Los Angeles

Culinary Historians of Southern California present… Beans!

Our friends at the Culinary Historians of Southern California have alerted us to a program this Saturday at the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

A fascinating talk on a seemingly mundane subject: Renowned food historian Ken Albala will talk about the history of beans followed by bean farmer and author Steve Sando who will speak on what’s happening today as far as heritage bean farming and eating are concerned. Both authors will be signing their new, respective bean books at the reception.
Albala has written that, “the humble bean has always attracted attention – from Pythagoras’ notion that the bean hosted a human soul to St. Jerome’s indictment against bean-eating in convents (because they “tickle the genitals”), to current research into the deadly toxins contained in the most commonly eaten beans. Attitudes to this most basic of foodstuffs have always revealed a great deal about a society.”

When: Saturday, December 13, 2008 beginning at 10:30am
Where: Los Angeles Public Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles
Cost: Free

A reception with themed refreshments will follow the talk at approximately 11:30am.
Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific. He is the author of nine books about food, including the award-winning Beans: A History, Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe: 1250-1650, The Banquet and most recently Pancake. He is currently finishing a textbook for the Culinary Institute of America.  Albala is also editor of the Food Culture Around the World series for Greenwood Press, and co-editor of the journal Food, Culture and Society. You can find Ken online at his website, www.kenalbala.blogspot.com.

Steve Sando is president of Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food, a Napa-based company that promotes foods indigenous to the Americas, particularly heirloom beans. He is author of Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo. He is founder of The Family Farm League, a local group dedicated to encouraging food production among Napa’s wine mono-culture.