[Episode 100] The Meta of Food – All About Food Besides Eating It!

Jason is back on the podcast for one last, final episode! Yes, Thoughts on the Table ends today as it hits its 100th episode with the biggest topic we could think of: the meta of food, i.e. anything that has to do with food besides the physical sensations of actually eating it. Join us in our journey through this fascinating subject as we touch on the concept of authenticity and on how culture influences our appreciation of flavor.

Conversely, in the second part of the episode, Jason and I discuss some cooking trends that affect the flavor of food. These include the tendency to finish cooking pasta in its sauce and to alter traditional recipes to make them visually pleasing for sharing on social media, more so than with our guests!

Special Thanks

I’d like to thank all of you who have been listening and the 65 amazing guests that I had the pleasure of interviewing and collaborating with. I’d like to make a special mention to those who have bought into the project and really helped drive it, starting with Jason, and including Gino De Blasio, Manu, Frank Fariello, Diana Zahuranec, Raffaella De Amici, Rick Zullo, David Scott Allen, Nick Zingale, Mark Preston, Simon Pagotto, Melinda King, Tina Prestia, Sim Salis, Eva, Diana Pinto – who also contributed to this last episode with her precious research and insight.

Episode References



  • Marcella Cucina, by Marcella Hazan, William Morrow Cookbooks, 1997
  • Millericette, by Erina Gavotti, A.Vallardi, 1995
  • Mangiare e Bere all’Italiana, by Luigi Carnacina and Luigi Veronelli, Garzanti, 1962
  • Recipes and Memories, by Sophia Loren, GT Publishing Corporation, 2000
  • Le Quattro Stagioni in Cucina, by Lisa Biondi, AMZ Editrice, 1981

[Thoughts on the Table – 60] The Basic Rules of Italian Food with David Scott Allen

Blogger and photographer David Scott Allen from Cocoa and Lavender is back on the podcast to discuss a guest article I wrote in collaboration with Diana Zahuranec and other bloggers on “The Basic Rules of Italian Food.” For instance, among the various topics, we talk about the fact that no Italian would dare to cut spaghetti with a knife, to have a cappuccino after a meal, or to cook pasta other than in plenty of salted water at a full boil.

Cocoa and Lavender Right Pasta, Wrong Province

To conclude the episode, David introduces his latest recipe which is dedicated to the traditional Ligurian pasta shape called “Corzetti.”

You can follow David Scott Allen also on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

The music in the episode is by www.purple-planet.com.


[Thoughts on the Table – 43] Introducing David Scott Allen from Cocoa & Lavender

This episode’s guest is writer, photographer David Scott Allen, author of the amazing blog: Cocoa and Lavender.

I discovered David’s work only recently, but I got very quickly into it, joining its large fan base. David writes stories about food, and in doing that he provides detailed step-by-step recipes with plenty of information on each dish. And he has been doing this with strict weekly cadence since 2010!

A Classical musician by training and profession, David has traveled in Europe for extended periods and around the world, learning languages and absorbing people’s cultures, especially through their food. But out of all cultures, as you will hear, David considers himself “Italian in spirit”, having found in the Italian lifestyle his deepest connection (possibly also due to his exposure to Italy through his aunt’s marriage into an Italian family).

Join our conversation to hear David’s fascinating story directly from his own voice, with entertaining anecdotes and plenty of useful information on Italy and its true cuisine.

You can follow David Scott Allen on his blog, Cocoa and Lavender, as well as on Instagram (davidscottallen), Facebook (facebook.com/cocoaandlavender), and Pinterest (pinterest.com/cocoalavender).