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Charles Perry is a former rock and roll journalist (staff writer at Rolling Stonein the 1970s) who suavely transitioned into food writing in the 1980s. During his 18 years at the Los Angeles Times’ award-winning Food section he was twice a finalist for a James Beard award. He is a world-renowned food historian who has been cited in books in seven languages, and he is a major contributor to the “Oxford Companion to Food,” a two-term trustee of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery and president and co-founder of the Culinary Historians of Southern California.

Classic blancmange, pictured, is even better when you blend the fruit right in. Credit: Copyright 2015 Lesyy

There's a dessert that's scarcely known in America but all too familiar in England, where it is today considered the epitome of blandness, no

A traditional Yemeni meal of lahuh and stew. Credit: iStockphoto / lenazap

Yemen is a remote and little-known country, closed to the outside world for centuries and still not very accessible. Not surprisingly, it has a

Carrots can pair nicely with traditional Middle Eastern flavors. Credit: Copyright iStockPhoto

Here's a vegetarian idea -- carrots with tahini. Think hummus, only with the mild sweetness (and vitamin A) of carrots. The Middle East has an

Poulet au fromage. Credit: Charles Perry

"Chicken with cheese": The words conjure up visions of that college-student standby, the fried-chicken melt. But poulet au fromage is something quite different --

A spot of whipt posset. Credit: Charles Perry

Here's a holiday drink that's loaded with tradition -- and most respectable tradition at that: It comes from Martha Washington's personal cookbook. But it's

Blueberry ketchup. Credit: Charles Perry

There used to be lots of ketchups, but now we have only one, the omnipresent tomato. In the 19th century, though, ketchup was often

Pineapple-butterscotch cake. Credit: Charles Perry

In the beginning, there was the pineapple, and it was good -- very, very good, about as good as anything ever gets. But if

Maple-hazelnut fudge. Credit: Charles Perry

As we slide into the holiday season, my mind turns toward maple: maple syrup, maple frosting -- and maple fudge. The world has quite enough