Profile Photo
An American cultural and social historian, Theresa McCulla grew up in Richmond, Va., and has happily eaten her way through stints living in New England, the Midwest and Southwest. She studied Romance languages at Harvard College, worked as an Italian media analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency and moonlighted in professional kitchens – both sweet and savory – in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass. While overseeing the Food Literacy Project at Harvard University, she managed the university’s two farmers’ markets and organized food-related events and cooking classes for students. In culinary school in Cambridge, she learned how to saber a champagne bottle and make pâté. Currently a Ph.D. candidate in Harvard’s American Studies program, she is writing a history of food and ethnicity in mid-19th to mid-20th-century New Orleans.

By Theresa McCulla

Mastering the art of Szechuan cooking

America’s first cookbook of Szechuan home recipes was co-authored by one woman who didn’t speak English and another who proclaimed it to be the most boring thing she had ever done. Yet during the course of nearly four decades, “Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook” quietly achieved cult status among American enthusiasts of Szechuan cuisine. Contributors to online …

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Wrecking ball can’t topple memories of the old Italian neighborhood

Italian-American author Tina De Rosa published a semi-autobiographical novel titled “Paper Fish.” In it, she chronicled the experiences of growing up in an Italian neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. De Rosa wrote her book in 1980, when her childhood neighborhood no longer existed. Years earlier, the city had demolished it as part of a mid-century …

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

Meat lab on Wisc. campus offers real hands-on learning

To help pay for the semester’s books or a weekend night out, many American college students hold down jobs at the campus library or gym. But when Alex Richter goes to work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he dons rubber boots, a white coat and a hairnet. Richter is a campus butcher. Richter and 15 …

Read full story · Comments { 1 }