Posts Tagged 'Food'

Eating and Belonging: a Conversation

So, I met this girl… on the internet.

No, that doesn’t really capture it. To begin with, she’s a woman, not a girl. A really, really smart one.

More to the point, we met quite by accident, not on JDate or It seems we both live in, and blog about Pondicherry. And we are both a little food-obsessed. So we started corresponding about these things.

Deepa Reddy is a cultural anthropologist by profession, an artist by natural talent and temperament, and a cook by passion. Her blog, Pâticheri, is a thing of beauty, thoughtfulness, and deliciousness. During one of our exchanges — about the semiotics of baking or some such thing — she suggested that it might be fun to take our “ethnographic free-play” public, to post our back-and-forth on our blogs in real-time. With you, Dear Reader, adding your own “deep play” (I promise, that will be my one-and-only cultural anthropology joke) in the comments, this might just be an interesting experiment.

After loosely settling on a topic — national identity and all-things-food — we have decided to let it rip. Let the wild rumpus begin!


The Conversation Thread
1. So American! (Deepa) 15 July 2012
2. You Are Having One American Nature Only, I Am Telling (MBJ) 16 July 2012
3. Cosmopolitan Comforts (Deepa) 20 July 2012
4. No Accounting for Taste (MBJ) 24 July 2012
5. What a Mess! (Deepa) 10 August 2012
6. Tell Me What You Eat and I Will Tell You Who You Are (MBJ) 21 August 2012
Reader Comments…


Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

Breakfast of champions.

Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

Salmonberry Jam and Other Acts of Domesticity

Salmonberries, Rubus spectabilis

Summer has been slow to reach the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and the natives have been getting restless. While we are sweating our asses off in India all winter, they are slogging through cold, grey, short days. The folks here seem relived and excited, in equal measure, that the cloudless skies of summer finally seem to have arrived.

My major disappointment about the unseasonably cold June is that the blackberries, which grow in such profusion here, will be slow to ripen. Fortunately, the fabulous salmonberry is now ripe for the plucking.

Continue reading ‘Salmonberry Jam and Other Acts of Domesticity’

Yet Another Reason Vancouver Rocks

Arriving at the Public Dock at Granville Island

This afternoon, under cool, grey skies, Yoo-Mi and Ellen rolled out the driveway on bicycle; and I launched a sea kayak from the beach in front of the house. Roughly an hour later, we rendezvoused on the dock at Granville Island, and began combing the aisleways of the Public Market for the makings of dinner.

Not a bad way to “run to the store.”

Continue reading ‘Yet Another Reason Vancouver Rocks’

Dinner at Benoit


Benoit is a century-and-a-half old, one-star take on classic bistro food. It’s beautiful, traditional (and traditionally cramped) dinning rooms and friendly wait-staff are the epitome of the genre; and the food, though uneven, is generally a cut above. Not every dish at our table was excellent, but mine were:


Soup cremeuse d’ecrevisses à la ciboulette

Sauté gourmand de ris de veau, crêtes et rognons de coq, fois gras et jus truffé


Assortiment des chocolates


Meursault – Limozin, R. Monnier (2005)

Tisane de vervane

Liquid Lunch

Pani Poori Wallah

My travel over the 41 hours stretching from 7:00 am (IST) yesterday to 11:00 am (PDT) later today, breaks into four segments: Pondicherry to Madras, Madras to Bombay, Bombay to Seoul, and Seoul to San Francisco. So by the time I reached Bombay, I reckoned my journey was half over.

How better to celebrate – and spend some of my precious last 10 hours in Bombay – than with a liquid lunch.

Continue reading ‘Liquid Lunch’

Eating “on the Street”

parrota and coffee 

I hear a lot of advice given about precautions one should take when visiting India. Most of that seems directed at protecting one from what Indians would call “loose motions.” It almost always involves abstinence, a concept that will never be incorporated into my behavioral vocabulary.

One piece of advice almost universally offered is this: don’t eat food on the streets.
Continue reading ‘Eating “on the Street”’

Lahore Lahore Hai

Lahore's Badshahi Masjid

There is an old joke in Lahore. A hajji arrives in Mecca and is asked how he feels to be in the heart of Islam. “This is a dream come true for me,” he says, “and Mecca is more beautiful and inspiring than I ever could have imagined. But,” he adds, “Lahore is Lahore.”

Continue reading ‘Lahore Lahore Hai’

Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.


... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.


... because everyday is Mother's Day.


... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.


... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.


... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.


... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.


... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?


... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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