“Food is a yardstick of consciousness,” writes Doris Friedenson in her essay, “Chapulines, Mole, and Pozole: Mexican Cuisines and the Gringa Imagination” (165). While I haven’t eaten chapulines (grasshoppers), it’s only because the opportunity hasn’t arose yet, and this, Fridensohn argues is because the “foods we eat tell much about where we have lived and where we have traveled” (165). So instead of writing about chapulines, mole, and pozole, I’m going to write about where I have been, namely where I’ve been for the last two years:
Here is a list of the things that
- Lamb (I honestly don’t remember ever eating lamb before moving to Idaho, and because a lot of lamb is raised here-due in part to the first Basque, sheep-herding immigrants at the turn of the century I suppose this makes sense).
- Manchego cheese (and any other sheep’s milk cheese, also that Spanish/Basque connection)
- Serrano Ham. (My love of pork products has increased ten-fold since moving here, dry aged hams in particularly make my taste buds quiver. The head cheese experiment also helped encourage my new found pork obsession).
- Smoked Paprika (this is Estrella’s influence, the tapas bar where I used to work introduced me to this powerful, and delicious seasoning way before Rachael Ray started singing its praises.)
- Lavender (I didn’t even know it was edible until I saw it being sold as a culinary herb at the Boise Farmer’s Market. Now I make a wicked lavender vinegrette to dress salads of greens, goat cheese, and candied pecans, which is a spin on Bungalow restaurant’s signature salad.)
- Trout (sure everyone eats salmon, but trout? Delicious. Think sort of the more mellow, laid back little brother of salmon.)
- Hazelnuts (I’d eaten them before, but I never baked with them so much before. Hazelnuts are largely grown in
. I could get them in bulk here relatively cheap, which is something I’ll miss when I’m gone. Oregon
- Sourdough. (This is a western thing dating back to the
and the Gold Rush, and pioneers who brought sourdough along with them in covered wagons. I heard friends talk about sourdough cultures—thanks Kelly— and thought I should try my own. Norton (aka my sourdough starter) will be traveling to Yukon territory Ohiowith me, in sort of a reverse Oregon trailpilgrimage.
- Berries. (Of course I have had blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries before moving here, I just hadn’t had local berries as good or as fresh as this every before.)
- IPAs (in outdoorsy, hippie country like this Indian Pale Ales are everywhere. I don’t know that I’ve fully acquired a taste for them yet. But, I can drink them comfortably, whereas, two years ago, if it was hoppy enough to bounce around on my taste buds like a super ball, I couldn’t choke it down.)
So there you have it, my top ten food memory map for the
Foods connect me to people, to places, to memories, and the quest to find them, to recreate a cherished dish is just a part of self-creation, of self-definition in the constant flux and inevitable change of life.