Vintage Veg

This Vegetarian Feminist Cookbook Changed My Life

How ‘The Second Seasonal Political Palate’ helped me find a different way to write about food

Alicia Kennedy
Tenderly
Published in
3 min readJul 3, 2020

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A photo of the book ‘The Second Seasonal Political Palette’ featuring a black and white floral illustration
Photo: Alicia Kennedy

When I found The Second Seasonal Political Palate at Kitchen Arts & Letters in New York City many years back, it felt like a treasure. I had only recently begun to collect and research vintage vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, seeking a political through line, and I knew the out-of-print early texts from the Bloodroot Collective were key to my understanding. A Feminist Vegetarian Cookbook, it announces on the top of the cover.

When I opened it up, the dedication was “For Alicia.” A sign, absolutely. Never mind that this was the second book, not the first. It was for me.

I have the second printing, released in 1990, but the original came out in 1984. Before one gets to the recipes in this book, there is a long list of “prefatory material.” Of the cookbooks, they write, “Both books are more than collections of recipes. They document our interest in ethnic and ethical cooking, our commitment to feminism, our growth as individual women living and working collectively.” The changes that occurred between The Political Palate and The Second Seasonal Political Palate are documented, such as the removal of fish from the…

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Alicia Kennedy
Tenderly

I’m a food writer from Long Island based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter on food issues: aliciakennedy.substack.com