La Bouche Speaks: An Interview with Paula Wolfert

La Bouche Speaks: An Interview with Paula Wolfert by David Leite

This interview rambles, taking oblique turns of logic and subject, much like Wolfert herself. Attempting to make it linear would have done this celebrated writer and thinker a disservice. In fact, I debated for more than a year about putting the interview into text form. Nonetheless, much had to be edited for length. (The original interview was four times longer.) Still, Wolfert’s warmth, eccentricity, and encyclopedic knowledge is extant. As an interviewer, I soon discovered that asking carefully researched questions was futile; the merest comment on my part would unleash a torrent of stories about politics, culture, geography, social history — you name it — and all far more interesting than anything I could have imagined. It’s this locomotive-like loquacity that has won Wolfert the nickname La Bouche, or The Mouth, given to her by friend James Villas. Read more “La Bouche Speaks: An Interview with Paula Wolfert” »

Whether Fresh or Canned, Pumpkin Takes the Cake

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s not your normal type of dread, like the kind that takes up residence in your stomach every time you pay bills or when your boss unexpectedly arrives at your weekend place with Vuitton bags in hand. No, this dread is more primal. It occurs every November when I know I’ll once again be facing a fixture of the Thanksgiving table: pumpkin pie.

Now, I’m all for tradition. But come on, people! It’s been 382 years since the Pilgrims sat down and made history. Shouldn’t we have a little more to show for it in the dessert department? Refusing to be a gastronomic automaton and mindlessly bake yet another pumpkin pie, I instead went searching for a new American classic. Read more “Whether Fresh or Canned, Pumpkin Takes the Cake” »