January 18, 2008

Migrating beans

My friend Gillian is on a roll. Following a recent link to an NPR program, yesterday she sent me a link to a blog coming out of Harare, Zimbabwe, written by a friend of a friend of hers from when she lived there for seven years. In this post our American expat in Zimbabwe talks about a book on the history of meals, relates it to her experience and ends with a South African recipe that reflects both South American and Indian elements.

"......It would seem, then, that for many thousands of years we have had a tendency to prefer the foods and preparations we are accustomed to, and to take these customs with us wherever we go. I know I do this. Every time I travel to the States, I bring back with me black beans, pine nuts, granola bars, and walnuts. I can live without these items, of course, but I don’t want to. On the weekend before Christmas, I made minestrone soup, just like my mom does, even though I had to make a couple substitutions. With these actions, I am mimicking a human tendency that has spanned millennia – migrants bringing their favorite foods with them, and modifying their cooking to fit their new environments."

All I know is that Italian immigrants populated Australia, Argentina and the East coast of the United States at the turn of the century, and they sure did take along their country's cuisine with them!

a domani,

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