Bookmarked Making sense of modern recipes It's not your fault; even professional chefs encounter problems by Jeremy Cherfas (Eat This Podcast)
  1. Peter Hertzmann’s website à la carte will keep you occupied for hours. If you just want the paper we were talking about, here it is.
  2. Measure for Measure is the article I mentioned by Raymond Sokolov on why Americans measure by volume. It was published in Natural History magazine, July 1988, pp 80–83, and there seems also to be a version in the 1988 Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking. Good luck finding it online. Or, drop me a note …
  3. I was pleasantly surprised to find a facsimile of the original Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book at Amazon.
I want to read a few of these sources from Jeremy’s podcast–particularly the Hertzmann paper Modern Recipes: A Case of Miscommunication.

I had previously heard a reference (though I don’t recall where) to Fanny Farmer’s cookbook helping to popularize the American use of the cup measure. It certainly hasn’t done American cooking any favors.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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  1. Perhaps the Fanny Farmer reference was from a discussion with my friend John Astin whose father Allen V. Astin was the director of the United States National Bureau of Standards in the 50’s and 60’s?

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