Author

Dylan Gordon

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Under the Radar: An Interview with Olivier Matthon

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Olivier Matthon, itinerant labourer and ethnographer, is the author of  Under the Radar: Notes from the Wild Mushroom Trade. It tells the story of the seasonal migrant labourers who harvest wild mushrooms in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and is out now from Pioneers Press. Dylan Gordon caught up with Olivier between wild harvests for an interview. Your bio reads a lot like a mushroom...

Wild Food Spring #5: Fäviken

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In this series, Dylan Gordon considers cookbooks, memoirs and fictions about wild, foraged foods. Reviewed in this essay:  Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson, Phaidon Press, 2012. Chef Magnus Nilsson, at “the world’s most isolated and daring restaurant,” deep in the heart of the northern Swedish wilderness, has been called “part Viking lumberjack and part Shaman.” Rebelling against the overly-fancified...

Wild Food Spring #3: A Feast of Weeds

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In this series, Dylan Gordon considers cookbooks, memoirs and fictions about wild, foraged foods. Reviewed in this essay: A Feast of Weeds by Luigi Ballerini, University of California Press, 2012. Field guidebooks often overwhelm me with their formidable erudition. First in each entry come the botanical descriptors, identifying features of leaf and root that mostly escape my untrained eyes. Last...

Wild Food Spring #2: “They Can’t Ration These”

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In this series, Dylan Gordon considers cookbooks, memoirs and fictions about wild, foraged foods. Reviewed in this essay: They Can’t Ration These by Vicomte de Mauduit, Persephone Books, 2004 [1940]. Foods foraged from the wild are this year’s hot culinary trend, and all that limelight makes it easy to forget one fact: in much of history, and for many living today, wild foods are last resorts...

Wild Food Spring #1: A Natural Science of Cooking

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The first in a spring-time series, Dylan Gordon considers cookbooks, memoirs and fictions about wild, foraged foods. Reviewed in this essay: Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking by Andoni Luis Aduriz, Phaidon Press, 2012. I first ate at Mugaritz, today one of the top three restaurants in the world, in 2003. At the time there was a vogue among Spain’s Michelin-starred restaurants for the highly...

Livestock for some, ownership debates for all: A review of Who Owns the Stock? Collective and Multiple Property Rights in Animals

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Reviewed in this essay: Who Owns the Stock? Collective and Multiple Property Rights in Animals, Khazanov, Anatoly and Günther Schlee, eds., Berghahn Books, 2012. This volume suggests that, in the face of the rapid diffusion of the notion of private property across the globe, there remain three main domains of objects subject to more complicated arrangements: “land,” “large domestic animals,” and...

Eccles Cake: A Review of an Unlikely Pastry

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O, the Eccles Cake. Imagine noticing it for the first time, hidden off to the side of the display case at some generic local bakery (unthinkable that it could take pride of place): you might suspect it to be an unfortunate oddity conjured up by an idiosyncratic proprietor. But this dry, dense, often shriveled-looking round, studded with knobs of what might be prune, can be found flaking its...