Oh my … I could tell you about the time my boss took us to Aloette and forced us to eat all the food on our plate – mainly fried chicken and lemon meringue pie. Then, when we got back to the office, he made comments about the history of black people and fried chicken (all in good fun). But I won’t. Instead, I will tell you about my food evolution.
As a kid – My mom mainly made macaroni and cheese – usually adding mixed vegetables and hotdogs for a complete meal. One time, of many, my mom beat me with a belt. I went to school and complained to the principle, welts as proof. He called child services. I was afraid to go home. I cannot think about my mom without memories of abuse surfacing. I also loved porridge, oatmeal, cornmeal and cereals – Captain Crunch, Corn Pops and Frosted Flakes were my favourite.
University – I would sustain study marathons with two-litre Coca-Cola, macaroni and cheese with tuna. (canned tuna with mayo, finely chopped green onions, Italian seasoning and black pepper.) Or pepperoni pizza or tuna sandwiches, or eggs – sunny side up.
Early Adulthood – Went back to my West-Indian roots + my Jamaican boyfriends had a say in my food selection: Oxtail, roti and curry, beef soup, souse, red pea soup, jerk chicken, metemgee Steamed or stew fish with provisions (root vegetables and Guyanese dumplings). I had a brief Italian affair – The boys loved it when I made lasagne (Garfield’s fav) or spaghetti with meatballs or meat sauce.
Last Two-Three Years – I eat a lot of fermented foods, kimchi, sauerkraut, any pickled vegetable. I pickle daikon radishes, onions, mangos, garlic. For about a year I was into everything Korean. I made Korean fried chicken, grilled pork belly, napa cabbage kimchi, bibimbap, kimchi pancakes, hotteok (brown sugar pancakes) and budae jjigae (army base stew). Then I moved to Japan – made ramen (trying different noodles and broths). Gyozas and of course, torched hand pressed sashimi (I think it’s called Nigiri). I also love Turkish coffee and I can make my own loukoumades (Greek honey balls).
Now! Onto trying indigenous meals. I bought two cookbooks, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen and Tawaw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine. I also try keto dishes from The Keto Diet, Ketogenic Cleanse and Bacon & Butter.
The best part of trying new dishes? The stories, history and culture that accompany the food. Along with the opportunity to make new stories when sharing a meal 🙂
Feature Photo Credit: @akbaranif via Twenty20