Pavlova cake on a white background

Food and Culture

Food is complicated. That creation you love from "The Great British Baking Show? It's been the subject of arguments over culture, identity and copyright.
A rice farmer with a handcart in Pingtung County, Taiwan, circa 1965.

Reclaiming Rice in Taiwan

After World War 2, the US ramped up international food aid, both as a Cold War strategy and as a way to distribute surplus products.
Painting of a woman's hand holding a pomegranate

The Paradoxical Pomegranate

Aphrodisiac and contraceptive, enflaming and cooling, the pomegranate was a balancing act, mediating between opposing states.
An illustration from Muscle Building by Earle Liederman, 1924

The King of Mail-Order Muscles

Flab, begone! Earle Edwin Liederman wanted men to learn his vaudeville-strongman secrets—for a not-so-low price.
THREE GIRLS SISTERS EATING LUNCH AT KITCHEN TABLE PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY

What Happened to Peanut Butter and Jelly?

The rise and fall of the iconic sandwich has paralleled changes in Americans' economic conditions.
The Bitter Potion by Adriaen Brouwer, ca. 1636 - 1638

Is Disgust Related to Morality?

The disgust response acts as a behavioral immune system, protecting us from disease, but produces strong reactions to perceived out-groups.
Wonder Bread

Reliving the Wonder Years of Wonder Bread

This story is as enriching as the added nutrients in the legendary white bread.
Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s Anti-Black Racism

The first edition of the beloved novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory featured "pygmy" characters taken from Africa.
A chef with the turtle he is going to use for a special soup for Independence day celebrations.

Turtle Soup: From Class to Mass to Aghast

During the days of the British Empire, soup made from sea turtles was a delicacy. Now it's almost unheard of. What explains the change?
Yellow Jacobins

Our Long-Running Love Affair with Pigeons

Through crazes of pigeon-fancying, these birds have been reshaped into a dizzying variety of forms.