CulinaryLore.com is a simple website with categories but written as a blog. It is written primarily by Eric Troy which is me, the person who wrote this about page, so that’s the last time I will refer to myself in the third person, on this page, at least.
Here, what you see is what you get, simple, but well-researched, over-analyzed, and (probably) informative entries on all sorts of food and cooking lore. Why did I choose the word lore?
Well, just about every other word you can think of was already taken. And “lore” has the connotation not only of knowledge but of legend and mythos. It fits the bill if you will. I try not to get over-precious about the myths I bust or the statements about food or cooking I make. Even if you don’t like to cook, you still might be curious about many of the subjects tackled here. I will tend to avoid hot-button topics on this site and try to keep things light, but of course, I cannot avoid controversial subjects completely.
I do have a background in restaurant cooking, but I don’t hold any degrees. I have a very good background in history, especially ancient history. I studied archaeology, language, and linguistics, and I took 4 semesters of Latin in college. I can’t remember much of that, but it helps me in relating the origins of many of the words we use in food and cooking.
Although I have a great love for and curiosity about history and language, most of my research and critical thinking buck is spent on more scientific topics, including the food science topics you will find on CulinaryLore. This may change as history holds more attraction for me than science, and I find the current emphasis on food science to take all the taste out of food. Information is one thing, dry and overly verbose information-overload is another. You will not find me writing about a six-day experiment I performed to determine how quickly guacamole turns brown in different conditions (just eat the stuff!) While we’re on the subject, you may want to take the results of informal food experiments with a grain of salt.
I can’t guarantee I will be one hundred percent right about everything I tackle here, and I make no guarantees nor provide any warranties stating that everything you read here is one-hundred percent correct, whether about cooking or another food-related topic, but you can be darn sure that I’ll work my rear off trying to provide the most accurate and cross-checked information I can, and hopefully, I’ll do it in a relatable way. One thing I will point, out, again is again, is that food preference is a subjective experience and reliant upon a great many overlapping factors. Just because someone tells you one method is the absolute and only correct cooking method does not mean you will find that it produces results you prefer. Food preferences and how we acquire them is another topic that deserves as much attention as anything else tackled on this site!
Most likely, then, more history and myth will be covered here than food science, although there are a great many articles on science as well. I tend to cover those things that might satisfy your curiosity rather than the “chemistry of cooking,” although there is a good bit of that, too. If you think there should be more of that kind of thing here, then write an article and have it published here!
And that brings me to what is different about this site compared to many (but not all because there are some great ones) food blogs that claim to be about food history or food science. What is different is that I will not write an article about some great tomatoes I found at the farmer’s market and then tag it “food science” because something I mentioned vaguely relates to the subject. Likewise, if I claim to be writing an article about the history of some food-related subject, that is exactly what you will get! I will not write about a meal someone might have eaten one time on a winter night 300 years ago and call it food history, for, unless you plan to duplicate said meal, and maybe film it for YouTube, I’m going to bore you to tears.
No, my ideal reader is a person that really likes to cook, sure, but is extremely curious about food on another level. Many food-related subjects have nothing to do with actually preparing and eating food! You might want to know, for example, why we call a diversion or false trail a red herring. Or, you might be curious about whether microwaves cook from the inside out. There are even psychological aspects, such as that phenomenon we like to call our dessert stomach. All that aside, you will find plenty of cooking tips on this site.
If you have a curiosity about some food-related something or other and you think it would be a good subject for this site, why don’t you let me know? If I think it’s a good fit, I’ll research the topic thoroughly and write up an article about it. Even if I don’t want to do that, I’ll still try to find out the answer for you.
You can contact me with questions or ideas here. and if you would like to write a guest article for CulinaryLore, that would be cool, I’d love to check it out. Although I try my best to get everything right, I am not perfect and I make mistakes. Sometimes they are typos. Sometimes I am just dead wrong. If you see an error on my part, if you would be so kind, just let me know. I will verify (if necessary), correct the mistake to the best of my ability, and be sure to give you a shout in the process. Hopefully, this does not happen too often.