Food & Culture

Unexpected Mardi Gras Moments in St. Louis

      I think of French influence in St. Louis the way I think of the Romans’ influence in Britain: Other than naming, most of that culture has disappeared. St. Louis certainly “brands” with the ubiquitous fleurs-de-lis, and the landmark statue of Louis IX, sculpted by a German-American artist, at the top of Art […]

When Kitsch Collides With Food (And Spirits)

        Andy Warhol once said he loved Coca-Cola because regardless of who bought a bottle, it remained the same product for everyone. “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are […]

The Exuberant Joy of British Kids Eating U.S. Thanksgiving Food

        Before misinformation, disinformation, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco, and “deep fakes” it is hard to remember the time when the internet was a (largely) uncorrupted landscape of novel, good-hearted fun. From cat videos to laughing babies, everyone had their favorites when the internet was still young. The slow-moving genre loosely known as […]

Visiting the Apple Orchard a Return to Eden—With Donuts

  To paraphrase the old riddle from cosmology: if the arrival of fall is the answer, what is the question? Maybe: How will we know we are released from our summer lives? It is a common complaint that there are no seasons in the American foodway. Fuji apples are stored in cold warehouses in Japan […]

Pumpkin Spice Sums Up What Ails This Nation

      “You should write about pumpkin spice,” a friend urged. “I’d rather shoot myself.” I used to like pumpkin spices (note the plural, distinguishing the time-honored spice-rack cluster of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice). Then Starschmucks made a 390-calorie latte with flavored syrup and people lost their minds. We no longer have […]

Confessions of a Hydrox Cookie

      First, it was my name. Not the “cookie” part—it took a while for me to realize how sexist that was, as condescending as “cupcake,” as hopeful as “Candy.” What is it with the sweet stuff, guys, wishful thinking? But no, my albatross was “Hydrox.” I sounded like a sterile chemical. And in […]