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Food, Glorious Food . . .

May 14th, 2013 No Comments
Cover of "Oliver!"

Cover of Oliver!

—“Hot sausage and mustard! / While we’re in the mood / Cold jelly and custard!”  (Lyric: Lionel Bart)

Thus began the music in Carol Reed’s unforgettable musical Oliver! as the Victorian workhouse orphans, supping on gruel, daydreamed about (relative) gastronomic delights.

And thus we also begin this unusual tri-part post, because it’s all about food, glorious food!

Around the World

What a Week of Groceries Looks like Around the World was Peter Menzel’s self-ascribed project, published on FStoppers.

This is a really interesting album because the basic eating habits of different countries’ people and different socio-economic classes just pop out.  Though one family can hardly represent a whole country, this album still brings some realities home pictorially and, consequently, powerfully.

Witness the American family’s reliance on packaged and processed foods, the Indian family’s reliance on basic vegetables and the Mali and Chad families’ near-exclusive reliance on grains, lentils and pulses.  Interestingly, families in Ecuador and Guatemala seem to consume a very wide range of fresh produce.

Thanks to Menzel, now we know that Germans love their sausage and beer, Mexicans, their avocado, and Italians, their breads.  In Oz, it’s heavy on the meat; in Japan, heavy on the fish. 

But – blimey! – do we see a British family sans Bovril and Horlicks?  And no baguette for the Frenchies?  In any event, this album is a fascinating look into nations and their particular staple foods.

Surgical Sections

Ever wanted to see what a bowl of noodles looked like, cut in half?  Or even a cup of coffee being made?  Well, now you can, thanks to Beth Galton (and Lauren Davis on io9).

Though all the photos fall in the “huh – interesting!” category, a couple are genuinely fine photographs.

The corn dog with ketchup and mustard side by side with an ice-cream cone are not only two beachside treats, their orientations and relative colours on the black background make for an eyecatching photo.  Even better are the humble eggs.  The uniformity and symmetry made by each individually different egg and the very limited palette combine to form a striking near-abstract image.

That said, don’t miss the cross-section of those noodles.

The Supper Club

If all this talk about food makes you hungry and you’re in the American Midwest, we know where you’ll head: to your neighbourhood supper club.  

We know supper clubs are a tradition in your parts thanks to the new photo book by David Hoekstra, The Supper Club Book: A Celebration of a Midwest Tradition.  However, it’s a particularly Wisconsin tradition to the extent that Mary Bergin, writing for the a Wisconsin publication says, “We’d like to think we own the supper-club culture, but the author also finds this depth of passion in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.”

Not to worry, Mary, you do know that Ron Faiola has released a photo book and a movie dedicated to Wisconsin Supper Clubs.

Only a few images are available online so if you really want to know more about this ‘Midwest Tradition’ you’ll have to plop for one of the two books.



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