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Anne Mendelson is a freelance writer, editor, and reviewer specializing in food-related subjects. She has worked as consultant on several cookbooks, was  a contributing editor to the late lamented Gourmet, and has been an occasional contributor to the New York Times Dining Section and the Los Angeles Times Food Section. Her biography of Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, Stand Facing the Stove (Henry Holt 1996), won widespread critical praise for its insights into the history of modern American cooking. In 2000 - 2001 she held a fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, working on a study of food history in New York City. (Part of this research, a survey of pre-European foodways among the Lenape Indians, won the 2007 Sophie Coe Prize in Food History at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery.) Her most recent book is Milk, a cultural-historical survey of milk and fresh dairy products (Knopf 2008).She is now working on a study of how the global Chinese diaspora is influencing Chinese food in America.

Gunpowder in powder form (bottom) and paste form. Credit: Anne Mendelson

My interest in homemade gunpowder started last fall at a newish South Indian restaurant in Manhattan's Curry Hill neighborhood. I'd ordered idli, which resemble

You'll need a large pot to make homemade stock. Credit: iStockphoto

Most cooks I know either have stopped making stocks or broths to use in the kitchen or never got in the habit in the

Photo: All Gone book cover. Alex Witchel. Credit: Fred R. Conrad

Professional food writers may know more than other people about searing duck breasts à point or detecting hints of locally sourced turpentine in some

A bowl of whipped cream. Credit: iStockPhoto

It didn't look like a crime scene, but it was. The occasion was a Sunday brunch for food bloggers and writers at a pretty village

Sour cherries

By my lights, almost all store-bought cherries are for people who don't know any better -- meaning people who never were children in a


My cookbook collection has always tended to be a mishmash of things that struck my fancy at odd moments. Maybe the most miscellaneous exhibit


The first thing to say about Anne Willan's "The Cookbook Library" is that for years or decades to come, this beautiful volume is going


Ages ago I used to love a Friulian recipe for duck breast cooked in sguazeto -- a preparation akin to a ragu -- and