Category Archives: Mediterranean

On Philip Levine’s “Salami”

“Stomach,” the seat of our most basic, precognitive desires (hunger) and responses (the “gut reaction”), aptly opens a stanza rife with the smells and flavors of Spanish cuisine. But if the stomach is the logical destination of the food being … Continue reading

Posted in contemporary poetry, Food in literature, Global South, Mediterranean, Spanish | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ntozake Shange, Alice B. Toklas: What Cooks Know

January 23, 2013 “The first effable gazpacho was served to us in Malaga,”  Alice notes.   She and Gertrude Stein would also find “entirely different but equally exquisite” versions of the that soup in Seville and Cordoba, cities once under Islamic … Continue reading

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Olaudah Equiano, Dave Brubeck: à la Turk

December 5, 2012 Equiano liked Turkey.  He had gone there from Italy in 1769, and greatly admired the grapes and pomegranates in the ancient city of Smyrna, “the richest and largest I ever tasted.”  He also liked the fact that … Continue reading

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Atlantic Sound: Caryl Phillips, Thomas Pynchon, Richard and Mimi Fariña

August 22, 2012 At the end of  The Atlantic Sound, Caryl Phillips is in Israel, visiting a community of Black Hebrews, almost 2000 of them, African-Americans who emigrated from the United States. They have given up their U.S. citizenship, but … Continue reading

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