The piece is an excerpt from the book The Great Latke and Hamantash Debate. What an awesome romp through philosophy, philology, and gnosh. It has all of the pertinent intelligence on food that you should wade through before stepping out and attempting to cook.
This is a point that I think is under emphasized in many food circles. But, it is really important to have a good understanding of the food you are about to cook before you cook it.
Even if the ken of knowledge that you open is only an understanding of your own history or family history with a particular food. It gives you a whole ambiance and locus from within which your dish will be cooked, served, and consumed. It is the very earth you stand on while cooking your sumptuous fare.
Lots of folks say this takes too much time. It does take a lot of time, but entering into the essence of dish is critical if you are to connect with it and eventually drawl from it the taste required by your current palate and meal objectives. So, give the reading on latkes a try.