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Petits Propos Culinaires 120

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Some of the world’s most adventurous food historians contribute to this thrice-yearly journal of articles and excerpts from works in progress. And thankfully, the pieces seem to be chosen with an interest in good writing as well as good scholarship.

Among the efforts here: Leehu Sigler and Nathalie Cook of McGill Library explore the curious phenomenon of "enigmatic bills of fare," in which 18th-century English hosts offered their guests whimsical clues to what they would be served; the practice spread and evolved and by the late 19th-century North American newspapers were printing  "conundrum suppers" as a form of entertainment. Phillip Hyman recounts a vogue for eating cats that lasted many decades in Paris, though it was not universally appreciated there. And Di Murrell examines the cultural importance of teapots from Yixing to Chinese enjoyment of the beverage.  There are book reviews as well.

Paperback. Black-and-white photos and line drawings.

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