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Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine (At Table)by Jason C. Anthony
Synopses & Reviews
Antarctica, the last place on Earth, is not famous for its cuisine. Yet it is famous for stories of heroic expeditions in which hunger was the one spice everyone carried. At the dawn of Antarctic cuisine, cooks improvised under inconceivable hardships, castaways ate seal blubber and penguin breasts while fantasizing about illustrious feasts, and men seeking the South Pole stretched their rations to the breaking point. Today, Antarcticaandrsquo;s kitchens still wait for provisions at the far end of the planetandrsquo;s longest supply chain. Scientific research stations serve up cafeteria fare that often offers more sustenance than style. Jason C. Anthony, a veteran of eight seasons in the U.S. Antarctic Program, offers a rare workaday look at the importance of food in Antarctic history and culture.
Anthonyandrsquo;s tour of Antarctic cuisine takes us from hoosh (a porridge of meat, fat, and melted snow, often thickened with crushed biscuit) and the scurvy-ridden expeditions of Shackleton and Scott through the twentieth century to his own preplanned three hundred meals (plus snacks) for a two-person camp in the Transantarctic Mountains. The stories in Hoosh are linked by the ingenuity, good humor, and indifference to gruel that make Anthonyandrsquo;s tale as entertaining as it is enlightening.
With its corn by the acre, beef on the hoof, Quaker Oats, and Kraft Mac nand#8217; Cheese, the Midwest eats pretty well and feeds the nation on the side. But thereand#8217;s more to the midwestern kitchen and palate than the farm food and sizable portions the region is best known for beyond its borders. It is to these heartland specialties, from the heartwarming to the downright weird, that Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie invites the reader.and#160;
The volume brings to the table an illustrious gathering of thirty midwestern writers with something to say about the gustatory pleasures and peculiarities of the region. In a meditation on comfort food, Elizabeth Berg recalls her auntand#8217;s meatloaf. Stuart Dybek takes us on a school field trip to a slaughtering house, while Peter Sagal grapples with the ethics of patand#233;. Parsing Cincinnati five-way chili, Robert Olmstead digresses into questions of Aztec culture. Harry Mark Petrakis reflects on owning a South Side Chicago lunchroom, while Bonnie Jo Campbell nurses a sweet tooth through a fudge recipe in the Joy of Cooking and Lorna Landvik nibbles her way through the Minnesota State Fair. These are just a sampling of what makes Fried Walleye and Cherry Pieand#8212;with its generous helpings of laughter, culinary confession, and informationand#8212;an irresistible literary feast.
About the Author
Jason C. Anthonyand#8217;s essays have appeared in Orion, VQR, Alimentum, the Missouri Review, and in the Best American Travel Writing 2007.
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Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking