elsewhere on the internet ii



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Dig this edition of Edgar Allen Poe’s Imp of the Perverse, designed by Helen Friel. It’s an interesting approach to the bookform, and a tactile experience of narrative: you have to tear at, fold, and quite destroy the book in order to read it. It becomes a different kind of consumable good. Of the book, Friel says that it

discusses the voice inside all of us that makes us to do things we know we shouldn’t do. Each page is perforated in a grid system with sections of the text missing. Readers must follow the simple instructions to tear and fold specific sections to reveal the missing text. Books are usually precious objects and the destruction is engineered to give the reader conflicting feelings, do they keep the book in it’s perfect untorn form? Or give into the imp and enjoy tearing it apart?

Onto this week’s selections, then. There have been a flurry of conversations lately around the ticklish position of being a cookbook ghostwriter. It began with Julia Moskin at the NYT, and was followed by responses that were indignant and solidaristic in turn: Gwyneth Paltrow and Sari Botton among others. Yet food and spectres would seem to go hand in hand—nostalgia, sensory inscriptions, and above all, family. Memory has a taste—one that can, as it turns out, be manufactured, marketed and preened to perfection.

Anti-pasta—Romy Golan, Cabinet
“Now the Futurists were calling for the abolition of what they deemed an absurd Italian gastronomic religion. Marshalling the opinions of doctors, professors, hygienists, and impostors, Marinetti claimed that pasta induced lethargy, pessimism, nostalgia, and neutralism. In short, pasta stood behind everything the Futurists had been battling ever since the appearance of their initial manifesto in 1909.”

The Beer Archaeologist—Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine
“The ancients were liable to spike their drinks with all sorts of unpredictable stuff—olive oil, bog myrtle, cheese, meadow­sweet, mugwort, carrot, not to mention hallucinogens like hemp and poppy. But Calagione and McGovern based their Egyptian selections on the archaeologist’s work with the tomb of the Pharaoh Scorpion I, where a curious combination of savory, thyme and coriander showed up in the residues of libations interred with the monarch in 3150 B.C”

Eating Lorca—Kristin Naca, Poetry Foundation
“Duende is a cannibalism and a mirror. Nouns you can smell. Watch a family slaughter a pig in Pampanga, and the precision with which they assemble a pit in the suburbs of Virginia. Not an earlobe is missed. Roasted lechon our idiom. Now, new breeds of swine return to the Islands, from America. Hogs are raised in the luxury of traditional backyard pens, behind every kind of house, in the archipelago. Returning to roots, duende laughs.”

How Carrots Became the New Junk Food—Douglas McGray—Fast Company
“Bunny balls never made it. But baby carrots were a hit. They transformed the whole industry. Soon, the big growers in Bakersfield were planting fields with baby carrots in mind, sowing three times more seeds per acre, so the carrots, packed densely together, would grow long and skinny, for the maximum number of 2-inch cuts. Yields and profits climbed. The really big deal, the thing nobody expected, was that baby carrots seemed to make Americans eat more carrots. In the decade after they were introduced, carrot consumption in the United States doubled.”

In My Father’s Kitchen—Chris Wallace, Paris Review
“I can still remember the terror I felt one night as I searched desperately, in vain, for the car keys as he screamed at me to find them. I, in turn, would try to injure him by attacking his cooking. He’s still heartbroken today from the time when, at ten, I said, “Your food smells better, but mommy’s tastes better.”

It Was Delicious While It Lasted—Jay McInerney, Vanity Fair
“It begins with a glistening, olive-colored sphere, wobbling on a spoon as you raise it toward your lips, exploding in the mouth to unleash a bath of intense olive-flavored liquid. Then, as the waiter has instructed, you lift the silver atomizer to your mouth and spray the gin-and-vermouth mixture on your tongue. In your case, three sprays for good measure. Or seven.”

Sibling Rivalry at the Stove—Tamar Adler, Gilt Taste
“Out of the corner of my eye I watched John tap his pan and his crisp-skinned fish obediently upend itself. I stalked around while he cooked the rest of the fish. We all sat down to eat. I hid my homely, broken fillets under dark onions. Everyone marveled at the gloriously browned bass skin. My brother and I eyed each other coolly over our plates. Point, John.”

Why McDonalds Fries Taste So Good—Eric Schlosser, Atlantic Monthly
“The small and elite group of scientists who create most of the flavor in most of the food now consumed in the United States are called “flavorists.” They draw on a number of disciplines in their work: biology, psychology, physiology, and organic chemistry. A flavorist is a chemist with a trained nose and a poetic sensibility.”






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rahel aima

rahel is co-editor at THE STATE. Her research focuses on the gender, race, and the internet, and non-western futurisms. She is currently based in Dubai, and can also be found at here & here. @cnqmdi





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