One of the arguments I’m making in my book has to do with the movement in American baking from simple and unadorned to fancy and visually enticing, and how that shift went hand in hand with the decline of craft and home cooking. I find it useful sometimes to try to graph and diagram things, even (especially?) when they’re not obviously quantitative, but when you’re writing cultural history, where “data” is largely fictional, you can easily oversimplify what you’re trying to visualize. What follows is a useful way to think about craft and ornament in baking, but take it with a grain of salt. Read on
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A chef's sampler.
Morsels recently composed.
You know the traditional Venn diagram, with the three overlapping circles? You can’t draw one with four circles. It’s mathematically impossible to draw four circles, each of which partially overlaps each of the others. But a guy named Anthony Edwards came up with a way to do it with other shapes.
This kind of diagram is called an Edwards-Venn diagram, and I used it to chart first date options based on whether they are expensive, romantic, intimate, and/or novel. (Why did I do this? Why not?) There’s one space left blank: I couldn’t think of a first date that would be expensive, novel, and romantic but not intimate. Anybody got any ideas? (Click the image to see the full-sized version.)