Articles by Alma Igra

History Ph.D student at Columbia, a cook and food blogger. Studies 20th-century international history, focusing on politics of food, agriculture, and development. Author of “Devarim Be’Alma,” a vegetarian food blog in Hebrew. Her blog has 40K readers every month and her recipes have appeared in major publications in Israel. Her favorite ingredients are: avocado, beetroots, garlic, dates, and tahini.


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What and How To Cook In Wartime: Hummus

Time: 1942 | Place: Palestine | Author: Lilian Cornfeld Writing a cookbook is often like writing a manifesto: it’s not about what people eat, it’s about what people should be eating. You don’t simply document the food culture around you, but rather your vision of what the surrounding culture should look like. Every salad is a…

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Ancient Mesopotamian Beet Broth

Time: ca. 1700-1600, BCE | Place: Babylonia (Southern Iraq) | Language: Akkadian (Old Babylonian dialect) | Author: unknown   We sometimes take it for granted that important things are written down, but the idea of what is important to document has changed over time. When the Sumerians invented the world’s first writing system—cuneiform—at the end of the fourth…

Looking for the Traces

Once upon a time, people in China started eating peanuts. Peanuts had previously been a New World food, grown exclusively in South America, but we know that they were grown near Shanghai as early as the 1570s.[1] How did these peanuts get there? Who were the men and women who started adding them to Chinese…

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