The North and Rye – WritersCultures


The North and Rye - November 7, 2021, 1 to 3:00 PM Eastern Time (Live Event), then all November.

Dr. Darra Goldstein, Gabriella Gershenson, Zuza Zak, Laura Valli, and Katrina Kollegaeva of Rosehip and Rye will discuss the history and current state of food and drink in Russia, The Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and The Caucasus, especially the love of things fermented, sour, and rye. Zuza Zak has recently published her book, Amber and Rye (Kitchen Arts and Letters). Darra’s most recent cookbook is Beyond the North Wind, and she will also give us a preview of her upcoming book, The Kingdom of Rye (pre-order, Amazon). Videos on kama, hemp seed butter, fermented walnuts, walnut shio-koji, kvass, Serbian fermented stuffed peppers, fermented foods for kids, pumpkin-fermented pickles, brined tomatoes, and rye!


Rye Bread and Chocolate Mousse from Amber and Rye, by Zuza Zak. Photo Ola O. Smit @olaosmit

Zuza Zak calls herself a Storyteller-Cook and her aim is to inspire the world to cook and eat more food from Eastern Europe. Zuza was born in Communist Poland and spent her childhood watching her grandmothers cook (and often queue for hours). Zuza’s interest lies in the culture and history of food and as such she uses storytelling as a medium for delving into another cuisine and through it, into another culture. Both in her writing and her food-focussed PhD at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL), Zuza explores food as a cultural anthropologist, in the context of identity, society and culture. She is the author of Polska, Amber and Rye, and is currently working on a new book and her PhD.


Zuza Zak and her daughter from Amber and Rye, recalling her Baltic Journey. Photo by Yasin Salazar


Register for WritersCultures: https://conta.cc/3bplEtj


Fermentation Journeys by Sandor Katz is now available – inscribed however you like by Sandor from Short Mountain Cultures  in Tennessee. It’s also available from our good friends at The Cultured Pickle Shop in Berkeley, California. They sell the most amazing pickles, some packaged for pick up orders. If you are lucky enough to have an actual hard copy in hand you know what all the fuss is about.


Kevin Farley of The Cultured Pickle Shop. Alex Hozven and Kevin created a great video for our WritersCultures event celebrating Sandor Katz and the International Fermentation Community. It’s running for the entire month of November in our Vimeo showcases. have you registered yet?


December 19, 2021, 1 to 3 PM EST Fruit From the Sands

Fruit From the Sands

The Silk Road Origins of the Foods we eat. Dr. Robert Spengler III, the author of the book, Fruit from the Sands will discuss the book and field questions. The most fascinating archeobotanical history of the dissemination of food and culture and civilization from Central Asia to the rest of the world through The Silk Road and it’s predecessor.


“The foods we eat have a deep and often surprising past. From almonds and apples to tea and rice, many foods that we consume today have histories that can be traced out of prehistoric Central Asia along the tracks of the Silk Road to kitchens in Europe, America, China, and elsewhere in East Asia. The exchange of goods, ideas, cultural practices, and genes along these ancient routes extends back five thousand years, and organized trade along the Silk Road dates to at least Han Dynasty China in the second century BC. Balancing a broad array of archaeological, botanical, and historical evidence, Fruit from the Sands presents the fascinating story of the origins and spread of agriculture across Inner Asia and into Europe and East Asia. Through the preserved remains of plants found in archaeological sites, Robert N. Spengler III identifies the regions where our most familiar crops were domesticated and follows their routes as people carried them around the world. With vivid examples, Fruit from the Sands explores how the foods we eat have shaped the course of human history and transformed cuisines all over the globe.”
University of California Press

All Zoom events are free. A subscribers ticket to any event allows you to watch videos until 12/31/21. An InRetrospect ticket provides access to all events (live or prerecorded, although we don’t make actual replay event recordings available), 200+ food, fermentation and culture videos. Includes videos from the last 5 years including never before screened archive interviews and full length videos. Until 3/31/2022. Gets rolled out over a four month period. 


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