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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.

We're approaching the time of year when you're expected to bring special little edibles to parties. Here's one that's a long, long way from

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Medieval doctors gravely warned that eggplant caused sore throat, cancer, freckles and insanity. Eventually, people rebelled. The 10th-century Syrian poet Kushajam wrote: "The doctor

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Why don't we toast coconut? I mean, everybody knows macaroons are way more aromatic than raw coconut. It's not as if we never toast coconut

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Hot slaw has always sounded like a bad idea to me. In the first place, that old-time dish was based on a total misunderstanding

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About 10 years ago, we went crazy for wrap sandwiches. And then we quickly got sick of them. Mostly, this was because of the bread

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It sounds like a super-modern idea: ravioli filling poached on its own and served without the pasta. That's our go-for-the-gusto, eat-dessert-first spirit. Plus everybody's

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While we're waiting for fresh local fruits -- and, in some regions, that might take a while, after this winter -- what do we

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When we think about making ice cream -- trust me, a couple of weeks from now the idea will occur to you again --

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