A Korean-American perspective on what it means to eat "home" food

Going off my last post, I want to talk about authenticity by defining it as a feeling of comfort and home. Last night, I made Doenjang Jigae, a soup dish with a bean and fish broth filled with tofu, zucchini, and onions. I actually got my recipe from Jen Im on Youtube, not from my umma nor my 할머니 (halmeoni). Yet, making it made me feel like I was back home…in Connecticut. Yeah, that’s right – I wasn’t born in or grew up in South Korea. My umma is from there, and she always makes Korean food at home. For … Continue reading A Korean-American perspective on what it means to eat "home" food

Real or Fake: TACO USA & the question "Is authenticity actually just subjective?"

During class, we talked more about what it means to be authentic. In Taco USA by Gustavo Arellano, Chapter Nine asks the question, “When did Mexicans start making food for Mexicans?” This chapter discusses how there was a movement to bring back authenticity to Mexican food/ find the “real” amongst all the “fake.” Arellano seems to point out that the yearning for the “real” came from published news articles hoping “for the rise of ‘real’ Mexican food,” (163). The most distinctive paragraph in this chapter begins with, “As this has happened, however, one group squired: Mexicans. As long as Americans … Continue reading Real or Fake: TACO USA & the question "Is authenticity actually just subjective?"

A Chocolate Lover on a Mission

After reading about chocolate in Gustavo Arellano’s Taco USA, I was horrified. How could I call myself a chocolate fanatic when I don’t even know the true origins of chocolate? I thought I was better than most, eating the darkest chocolate possible, but it turns out that even dark chocolate doesn’t compare to what chocolate was originally meant to be. There was never any sugar involved. The Mayans utilized cocoa beans to make nibs and grounded those small pieces of roasted, cracked and deshelled beans into a paste. After “slushing” it into a pot of boiling water, Mayans used the … Continue reading A Chocolate Lover on a Mission

Quote Tamales About Tamales & the Exploitation of Culture

“Their Tamale Village for the Midwinter Fair was to be a wholesome, get-rich-quick scheme. The plan was simple: an adobe-style building, stuccoed and adorned with shards of colored glass to evoke California’s days of Spanish dons and doñas. San Francisco–style tamales were the item of attraction. Women dressed in period outfits, manning all the jobs, from the metate from where women ground corn into masa, to the stoves where the tamale got cooked, to the waitresses who served the tamales to ravenous tourists. The Chronicle celebrated Foster’s decision to assume responsibility over the exhibit and felt that “everybody said the … Continue reading Quote Tamales About Tamales & the Exploitation of Culture

Inspired, not Authentic: CT Mexican Restaurant Blends Local Culture with Mexican Inspired Cuisine

Off Route 8, on the Housatonic River, Tacomida is making a home in the newest development of Shelton, CT. At 9:00PM on a Saturday night, I parked under the bridge connecting to Derby and walked up the new stone stairs to the yellow, luring outdoor lights. I had a full stomach from dinner, but my belly growled, “Tequila.” I needed to quench this thirst at the highly acclaimed, new taco bar in Shelton, hidden amongst the bustling connecter and residential apartments. The open windows leading to their outdoor patio was closed, but revealed hurried servers and a smiling crowd. As … Continue reading Inspired, not Authentic: CT Mexican Restaurant Blends Local Culture with Mexican Inspired Cuisine

Response to Eater’s "Lost (and Found) Punjabi-Mexican Cuisine" Article

In my history class this semester, one of my peers made rice balls for an assignment. Each week, a student has to make a food that represents their assigned country, and present that food’s connection to the country’s historical background. After my peer described how he made his dish, my professor commented, “It’s like an Italian dumpling!” I chuckled a little. A week ago, as I was talking to my friend about our Taco Literacy class and cultural appropriation, she commented how all cultures have similarities. Her being Polish, she said that making pierogis are like making dumplings. They’re pretty … Continue reading Response to Eater’s "Lost (and Found) Punjabi-Mexican Cuisine" Article

Poetry: Mr. & Mrs. Tam Arind

Mr: Bland in a dark trench coat, he silently walked through the doors Mr. Unsuspecting, yet oh so tempting No smile, no smirk – just welcoming eyes “Come, see what’s inside.” Yes, she’s seen him passing in the store mentioned by her friends encountered by her enemies yet there was a fear inside of her – Mr. Unsuspecting, what am I expecting? As the doors closed behind him and he crept near, she took a whiff of his scent… unfamiliar, but she – OW – they crashed and reality appeared, she laughed and laughed at her forgotten fears He revealed … Continue reading Poetry: Mr. & Mrs. Tam Arind