I want to share with you my love of food and people. To do that, I have to start at the beginning, which took me a few days to think about. It’s hard figuring out why you love something to the extent you do, when it’s as natural to you as breathing. Over the years I’ve attempted to share that love through various mediums, specifically blogs, but it never felt quite right. I’m hoping that will change with this blog. To make that change I was thoughtful in where it started because I wanted that to be part of this. This being what those closest to me know of me that I live, breath and eat food. It’s who I am; it’s essential to my happiness. But it’s not just the food, it’s the individual ingredients that go into a recipe. And not just the recipe; all the iterations of that recipe.
But where’s that beginning? I keep digressing. It took me a bit to figure it out, but I think it starts with Maria.
I’m a white girl who grew up in the very white Midwest. Not very diverse by any means. If you looked at my family, they make up what you think most mid-westerners are as well. My parents live in a rural town, my mother is an organist and my father works at a church. I grew up in private schools most of my life, except when you look my formative years.
Maria was my Puerto Rican babysitter and I can still taste her arroz con gandules. Which is a simple dish of rice and pigeon peas but those flavors are some of my earliest memories. The nutty taste of tamales made from masa aren’t far behind those flavor memories either. To me, that’s where it started. Growing up in a predominantly hispanic neighborhood gave me access to foods I wouldn’t have had growing up white and Lutheran. While this isn’t an auspicious beginning, to me, that’s where it started.
To complement that my family was the original farm to table types; my grandparents growing everything they couldn’t kill. I learned early on that those fluffy bunny tails my grandfather would give me were the tail-end of what would end up on the dinner table later that evening. Eating vegetables and fruits most of my schoolmates never heard of like kohlrabi and ground cherries. Kohlrabi has had a resurgence for me when I realized it was used in some middle eastern dishes as well. But that’s why I’m writing this. Food doesn’t exist in a singular dimension. It persists globally through-out the world.
To me, the difficulties we see today are less than what we make of them. People aren’t that different when you realize that each day we eat food; hopefully. Many of us go without food but each of us requires it. Families meet each day to share a dish and maybe their days as well. Our world is a shared experience of ingredients that are put into recipes that we need to eat. Whether we buy it or not. From multiple countries you can see these shared ingredients and to me, it creates a truly global dialect. While there is so much uncertainty I want to make the world more approachable by breaking down these walls and showing the humanity that hides behind it. I want to do that through food.
I could tell you so many things that I love about food but at the heart of it it’s a sense of osmosis. I absorb more about a culture by eating a local dish than any other experience. Expect recipes, expect posts without recipes, but expect it to be about food and humanity. Expect guest posts. I’ll end it with something a friend recently shared that has stuck with me and why I named this site “Our Edible Dialect”, food begins where words end:
“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”
– Alan D. Wolfeit
See you soon.