Liquids: Natural States Series Part I

Lava lamps, courtesy of wikimedia commons.
Lava lamps, courtesy of wikimedia commons.

Welcome to a special series on natural states of matter: liquids, solids, gasses, plasma. Over the course of this occasional series, we’ll be exploring recipes relating to all of these  substances, and how people have imagined, made, shaped, and used them in different times and different places.

The first in the series is liquid, a fluid which conforms to the shape of its container. Liquid is the only fundamental state of matter to hold no fixed shape, although it is understood to retain a (mostly) constant volume. It flows. It resists compression. Liquid particles are bound gently.

Like liquid particles themselves, the pieces in this series are bound gently and productively together within the theme. Some authors are focusing on natural materials: Utku Can Topçu on lime and limestone, Leonie Rau on oil. Others are focusing on liquids derived from and made within the human body: Marguerite Happe Vanderford on blood, and Julie Martins on breastmilk. And some will share their research on liquids made with the purpose of altering human states and understandings: Tyler Rainford’s piece will examine alcohol, and specifically, the eighteenth-century drink called shrub.

Join us as we think and talk about the ways that liquids can help us to better understand recipes in the past and present.




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