A new method of newslettering: Once a month-ish I’ll share with you a few briefly discussed topics (here, metaphor and einkorn) with matching recipes, and a couple aberrations, no doubt. 


To begin….

The image above is from the inaugural exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, which focused on design process more than designed product. Hans Hollein made “Variation of a Basic Item: Bread,” pictured above (it was accompanied by a similar exploration of hammers) as part of the museum's opening, MANtransFORMS, in 1967. "We wanted to disprove the notion that ‘form follows function,'” Hollein said. (As told to Hans Ulrich Obrist in e-flux, October 2015)

Einkorn, Unlikely Beneficiary of the Gluten Persecution 

At this point you may or may not have heard something about einkorn. Like many forebears to great prestige and notoriety, it has suffered a long sleep in the peripheral shadow of common taste, despite being the honest to goodness Mother of Wheat. Really, it was cultivated likely as far back as 10,000 years, long before the rightfully so-called bread wheat (triticum aestivum), the stuff in your bag of all-purpose flour and 95% of wheat grown on the planet today, even existed.


There’s a lot more information out there about einkorn in 2018 than in years prior (though availability to procure trails behind press), it’s resurgence a benefit of the culinary elite’s embracing of all things ancient, along with the (very American) eternal search for a panacea including bread without bloat. Don’t be misled, einkorn absolutely has gluten in it, but even for many with bonafide Celiac Disease, einkorn often produces few to zero symptoms of inflammation. Further proof of nuance in the great Gluten Persecution of the modern age...


Continue on site for an einkorn sourdough recipe and 630 more words on why the grain is relevant right now, aside from flavor never going out of style (hint: this is not primarily about good health or ‘self-care’)

Fleshy Flat, Metaphor for a Recipe 

Bread and language are tied at the waist. Bread, as much a word as a spectrum of experience, or a picture, or just a punctum in a picture, or an idea about something else altogether... its translations have never been direct. Synonyms flex and fray and context matters. Its definitions manage to be obvious but also difficult to articulate. Bread is money, bread is life, bread is a bundle of pulverized grain and water smashed together and heated until edible. Which of these is a metaphor?

Metaphors are flashlights for cogencies, but they’re back alleys, too. We’re taught metaphor when young enough to ask why we can’t just say what we mean, instead, but apparently too young to commit to that directness. Zadie talks of Lazy Rivers, like Heraclitus, but I made a bread of flesh. A Frankenstein, product of time and some spores coaxed invisibly from the air.

Why should I call this bread flesh when it’s just flour and water? Does it make you feel sick to think of eating it? Does it do the opposite- cull you to care, to coddle, and savor? To be sure, it’s just bread, but lacking a home or a label. It’s made of a very wet dough poured onto a sheet tray and left to fester before baking. It’s reminiscent of some others (focaccia, a naked pizza), but unyielding of a name. It’s just a flat fleshy thing, and now I know I say ‘flesh’ so that you might understand, without any titular reference, what it feels like from far away. It will either implore you to make it, or the exact opposite. 

This is what it looks like baked and wiggling, and here is a RECIPE


An astronomical chart made of cake and sugar by obscure artist P.K. Schimmack aka "The Fancy Cake and Bread Baker"

This is a three question survey. 

I will be moderating the Saveur Cookbook Club in April, where we’ll be focusing on Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. If you’d like to follow along you can join the Facebook group, borrow a library copy, buy a used one, or wait for me to post a couple of the recipes on All are welcome. 


A few months ago I made a simit forest in Berlin, the trees weighted down by German brot. Germany is home to the largest Turkish immigrant population, and simit, the classic Turkish street snack, is available from a number of Turkish owned and operated bakeries around town. Of course, you'd be hard pressed to find a shop that carries both classic German brown bread and Turkish simit or lavash under the same roof. Here are some photos.
Discussion of bread subsidy cuts in Jordan, as in Syria, here.

Available online texts worth reading:

How Histories Make Geographies, Arjun Appadurai

The Violence of the Green Revolution, Vandana Shiva 

The Evolving Role of Bread in the Tuscan Gastronomic Culture, The University of Decebren, Hungary

Intro to Food Democracy, Oliver Vodeb

A Century of Change In The American Loaf, Karen Hess

The call remains for assistance with research and collation of data for the Bread Web, a world map of regional bread types. No special skills necessary, just access to internet/books/people with memories of bread. A working knowledge of Excel wouldn’t hurt. Email me at if you're interested in assisting and remember the easiest way to help is by submitting your own bread types at will, using this form

That's all for now. Long live bread, and, as ever, fuck Trump.  


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