The entire trendy foodie world - food writing, food television, celebrated restaurants - is all about food for the rich. But the most important food issue is how to feed the poor or the hardworking middle class.
The impact of the Vietnam War on TV made everyone recognize the importance of visual media.
Chroniclers of the role of paper in history are given to extravagant pronouncements: Architecture would not have been possible without paper. Without paper, there would have been no Renaissance. If there had been no paper, the Industrial Revolution would not have been possible. None of these statements is true.
Don't forget the Vietnam War was brought to us by Democrats.
People in America think of it as a sad and downtrodden place, and I guess it could be, but it's not because that's not who Cubans are. In Cuba, you get a good story every day you go out walking. People are so funny.
I always wanted to write a book about a common food that becomes a commercial commodity and therefore becomes economically important and therefore becomes politically important and culturally important. That whole process is very interesting to me. And salt seemed to me the best example of that, partly because it's universal.
I would like to know what politicians eat on the campaign trail, what Picasso ate in his pink period, what Walt Whitman ate while writing the verse that defined America, what mid-westerners bring to potlucks, what is served at company banquets, what is in a Sunday dinner these days, and what workers bring for lunch.
It's harder to kill off fish than mammals. But after 1,000 years of hunting the Atlantic cod, we know that it can be done.
For some reason, some kids have a fear of food. Some adults do, too. The best cure for that is to try a lot of different kinds of things. The more you try, the more experiences you have.
I love seeing what people are eating. It's a great way of looking at what is similar and what is different about people. It's sociology and anthropology and history rolled into one.
Things that become important to economies become ritualized and become deified. Because I'm Jewish, I always thought it was interesting that in Judaism, salt seals a bargain, particularly the covenant with God. Some people, when they bless bread, they dip it in salt. Same thing exists in Islam.
I wrote a children's book because children have the most open minds. They are the people who really want to learn.
Dominicans, Nicaraguans, and even the already highly skilled Cubans greatly improved their baseball skills when occupied by U.S. troops. The only acceptable resistance to a hated American presence was to try to beat them in baseball games.
One of the things I am most proud of is refusing to serve in the military when drafted during the Vietnam War.
Unlike your fish tank, in nature, fish eat each other. When the population of a species gets too low, it will die out.
Environmentalists aren't nearly sensitive enough to the fact that they are messing around with struggling people and their livelihoods. They forget that the fishermen are the people with the most immediate vested interest in having a healthy sea.
Europeans are far more anti-war than Americans. They've had more wars, and they really just don't believe in it any more. But Americans do.
A water route to Chinese trade replacing the long, arduous Silk Road was a great dream of the Renaissance.
When I was 13 or 14, I took this speed-reading course. A lot of the things you do in speed reading you shouldn't do to a good author, but I've been reading really fast ever since.
I have lost count of how many wars I have actively and largely ineffectively tried to stop.
Everyone always gets a little irritated by imitators, but mostly I'm flattered. What if you never did anything anyone wanted to copy?
I started writing 'Cod' at a time when people were first beginning to take an interest in the problem of fisheries because the Grand Banks had closed.
Food is interesting to me because it's a way of understanding culture and societies and history. I would never write about food just as food. Just like I would never write about baseball just as baseball.
You could be a locavore in Florida or southern California. But I tried that. It was really limiting.
Food is the best way to teach history and geography and most everything else.
Commercial fishing is always so behind the curve of technology that they were building ships with wooden hulls and masts in the 1940s, though it also had a diesel engine, which probably was used most of the time.
I have this whole section in my oyster book where I talk about how New Yorkers have gotten divorced from the sea and completely forget that they live by the sea, and I suggest that this happened when they lost their oysters.
Salt is an unusual food product because it is almost universal - all human beings need salt, and most choose to eat more than is necessary.
I read pretty well in French and Spanish. I don't want to read a book written in French or Spanish in translation.
I think that Judaism has been, throughout its history since A.D. 70, a diaspora culture that's all about being a minority. In fact, being a small minority. When I'm in Israel, I cannot get used to the notion that we're all Jewish. It doesn't seem to me that we're supposed to all be Jewish.
Before Birdseye, hardly anybody ate frozen food because it was awful.
I grew up in a neighbourhood where there was a lot of fighting. It's what boys did during school, during recess, after school. And I was a fairly large kid. So everyone wanted to see if they could take me on.
It's true that writing and pastry-making are similar, but when you work as a pastry chef, you can get a kind of mania that everything you see is related to pastries.
In the course of my research, I've read a lot of incredibly bad books - mostly by academics. I'm puzzled as to just why their writing is so terrible. These are smart people, after all.
So much of what I write in fiction is based on true stories.
I am first and foremost a storyteller; I want to tell a good story, and I want it to mean something - something that I think is important.
The fact that, almost a century after refrigeration made salt-preserved foods irrelevant, we are still eating them demonstrates the affection we have for salt.
I have written a considerable amount - both fiction and nonfiction - about the Caribbean. My love for this part of the world is centered on a deep admiration for its people - a people who are both tough and romantic, dreamers and cynics, people who face a thousand defeats and are never defeated.
You read about these oyster-shucking contests: Somebody did 100 oysters in three minutes, three seconds. I'm lucky if I can open one in three minutes, three seconds.
What sets baseball apart from other sports is the array of skills that every player needs: the speed, the power, the agility.