Sometimes, I feel like I exist in my own food bubble. This bubble is a lie, a total fallacy, but it is something I feel from time to time and I wonder if anyone else does. Maybe it's because there was no other food historian at Bard. Maybe it's because I'm generally inclined to feel like a loner. Maybe I haven't surrounded myself with enough people who "get" it. Maybe it's because food can be so intensely personal.
Regardless, the moments I can feel connected to a broader food community--especially a critical community!--are tremendous. It's exciting. Almost like a jolt of electricity and I pay more attention and it feels like I'm operating at double time. That's how I felt when I found Molly O'Neil's American Food Writing nearly two years ago.
It's an anthology. I pulled two sources from it for the apple pie project. Flipping through it now, without the blinders of a thesis deadline, I've found more and more gems. While I initially scorned the Anthony Bourdain and Ruth Riechl in favor of the historical gravitas of Henry Ward Beecher and John Pintard's letters, I now find myself pulled toward them.
It seems silly to feel connected to a book, but what it represents fills me with a sense of satisfaction, tradition, and community. It's comforting.