Game of Scones 2019 OAT winning food titles

1. Food safety after Fukushima: scientific citizenship and the politics of risk
Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Nicolas. Hawai’i, 2019

The nuclear meltdown of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors in 2011 had dramatic consequences for food consumers and producers in the region and beyond. In this sensitive account, Sternsdorff-Cisterna (anthropology, Southern Methodist Univ.) interviewed a spectrum of those who dealt with the aftermath, from mothers anxious about feeding their children safely to civic leaders trying to save a tarnished regional brand from enduring stigmatization. He explores the strategies that local groups and individuals used to ensure food safety and combat symbolic damage. The disasters produced some of the largest and most vocal anti-government demonstrations since the Pacific War, visible expressions of a crisis of trust.View on Amazon 

2. The original Mediterranean cuisine: medieval recipes for today
Santich, Barbara. Equinox, 2018

A gem of a retrospective on food preparation and service during the Middle Ages, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine sparkles with details. Culinary historian Santich (emer., Univ. of Adelaide, Australia) uses amenable prose suitable for a broad audience to introduce readers to medieval daily life through kitchen hierarchy, food sources, meal protocols, and table manners. A complete reading of Santich’s views supplants histories of power struggles and conflicts with a humanistic approach to medieval culture. The author anticipates reader questions by explaining marination and roasting methods and unusual terms such as verjuice, an acidic flavoring made from unripe grapes.
View on Amazon 

3. Sauces reconsidered: apres Escoffier
Allen, Gary. Rowman & Littlefield, 2019

Allen, with his impressive history of food writing, culinary reference books, and food history books for general audiences, has outdone himself with a compact, highly useful book about sauces for foodies, students, researchers, and culinary professionals. Unlike James Peterson’s classic tome Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Saucemaking (1991) and Raymond Sokolov’s The Saucier’s Apprentice (1976), which focus mainly on production of classic European sauces, Allen dives into the origin of sauces from early medieval recipes to the evolution of classical French cuisine, to major sauces from other significant culinary traditions. Allen also goes one step further in his sauce book to include what would be defined as sauces in molecular gastronomy: solutions, suspensions, gels, composites, and foams. The book includes clearly written sauce recipes that anyone can make, black-and-white photographs of popular sauce brands, and eleven pages of notes and references citing primary source material, classic culinary reference books and food history books, and articles from well-regarded culinary publications.
View on Amazon 

4. Food studies: a hands-on guide
Zhen, Willa. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019

This text by Zhen (Culinary Institute of America) lives up to its goal of “serv[ing] as a broad-ranging interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary introduction to the field of Food Studies” (p. 181). Divided into six main chapters, the guide touches on the essential facets of the field, such as food and identity, food technology, and globalization. The text is accompanied by robust scholarly apparatus, including a glossary, index, and inclusive list of references. Supported by a broad variety of primary and secondary sources framing the guide theoretically, each section within this accessible textbook offers a series of discussion questions, sidebars with “food for thought” with additional information expanding key concepts, hands-on activities, summaries, and further resources and readings. Thanks to the hands-on activities specifically directed at college students, as well as the inter- and multidisciplinary approach, Zhen’s book should be required reading in all classes dealing with food-related issues regardless of perspective.
View on Amazon 

5. A history of the food of Paris: from roast mammoth to steak frites
Chevallier, James B. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018

This is not merely a book about the history of food in Paris. It is also covers the history of writing about the food of Paris. Chevallier (independent scholar) masterfully procures for the reader a condensed history of Paris, spanning from the time of the Neanderthals to the modern day; considering this scope, his approach is neither dry nor tedious but surprisingly concise. The reader is engaged by the masterful storytelling, which describes several major historical food-related developments, from the progression of the professional chef to the birth of the modern day restaurant and the eclectic ethnic foods found in Paris today. To bolster his narrative, Chevallier employs excerpts from writers, philosophers, and historians who experienced these events firsthand. Chevallier’s last chapter, “Signature Dishes,” includes detailed information about the most exquisite and famed foods of Paris.
View on Amazon