Prof. Merry White’s “Cooking for Crowds” 40th Anniversary Edition

First published in 1974, Prof. Merry White’s Cooking for Crowds combined recipes she acquired in college, ethnic and international dishes, and a few tricks she learned from her neighbor, and fellow BU Gastronomy colleague, Julia Child. To celebrate her cookbook’s 40th anniversary, Princeton University Press has released a special edition complete with original sketches by Edward Koren (now in color) and the same tried and true recipes.


cover of original mustard yellow version of the cookbook.

Check out what other scholars have to say about the new edition:

“Cooking for Crowds represents a coming-of-age moment in the cultural history of food, cooking, and taste in America. It has been one of my favorite cookbooks for more than thirty years.”–Peter Gourevitch, founding dean, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego

“Corky White has been persuaded to reissue the cookbook that was so much a part of our youthful gatherings. These diverse (and feasible) recipes for large tables are ideal for any occasion, whatever your group passions. Edward Koren’s illustrations capture the unbuttoned hirsute fellowship of ingredients and diners.”–Charles Maier, Harvard University

For some of us, this anniversary edition is our first experience with White’s cookbook, but for the past few generations, Cooking for Crowds provided a simple step-by-step introduction to cooking and an edible tour of the world’s diverse cuisines and cultures. And here in the field of Food Studies, we appreciate Merry White’s cookbook for more than its delicious recipes and can also recognize her diligent work as an cultural anthropologist.

Below is a sneak preview of the new edition plus a recipe for Toasted Almond Parfait:





Sneak peak pages provided by Princeton University Press

Congratulations, Professor White and here’s to many more editions of Cooking for Crowds! Find the book here and get to cooking!

Dr. Merry (Corky) White Wins 2013 ASFS Book Award

Congratulations to Boston University’s very own Dr. Merry (Corky) White on winning the 2013 ASFS Book Award for her new publication, Coffee Life in Japan. The award was announced and presented at the recent ASFS/AFHVS 2013 Annual Conference held in East Lansing, MI, where numerous BU Gastronomy students and professors presented their own food-related research.

image via UC Press

Read the reviews:

“White wanders from café to café, from brewing master to coffee merchant, with nonchalant pleasure. At times the book structure seems far from linear, returning to topics and concepts already touched on before, but White’s affection for the world she describes is infectious. The narrative often reads like a memoir, and the author is able to transport us to places and situations that are not only described with the eye of the anthropologist, but shared with the passion of a true coffee lover.” — Fabio Parasecoli, “Coffee Life in Japan: The Exotic and The Apparently Familiar,” Huffington Post

“And while White’s style is certainly more academic than storycraft, or even narrative nonfiction, her open, direct approach to the combined forces behind coffee’s sway over this part of the world (and, it should be added, her willingness to explore feminist questions many other writers wouldn’t have thought to ask) should be of of keen interest to anyone who likes coffee, urban spaces, or just Japan. You’ll find your eyes opened beyond the new and storied cafes you’ve heard of and into regional corners and paradoxical tastes, and into the social understanding of coffee as a break from spaces like work and life that, though challenging to all cultures, bear their own Japanese way of being—and have brought forth their own, distinctly Japanese, places of reverent escape.” — Liz Clayton, “Coffee Reads: Coffee Life in Japan,” Serious Eats

Read and listen to interviews about the book:

“What are the Japanese beans like? They favor a medium high roast, not a super dark roast. The Starbucks invasion hasn’t done very well. Yeah, they are everywhere, but they consider those beans charred and that the service isn’t good. They ask you three questions when you go to some coffee shops in Japan. What do you want for body, what do you want for density and what method of brewing would you like? And then they make your cup. And body, koku, is the most significant. It’s a little different from density. Body means a layered taste. Where you get, like with wine, a first hit and layers of taste that follow and what they call the nodogoshi, the taste that lingers down your throat. It’s a complicated set of profiles, it’s not one.” — an excerpt from a larger interview with Dr. White by Aaron Kagan at Boston Eater in 2012

Listen to a podcast discussing Dr. White’s new book and her interview with Marco Werman on PRI, The World.

Pick up a copy, grab a cup of coffee, and get to reading! Once again, congratulations Dr. White!