what a potluck says about a church

Pastor David Swanson had an interesting intro to his article on Out of Ur, the blog hosted by He recently attended an urban church potluck and was impressed by the range of cooking traditions represented in the spread and how this bounty reflected the growing geographic diversity in the particular congregation. He used this image as a springboard to discuss the movement of the christian faith across continents and encourage readers to view church history globally, and not just from a western perspective.

meet the dean of beans

Courtesy of Theo Chocolate

Forget English or Accounting, how about a degree in Chocolatology? Starting this April, Theo Chocolate here in Seattle is launching Chocolate Academy. CA consists of four series of thematically grouped courses on this magic bean. I got a sneak peek tonight at Theo and am here to tell you that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill temper chocolate and pop bonbons in your mouth. Oh no. Chocolate Academy’s Dean of Beans, Dr. Kristy Leissle will be offering courses on the history of chocolate and the industry in West Africa, while Theo’s Dr. Andy McShea, aka Dr. Chocolate has a course on offer entitled, “Sinful and Good for You? The Science behind the Chocolate Paradox.” But never fear, Theo assured us tonight that each and every class involves samples.

who doesn’t love scrapple?

I grew up in Philadelphia and scrapple made many appearances at our breakfast table. My sister particularly loved the stuff, and to be honest I was pretty fond of it myself. We can thank the German immigrants of eastern Pennsylvania for the pleasure. The Lancaster Times reported yesterday that the cookbook “The Landis Valley Cookbook: Pennsylvania German Foods and Tradition” is back in print after a five-year hiatus. Tried and true favorites sit alongside other temptations like apricot ice cream, most dating from the late 19th century. The Landis Valley Museum has lovingly reproduced all the recipes without modern conveniences, though the cookbook has adapted recipes for 21st century conveniences.


Kimchi in a taco? Well, why not? Many of the best taco trucks in the Seattle area offer a tongue-tingling pickled slaw of carrots, onions, and peppers to bury your mulitas or sopitos under. While I was the food editor at ColorsNW Magazine I covered the rise of both Korean and Mexican culinary offerings in the Puget Sound area. It appears that in Los Angeles the two cuisines are commingling to great success as Korean street food gains more traction and the inevitable meshing of cultural culinary traditions unfolds. The New York Times picked up on this trend that one hungry customer described as “Korean Mexican fusion thing of crazy deliciousness.” Sign me up.

pinoy syempre!

waffle courtesy of obama foodorama

I once wrote in an article that Filipino cuisine gets no respect. That’s beginning to change, starting at the White House. The Obamas have kept Filipina Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford (hired by Laura Bush) and Pinoys around the world are celebrating. Meantime, the blog Obama Foodorama provides a “Daily Diary of The Obama Foodscape, One Bipartisan Byte At A Time.”

Pass the lumpia!

what if we’d said no to pizza?

The above cartoon showed up on Vittoria Castellani’s blog, Acquabuona, as part of his response to the city of Lucca in Tuscany whose logal legislators recently banned “ethnic food” in the historic town center. Roughly translated it reads, “Now that they have finally closed all those kebab houses, sushi bars, and Indian restaurants, we can start going out to dinner again!”

For those who don’t speak Italian, food and wine historian Jeremy Parzen weighs in xenofoodism on his blog Do Bianchi. A rebuttal from Italy’s Minister of Agricultural Policies, Luca Zaia, was reprinted in the UK’s Times Online.

cooking up a storm

Courtesy of Chronicle Books

The St. Petersburg Times reported today on a cookbook that grew out of an effort by the Times-Picayune to collect New Orleans family recipes that were lost in Hurricane Katrina. The result is Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans, and if there are awards for titles alone, I think this particular cookbook should win one. You can have a listen to an interview with Times-Picayune columnist and cookbook co-editor Marcelle Bienvenue about the project here.