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The Core of an Onion: Virtual Author Event with Mark Kurlansky

Monday, November 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

New York Times-bestselling author Mark Kurlansky is known for fascinating deep dives into seemingly simple foods. His compelling looks at cod, salt, milk, oysters and salmon have been treasured by readers and earned him notable awards such as The James Beard Award, Bon Appetit’s Food Writer of the Year Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Glenfiddich Award.

Now, Kurlansky turns his attention to one of the most ubiquitous foods on the planet: onions. Uniquely flourishing in just about every climate and culture around the world, onions have provided the essential basis not only for sautés, stews, and sauces, but for medicines, metaphors, and folklore. In THE CORE OF AN ONION: Peeling the Rarest Common Food – Featuring More Than 100 Historical Recipes (on sale November 7th, 2023 / Bloomsbury / Hardcover / $28.00), Kurlansky explores how and why this abundantly commonplace yet extraordinarily indispensable food reigns from Italy to India and everywhere in between.

 Featuring historical images and his own pen-and-ink drawings, Kurlansky takes readers through the scientific, cultural, historical, and gastronomical layers of the onion, examining everything from its symbolism in ancient Egypt and Greece, the numerous varieties and climates that it flourishes in, as well as its uses in literature, cinema, art and language, from William Carlos Williams and Pablo Neruda poems to still-life paintings by Renoir and Van Gogh. In the kitchen, Kurlansky celebrates the raw, roasted, creamed, marinated, and pickled, as he combs through dozens of cookbooks from generations past to find over 100 onion dishes from around the world, including Parisian onion soup eaten to cure late-night drunkenness, Hemingway’s raw onion and peanut butter sandwich, and the Gibson, a debonair gin martini garnished with a pickled onion. He also tackles one of the biggest universal dilemmas that onion-lovers face: how to cut one without crying.

Drawing readers in with its savory stories and delectable anecdotes, THE CORE OF AN ONION proves why the onion has captivated society for decades, and why it remains of the world’s most beloved culinary staples.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Milk!HavanaPaperThe Big Oyster1968SaltThe Basque History of the WorldCod, and Salmon, among other titles. He has received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Bon Appétit‘s Food Writer of the Year Award, the James Beard Award, and the Glenfiddich Award. He lives in New York City and can be found online at www.markkurlansky.com.

Please register; Zoom links will be sent out before the event.

Plus: Onion-themed giveaways for the audience!


Monday, November 27, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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