Friday, January 16, 2009

Food as Culture

Okay, so I firmly believe in food. I wouldn't have started my own cooking blog if I didn't. I wouldn't have eaten a full serving of mint M&M's (easily one of the best things about Christmas) since I got home if I didn't love food. Okay, so I'm also a nervous stress eater. And I eat to make myself feel better. This is how I gained weight. But my weight gain is neither here nor there. The bottom line is, I love food. Awhile ago, I contemplated what it means to be friends with somebody, and what you look for in a friend. I genuinely believe that finding friends is similar to dating. Some people are your type, some people are not. It's okay if they aren't. Anyway, one of the things I look for in a friend is a similar love of food. I enjoy eating food, cooking food, and talking about food. I love trading recipes with people. I love going out to new restaurants or trying old favorites. I love having potlucks, going to potlucks, and hosting fun, funky themed food parties. (The breakfast-for-dinner-party? Going to become annual.)
Mr. Redline is a friend of mine from the neighboring state of PA, but honestly, he is one of the truest Washingtonians I have ever met. Sorry man, you are one of us. Anyway, he's going back to Pittsburgh this weekend and wrote a post about things that everybody should know about Pittsburgh. Of course, it is about food.
I'm pretty sure though, every great city can be defined by its food. So what is your favorite place to visit, and what are the culinary reasons why?
I dream of going back to Italy and paying 19 cents for a box of pasta, 50 cents for a thing of pesto, and mixing the whole thing up back in the apartment; I think about getting a pizza-by-the-pound at the corner market; I miss those mozzerella, tomato, and basil sandwiches at the cafe across the street from the AUR; and man, gelato. Oh man. Gelato is delicious. Okay. I'm now searching for flights to Italy over spring break. Ooooh maybe if I can't find a job, I can just study abroad this summer. Not having a job just started to look a whole lot brighter.
I dream of going back to England and making macaroni and cheese with fancy English cheddar, stopping on the street to buy a cornish pasty, buying a sandwich at the market outside of Southwark, pasta with a feta cheese alfredo sauce (technically Scotland); and oh man...scooooones. Tea and scones. Crumpets are pretty good too.
Boston had great breweries - and I am a vegetarian who looooooves pub food (and hates beer). Plus there was this crazy little taco place that was dirt cheap and fantastic.
Baltimore. Crab on everything. And sweet pototo fries. Duclaw and Mad River have the best crab pretzels in town. Plus, The Brewer's Art.
I'm not even gonna start on Bethesda, as it is derived from the latin meaning "great restaurants" but the original Cal-Tor is there, and the Pines of Rio Grande, if you like your mexican food meaty. Tara Thai, which is a (I think) local chain; Giffords for ice cream. And just...those places on Cordell which "looked good" and you would go into.
What food defines your favorite cities/countries?

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