and language of food
Barbara likes Yeats and Emily Dickinson.
That is a clue to her attitude towards food, but at first I didn't notice.
We talked about food - food with French names, German names, Japanese
names, Chinese names. She claimed that she was more of a foodie than I
was, since I was content with a steaming bowl of brown rice while she
plunged into Thai delicacies with names that only she could pronounce.
That was a clue. I began to listen.
Barbara loves food, yes, but there's
something she loves more. She loves words. She loves the poetry of food
in the making, in the eating, and, oh, yes, in the pronouncing. She'll
be the first to discover a Japanese way of eating soy beans. She will
also be the first to know that they are called edamame.Barbara is true to her Jewish roots,
but will not rest with the merely traditonal. To her the word latke is
so old and familiar that it needs to be enhanced, and her method of enhancing
the word is to make the dish taste better, so she fearlessly experiments
until she finds the way to make the crispiest latkes. Crispness adds new
luster to the word and puts it in the category of the poetic. Latkes taste
better to Barbara if the dish contains poetry, but I am never sure if
she is tasting the word or the food. The language of food is part of the
How do I know this about her? Why,
I am the second one to know that steamed, salted soy beans taste far better
when they are called edamame.
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