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Showing posts from June 25, 2017

Forkways #6: Authenticity

The desire to seek out and identify the authentic is a primary motivator behind many aspects of American life. Perhaps it is the focus on the individuality that is key to the American spirit that pushes us to celebrate the purity of creation by a single individual. Many studies have examined (1) the desire for the authentic, (2) the definition of authenticity, and (3) who is the ultimate judge. Every time we interact with food we have an opportunity for culinary tourism. Eating food can transport us to different places and expose us to different cultures. Culinary tourism is also the experience of traveling to another country or region and partaking in their food culture. Whether the food is a framework for the tourism experience or not is up to the eater, but there is no denying the way in which the two aspects of eating and travel are often linked. Authenticity, at it’s core, is essential to the sensation of transportation. But is authenticity a true marker of ethnic and regional cu…

Forkways #5: Food Memory

When I was in preschool I went to a private school taught by nuns. In the cafeteria we could not leave until we were dismissed. Sometimes but not always it was required that all the food on the plate was eaten. This food was not high cuisine, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and on one day tuna fish. I was three or four and at this time in my life it was already very clear I was a picky eater. Usually I could eat around the foods I didn't like and clear my plate without much issue. But how does a child, age four, eat around a tuna fish sandwich when one does not eat tuna? I sat quietly and peaceably staring at my plate. I was concerned slightly about the events that may follow. My fellow preschoolers began to leave and, the crowd thinned and thinned until there was only one child left in the room. One child looking at a tuna fish sandwich on a plastic plate a color directly between blue and green but not fully qualifying as either.

Canned tuna between slices of white bread mocking …

Reading Log - June Recap

June was another lackluster reading month for me. I finished two books and started many more. I fluctuate in out of reading slumps, even in the middle of books lately. Very little holds my interests. It always feels almost like I will never read again, but it has happened often enough that I know better.

Here are the two books I finished in June:

22. Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson
23. Year of the Dog by Grace Lin

Year of the Dog was one of the best books I have read in a while. I loved the way that it talked about food even though it was a particularly brief book. Chasing Lincoln's Killer was a straightforward book on a subject matter that doesn't particularly interest me. As I have been working on my Gullah research, I have decided to pursue more information about the Civil War era, especially for slaves. In part, I have been curious when Gullah developed out of other slave culture and what are the defining factors of the culture? I think the language has a hu…

Reading Log: May Recap

Yes, I realize that May is over. I never managed to get any weekly reading logs published last month. But I still wanted to have a recap for future reference. I know these posts are not always the most captivating, but the record they provide me with is extremely helpful.

Since the beginning of May, I have been in a bit of a reading slump. There are many reasons for this, but mostly I have been struggling to find that perfect intersection between my mood and how interesting the book was. Sometimes those two things are intimately related, but sometimes a boring book is just a boring book.

Part of my lack of success was my stubborn nature. I insisted on reading the third book in a trilogy even though many reviews said it was no good and I was not generally enjoying reading it. The book was a major let down. When I finished it I felt no sense of accomplishment.

In May I only finished 2 books:

20. Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
21. The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley

When I read The Har…