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Showing posts from 2017

Forkways #15:

"I am obsessed with M F K Fisher.
The Gastronomical Me is such a foundational book as far as seeming to be about being food but actually about becoming a woman. I think that I am reading about pea soup on an ocean liner but I am in tears. Food is a metaphor for transportation."
- Stephanie Danler, interview
Fisher and Danler both write about food in different ways. Although Fisher is possibly one of the most influential writers about food, yet I find something about the way she write inaccessible. I think time has changed the role of women in food over the past twenty year, and especially in my own household.
At our house, my husband does most of the cooking. First of all he does it because he likes it. Second of all, especially a few years ago, he was the one who had time to put into shopping and meal planning. Third, I make huge messes when I cook. We constantly find the social expectations of cooking pressed upon us by friends and family. I am often ask if I cook as well, and…

Forkways #14:

We eat every day, yet become more and more disconnected from the meaning of words in the food industry and agriculture. To use precise language when talking about food is seen as a way of betraying the experience and forming it into a foodie experience. Foodie experiences are often seen as elite status improving endeavors. But what do we really need to know about the language of food? And shouldn’t we all be more informed eaters? When it comes to the future of food, sustainability is a hot button issue. As concerns for the ecology of food production environments rise, more and more attention will be paid to the science and details of food.

Forkways #13: Questions About Food

I came to study food as a way of entry into communes and intentional communities across the country. I though that even the most private group would most likely be willing to share a meal. The following is a draft of interview questions I created for field work I hoped to do on intentional communities and their mealtime practices.

Intentional Community food survey

How many people live in the community? Adult. Children. Is there a limit to how many people can live or visit? What is this limit based on? How are members selected? How many people visit the community? Does a distinction between these change the nature of meals? Is food grown on the property? What is the size of the lot? What is the size of plots dedicated to which grown food? It any food sold or traded outside of the community?

How are meals structured? Do they follow traditional meal breakdowns? Where does the food come from? What is the food served on? How is the food served? Who prepares the food? is it different day to day, meal to meal…

Forkways #12: What does studying food tell us?

What does studying food tell us about life? It can unlock insights into what it means to be human and what it means to be American. It can connect us with our regional or ethnic identity. Even if we do not connect with the regionality of our food specifically we still eat daily have a series of thoughts about the experience. It can be calorie counting or portion control, it can be pleasure seeking or following that particular craving. It can be merely an interaction of fuel.

Self - The problem with the self identification of an American through food is that so much of American culture has been borrowed from other cultures. Adaptation and diversity have been key ideals to the success of individuals in this nation and the shifts in various cuisines throughout the geographical borders off the United States. There are some food that are deeply and inherently American, but they are likely less common than you might think. The way that any individual interacts with food is extremely complex.…

Forkways #11: Forklore - Avocado

Avocado Persea americana.

Domestication: approximately 6000 BC,  modern day Peru. Native form: ciollo Domesticated into three separate landraces.
Avocado is a fruit in the form of a berry with a single seed. Earliest written account of an avocado is 1519. Earliest account in English is 1669, when the term avocado was first coined. Through the domestication process the avocado was bred to have a larger fruit size than it’s native ciollo.
As the man was descending an avocado tree she struck at him so vehemently that his right leg fell from his body, and he lay helpless. Gathering up the fruit, the woman hurried to the tapir's hiding-place, and the wicked couple went away together. Seriokai was found by a neighbor, who stanched his wound and took him home, where he was nursed back to health. So soon as he could, he mended his leg with a wooden stump; then, armed with bow and arrows, he started after the runaways. Although their path had long been obliterated, the Indian traced them through th…

Forkways #10: Frogmore Stew

Forkways #9:

It is difficult to determine which aspect of food research is the most important. Whether you are looking inside or outside the field of sociology food represents such a complex set of concerns, social stratification, and history. Food trends represent changes in norms, cultures, and understanding of nutrition. For this study while trying to consider a wide breadth of food issues I tried to focus on the contemporary American food issues. Food security, understanding the impact of gender roles in food preparation and consumption, and sustainability were the three main issues that seemed to emerge as a contemporary American focus for this research. Chef Tom Colicchio sees a disparity between the production of food and the distribution of food in the American agricultural system. How is that in a land of plenty there are people, especially children, without a secure food supply. There are many reasons why this is the case, but food actress and social stratification can be an issue. And wh…

Forkways #8: Momo Fuk What?

Umami is the new black. In the culinary world funk is foodie gold. Those interested in the lifestyle of food desire the most intense version of any substance. Stephanie Danler talks about this experience in foodservice as an adrenalized lifestyle. Since I have started studying food I have heard these sentiments reflected in foodies, chefs, and waitstaff.

Danler writes in her novel, Sweetbitter: “You will encounter a fifth taste. Umami: uni, or sea urchin, anchovies, Parmesan, dry-aged beef with a casing of mold. It’s glutamate. Nothing is a mystery anymore. They make MSG to mimic it. It’s the taste of ripeness that’s about to ferment. Initially, it serves as a warning. But after a familiarity develops, after you learn its name, that precipice of rot becomes the only flavor worth pursuing, the only line worth testing” (44).
Umami, fermentation, and funk are about the intensity of food experiences. You may be wondering why I am bringing this up now, and I am not going to answer this quite…