This special super-sized issue contains 10 articles about the people who gather, make, cook, serve, and eat food that is so mundane you might not give it a second thought - and so exotic you might not give it a first taste.THE FINANCIAL PAGE
"Check, Please" by James Surowiecki: Why we tip - and why, perhaps, we shouldn't.ANNALS OF TECHNOLOGY
"The Bakeoff" by Malcolm Gladwell: Project Delta aims to create the perfect cookie.IN THE KITCHEN
"The Egg Men" by Burkhard Bilger: What it takes to be a short-order cook in Las Vegas.TABOOS
Four short essays about food that a lot of people wouldn't even think of as food:
"Peacock" by Alexandra Fuller
"Tongue" by Cynthia Zarin
"Caviar" by Anya von Bremzen
"Dog" by Dana GoodyearPROFILES
"Gone Fishing" by Mark Singer: A New York City chef catches what he cooks.OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS
"Night Kitchens" by Judith Thurman: Japan's masters of artisanal tofu.LETTER FROM ECUADOR
"Speaking of Soup" by Calvin Trillin: While learning Spanish, you have to eat!(Originally published Sept. 5, 2005)
Take a spoonful of caviar, stir in some tofu, add a pinch of dog(!), and what you'll get is a small sense of the gastronomic delights served up in this fascinating collection. With writers like Malcolm Gladwell and Calvin Trillin, the quality of the prose is everything one would expect from The New Yorker.
But what sets these stories apart from everyday food writing is the journalism. Each and every piece transports the listener to another world. And that doesn't just mean foreign lands like Japan and Spain. Burkhard Bilger's profile of short order cooks in Las Vegas is so evocative you'll hear the eggs sizzling and feel the grease spattering.
Any one of these stories alone would be a treat. Mix them together and you get nourishment for your brain - and a feast for your ears.
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