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The Global Feast: Writing about Food

May 2017

Image: JeeYoung Lee, Broken Heart. © 2017 JeeYoung Lee. By arrangement with the artist and Opiom Gallery.

Image: JeeYoung LeeBroken Heart. © 2017 JeeYoung Lee. By arrangement with the artist and Opiom Gallery.

This month we welcome you to a banquet of international food writing. From simple greens in the hushed rooms of a Buddhist temple to an anarchic cookout in a teeming slum, in shipwrecked solitude or a bustling refugee camp, there’s something on the menu to appeal to every palate. Forced to cook in her father’s dive restaurant, Ananda Devi‘s young girl finds revenge is a dish best served hot. Argentine sensation Mariana Enriquez gets to the meat of the national dish. Jeon Sungtae meditates on meals turned sacramental. Greek cooking authority Diana Farr Louis reports on sustenance both figurative and literal in refugee camps. Kanako Nishi has a bone to pick with table manners. Manuel Vázquez Montalbán channels a gourmand Robinson Crusoe. In two nostalgic memoirs, Prasanta Mridha remembers that Bangla street food is right up his alley, and Moshe Sakal recalls one happy childhood in two culinary traditions. We thank our epicurean guest editor, Rohan Kamicheril

We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Just Dinner, but Oh, What a Feast
By Rohan Kamicheril
Though food may fail to broker communication, this is often one of its major supposed roles.
Kari Disan
By Ananda Devi
Soft, thick, hard, slippery, sour, fresh, raw, cooked: it was a journey into the shadows of flavor.
Translated from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
The Art and Horror of the Argentine Asado
By Mariana Enriquez
The asado and political violence are linked in Argentina.
Translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell
Instructions for Eating Granny Ora’s Kibbeh
By Moshe Sakal
Israeli cuisine is a mystery, a black hole, a utopia.
Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
Not Bread Alone: Food and the Refugees in Greece
By Diana Farr Louis
Whereas shelter and safety must come first, the question of food is so fundamental.
Delbahar and Ghee
By Prasanta Mridha
The most astonishing thing about these men was their ability to eyeball measurements.
Translated from Bengali by Shabnam Nadiya
A Meal of Solitude for a Restless Heart
By Jeon Sungtae
I had never before paid so much attention to the act of eating.
Translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell
All Desert Islands Are the Same
By Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
I have always thought it a gastronomical barbarity to eat bacalao fresh.
Translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
Fear of Manners
By Kanako Nishi
Day in and day out, so many personal habits can drive us crazy.
Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell