On a day when we’ve lost a true culinary icon and pirate kitchen ninja, Anthony Bourdain, let’s remember how he showed us the humanity and the love that is expressed through food. I hope where you are is better. RIP
We don’t do politics on ErinGoScatch.
There are plenty of places you can get coverage of all that hibiddy jibiddy elsewhere, no matter what side of the table you are sitting on. From our vantage point here in New York City, the ultimate melting pot for the cuisine of so many cultures, we talk about good food from all over the world.
The universality of good food cuts across all lines of color, nationality and creed. Good chicken in Alabama is good chicken in Manhattan. I’ve had amazing, fresh Chinese food in Dublin, Ireland and slurped Pemaquid oysters in Golden, Colorado that sung in my mouth. Open your mouth and it opens your mind.
The Brooklyn that I grew up in teamed with the aromas of the immigrant kitchens and opened my mind (and appetite} to the flavors of the world. Within a few square blocks of our Flatbush neighborhood you could get freshly made Italian calzones, Chinese ribs, Jamaican jerk chicken, Jewish deli, Greek lamb or southern fried chicken.
Brooklyn taught us to be open to new ideas and different ways. Going outside your comfort zone for the sake of good food forces engagement with different cultures with delightful results. We learn that we are not that different.
Bologna on Wonder bread with mayo is not going to cut it once you’ve had a Cuban sandwich made by people who know how to do it, with the tender garlicy pork and crisp tangy pickles nestled in that toasty bread. Good food can build rewarding bridges.
Many of us enjoy sharing our love of good food with similar minds. I belong to several cooking groups on Facebook and have shared chicken recipes with blue haired southern ladies and gave my Mexican lasagna recipe to a hip-hop kid from Australia who said he needed to up his kitchen game for an upcoming party. Recipes are like global ambassadors.
There is love in cooking food. It is at the center of the gatherings and milestones of our lives in every culture. Whether a simple soup or an elaborate feast, we cook for the people we love as a show of that love.
With all the hate in the world these days, take time to remember that love, and good food, can help change hard hearts by satisfying hungry bellies. The smile on the face of a cook when someone shows genuine appreciation for their cuisine speaks every language. Warm tummy, warm heart?
Cook with love, my friends.