food writing has really come into it’s own.

I can remember my frustration. I scoured the recipe books for a little bit of text; a “bit of chat”. I wanted to know why people ate, what they ate, how they got the ingredients for what they ate. I never really wanted to recreate any of it by cooking the dishes.Β TheΒ irony is that I must have absorbed all the recipes anyway and went on to make my living cooking food πŸ™‚Β 

I shouldn’t be writing this post. I should be writing an essay on the emergence of gastronomic writing in 19th century France. I have writers block. I thought a little chat with my bloggy friends might limber me up so I can get on with it πŸ™‚

Now I think I might go and have a coffee, see if that helps. First though I’ll share a very tasty dinner we had the other night.

A beautiful pork loin chop, with sauteed pear and apple, on a bed of salad with the most delicious baked portabello mushrooms.

Wish me luck with the writing – honestly, my brain has a big cramp πŸ™‚



7 thoughts on “Gastronomic Writing

  1. Hi there, dear sweetrosie πŸ˜€

    I hope you have written something for your gastronomy paper by now. I can very well empathise with you for when it came to homework assignments, I was really good at procrastinating before I got down to it! πŸ˜†

    Wow, your pork loin dinner looks so delicious as well as well presented. I love all sorts of mushrooms and wish their varieties are more available here. Looking at your dinner picture has got me hungry and I better go scramble something for dinner now (I still don’t know what to cook yet πŸ™„ ).

    Have a restful weekend, dear!

    Love and hugs,

    choesf πŸ˜€

  2. Hi!
    That looks like a yummy dinner indeed… yes, it is really interesting finding out a little more about what people eat. Just came back from France where I had a good time visiting the little shops in the market – the butcher, the baker, the fishmongers, the cheeseshop, etc….

  3. That’s the same reason I like reading Brillat-Savarin – it’s for the opinions, the windows into life at the time.

    If you want to want to procrastinate whilst still remaining somewhat on topic, take a trip over to and download some of the very old cookbooks (if you haven’t already). There are some crackers there – a couple of early American cookbooks (thrift and much “making do”), some very early collections of Old English cooking (manners and many goode receipts fore physic ynd foode) and enough odds and sods to keep me amused for days so I’m sure you’d find something interesting.


  4. Hi happyhomemaker πŸ™‚ I have managed to cobble together something – but I’m not that happy with it. I have all the info. but no narrative… I also should be working on my Peranakan essay, it’s due June 16th 😦 Again, lots of info, little narrative.

    Katong gal – hi! I wish I could hop on a plane and absorb some of the culture – it might help me with this essay πŸ™‚ I am thinking of concentrating on Eurasian “contamination” on traditional Nyonya cuisine and unfortunately I am still suffering from writer’s block πŸ˜‰ so it’s a slow process.

    hey ninazero! Thanks for the heads-up re: ManyBooks. It’s one I haven’t visited. There’s a blog called “The Old Foodie”, you may already know it, but she writes about gastronomic and culinary history EVERY DAY ! It puts my writing efforts to shame.
    Brillat-Savarin and Grimod figured heavily in my last essay. Their influence was considerable in shaping French cuisine into what we recognise today. I couldn’t resist mentioning Brillat-Savarin’s endurance vis-a-vis The Iron Chef in my conclusion πŸ™‚ Physiology of Taste hasn’t been out of print since 1826 – amazing!

  5. Good luck with the writing, dearie πŸ™‚ What I always do when I have a writer’s block is to just … write! I simply type out anything and everything I can think of, until I begin to form cohesive sentences that actually make sense, and develop my game plan. It’s kind of like starting the engine of the car, in my opinion. Haha πŸ˜›

  6. Loved the pork photo. I have some pork rashers for tonight so might just take a few ideas from your suggestions. Hope the writer’s block has been conquered. Mogg

  7. Thank you dear ovenhaven. What you have said makes perfect sense πŸ™‚ I have a final essay to hand in by June 16th (on Peranakan cuisine, culture and “authenticity”) and I am so busy reading it’s going to be another brain cramp I think when it comes to the writing. I’ll think of you and “just write” ! πŸ™‚ Thank you.

    mummyogg! Hello there! As you can see from my chat with ovenhaven the block is never far away… it’s like, well, a block…How could I ever write anything cohesive ever again? πŸ™‚ Ask me again after this weekend πŸ™‚ No, really, I’m sure I’ll be fine, once I get started *fingers crossed* xx

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