Gastro obscura newsletter



Confronting Frontier FareAmerican pioneer life, as depicted in the Little House series of children’s books, has become increasingly divisive. Even the novels’ fantastical celebrations of pioneer food show why these books need reconsideration. On the actual frontier, dinner might have been vinegar pie, bear meat, or nothing at all.READ MORE
Bush Tucker CollaborationIn May last year, The University of Queensland and the Australian Research Council launched the Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods. Its aim is to expand the scope of Australia’s native food agriculture business, creating new cash crops in Indigenous communities.READ MORE
The Crown Jewel of JerseyWhere the rest of the country relies on bacon and sausage for breakfast sandwiches, restaurants in New Jersey often feature egg-and-cheeses brimming with griddled pork roll slices instead. But the term pork roll is uttered only in southern New Jersey. Farther north, it’s called “Taylor ham.”READ MORE
Prague’s Communist CuisineTwenty years after communists came to power in Prague, liberalization started to gain traction, and the party saw a need for even stricter control. Eating was no exception. The state Restaurants and Cafeterias company issued a national cookbook, which dictated what cooks in the country could serve in 845 recipes. ⁠READ MORE
‘Pie for a Suffragist’s Doubting Husband’Doctor and activist Alice B. Stockham offered palatable chasers (in the form of recipes for custard-filled cake, graham muffins, and rhubarb toast) to those who found her thoughts on women’s rights difficult to digest. The Woman’s Suffrage Cookbook became part of a larger trend that began in the 1880s and continued until women won the right to vote.READ MORE
Some Leftovers Never Go BadIn the heart of Rome, the Roma Termini station houses two McDonald’s, one on the ground floor and another on the basement floor. If you stop in for an order of McNuggets on the lower level, you might notice an unusual decoration: a 2,500-year-old Roman wall.READ MORE
All’s Fare in WarDescribed as both “a culinary travesty and an iconic symbol of U.S. imperialism” by sociologist Grace M. Cho, budae jjigae marries two disparate culinary traditions. This dish’s name translates to “army base stew,” as its contents are the product of wasteful American soldiers, acquired by resourceful South Koreans.READ MORE

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