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The Feminist History of Food Journalism

Justice Among the Jell-o Recipes: The Feminist History of Food Journalism

By Suzanne Cope

When my Nani — my Sicilian-American grandmother — died, I inherited her sticky and stuffed-full recipe box. I knew this trove existed when I was young, yet I never recalled her checking a cookbook or a clipping for the Sunday dinners of my childhood in a small, upstate New York town. We were usually the first to arrive, and soon she and my mom would have a bubbling pot of gravy (red sauce) on the stove and a pot roast in the oven, along with numerous salads and side dishes that my aunts would help finish.

I had hoped the small chest contained the formula for seasoning her sauce and an ingredient list for her stuffed peppers. Instead I was surprised — and disappointed — to find a collection of recipes and articles snipped from the food section of newspapers starting around my mother’s birth in 1949. These recipes included boxed mixes that claimed to save time for working moms and “Asian” slaw that provided a peek into a different culture. The clippings had run in local newspapers alongside profiles of professional women or commentary on food prices, among other articles. Read more at The Los Angeles Review of Books.

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