Tag Archives: philosofood

Swine Dining

I found myself face to face with a bacon sandwich this sunny morn which got me thinking about our place on the food chain, evolutionarily secured by our brainy ability to stand back and hurl rocks at things. God forbid some smart porker sits back one day and learns how to sharpen a stick, or construct a rudimentary firearm. They eat anything, pigs, even us, given half a chance.

According to Reay Tannahil’s Food in History, the Jewish ‘clean meats’, as laid out in the kashrut – Jewish dietary laws – were those that ate grass, ‘chewed the cud’ (in other words, regurgitating food for an extra refining chew) and had cloven hooves (hooves with two toes). All three requirements have to be ticked off before the stamp of approval can be given.

Pigs fall short of these standards, and are rendered unclean. So it turns out that their not unclean just because a pig in shit is as happy as, well, a pig in shit. And here I was thinking that giving my local pig farmer a decent shampoo, shower gel and candle bathroom hamper from Boots might be enough to warrant admission into the ‘clean’ category. But it cannot be so. Indeed, a lot is required to make a dedicated Jew eat pork, or any of the other unclean foods like camel, hawk, tortoise, vulture, ferret, chameleon…. As Bertrand Russel recounts in his History of Philosophy, the ancient King Antiochus IV tried to lure some imprisoned Jews into impiety by offering them a nice plate of pork. When they refused, they were heartily tortured.

A dollop of ketchup goes on the bacon sandwich, and I’m happy to live in a time and place where eating pork or deciding not to passes without judgement. Yes, we enlightened contemporary western diners are free to consume pretty much anything without prejudice. Just so long as it’s not that Quorn stuff, bloody veggies.

– Adam


Augustine and his Mother

We’ve been chomping down some early medieval literature of late, working on the next philosofood book. The don of early Christian philosophy was St. Augustine, a man who made god-fearing explanations for the downfall of Rome, and went a good way to define the ethics of the church.

For mother’s day we wrote a little article about Augustine, who wrote a little about her mother, who “on the ninth day, then, of her sickness, the fifty-sixth year of her age, and the thirty-third of mine, was that religious and devout soul set free from the body.”

This part of his Confessions is a touching read. We complimented it with a traditional Algerian soup recipe.

Find it here: http://www.jammatology.co.uk/philosofood.html

– Adam

Philosofood launch

New Cross’s London Particular opened their particularly welcoming arms and hosted our launch last week. They made a Bacchus punch and a Socrates punch. The Bacchus one was probably responsible for my own cerebral haziness which developed towards the mid-section of the evening. Chris and I were toga-d up, if such a phrasal verb can be coined, enabling the alcohol-induced heat some points of ventilation. So that’s why the Romans wore togas…

Anyway, What’s On’s Martin Slidel popped by and has since written something of a event-cum-book review for Philosofood Book 1, which we heartily thank him for. You can read it here: http://www.whats-on-london.co.uk/review/philosofood-book-launch/

(WordPress is being difficult, and the link might not come up. Copy and paste works though)

And if you so wish you can purchase the book via our website, http://www.jammatology.co.uk


Getting our medieval groove on with the next Philosofood book, and currently reading about one Roger Bacon, whose sizzlingly scintillating name shows us what the NATO phonetic alphabet could have been. He thought old age was a disease – why, the Biblical patriarchs lived to 900 years, no less! Add red dragantum and albalcae to the diet and before long those unruly grey hairs will have been replaced by nice black ones. Go Bacon, you crazy heretic you!

– Adam