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Lectures from the Allen Room and the Wertheim Study: A Salad Story: In the Beginning, long ago, there was Lettuce - Judith Weinraub


November 15, 2012

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In conjunction with Lunch Hour: NYC - exhibit at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, until February 17, 2013

When given the opportunity to choose a subject for a series of global food histories, Judith Weinraub looked for something that hadn't already been written about extensively, such as chocolate or spices or salt.  She chose Salads, not fully understanding how complicated the subjec was.

Soon enough, she realized the difficulty of defining just what a salad is and has been throughout history, and that in order to do that, she must start at the beginning of Western food history, from the Greeks and Romans to the present. Over time, she discovered, salads have been many things—cold vegetable dishes designed to correct an imbalance within the body, decorative greens to accompany roasted meats, lady-like luncheon dainties, even whole meals. But in different varieties and forms, it all began with lettuce. 

Judith Weinraub, a writer in residence in the Wertheim Study and an independent scholar is writing a book on the global history of salads for the highly praised Edible Series on food and drink published by the Reaktion Press.  An award-winnng reporter and editor for the Washington Post for 25 years, Weinraub recently completed an oral history project Voices from the Food Revolution: People Who Changed the Way Americans Eat, for New York University's Fales Library's Food Studies collection.  She has also been a W. K. Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and is now living and working in New York.

Click here for other lectures from the Wertheim Study.