Hurray! I finally got a chance to peruse my Winter issue of Render: Feminist Food & Culture Quarterly–or, more accurately, to read it cover to cover on my commute two days this week. There’s a lot of great material in this issue; I particularly liked Laura Dixon’s profile of an affordable Ohio restaurant that serves only sustainable, mostly local food, a thoughtful ethnography of Ecuadorian cuisine (with gorgeous full-color photographs) by Pilar Eguez Guevara, and a reflective essay by Christen McCurdy who, like me, struggles to make sense of her personal foodways within the context of her regional roots (Idaho, in her case) and contemporary food discourse.
And of course, it’s always fun to see my own writing in print:
This essay elaborates on what I’ve written before about feeling troubled by the way people who aren’t from the Southern United States (and, probably, some who are) tend to stereotype Southern food practices: it’s either admirably downhome and domestic, or its overprocessed unhealthy trash. As with most stereotypes, folks invested in the otherness of this region often hold these contradictory assumptions at the same time; e.g. NPR published an article last fall about the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, and the comments predicably make a lot of “jokes” about butter, fat, and poor health.
“As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. . . . Jeff Beckman, a representative for Hershey’s, said L.B.B. and others were importing products not intended for sale in the United States, infringing on its trademark and trade dress licensing.”
The article quoted above interviews the owner of Tea & Sympathy in Greenwich Village, who says she tried to import chocolate herself but got tangled up in FDA regulations and whatnot. In an odd bit of synchronicity, the job I recently started is with the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia–yes indeed, there are World Trade Centers in many cities outside of New York!–and one of the service WTCs provide is counsel and assistance with importing or exporting goods internationally. So, small business owners and purveyors of fine chocolate, there are resources available to you.
It’s a spin on an existing cake, the classic shingen mochi, a dessert made from gyuhi, a particularly soft form of mochi rice cake, sprinkled with kinako soybean powder and topped with brown sugar syrup. What makes the mizu variety distinct is that it’s made of ever-so-slightly solidified water from the Southern Japanese Alps and looks just like a giant drop of water (the soybean powder and syrup are served on the side to preserve the appearance) that disintegrates into a puddle after 30 minutes.
Via skiourophile: The Appendix has a interesting, excellently illustrated historical narrative by India Mandelkern about the politics of eating turtle in the 18th century–specifically, how it was elevated from a food of necessity, eaten by colonists and sailors, to a mainstay of haute cuisine.
Still doing this, still loving it: