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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Cookbook of al-Maghrib and Andalusia: “Cooled Chicken” (~1250)

Time: 13th century | Place: Andalusia (part of Spain near Seville) | Author: unknown Kitab al-Tabeekh fi ‘l-Maghrib wa ‘l-Andalus fi ‘Asr al-Muwahhidin (Cookbook of al-Maghrib and Andalusia in the era of Almohads)   We often see cookbooks that focus on one specific culture of food – Italian cuisine, Indian cooking, Persian food. Well, this medieval Andalusian cookbook incorporates a bunch…

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Eleanor Roosevelt’s Margarine Commercial (1959)

The former First Lady of the United States was featured in this 1959 margarine commercial. After years of anti-margarine campaigns in the US, “Good Luck Margarine” needed the boost of a celebrity. Although margarine had become very popular in the US as a cheap butter substitute from the end of the 1800s onwards, anti-margarine lobbies and butter producers tried…

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New Year’s Feast, 19th Century, Japan

Orange, dried persimmons, herring-roe and different nuts: these were the foods used for the Celebration of the New Year in Japan. Yum! Read more about this woodblock print and its historical context at the Metropolitan Collection Online. Check out “related objects” for lots of other items on Japanese art & culture from the 19th century.

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