“.. the history of world is on your plate.”
said Anthony Bourdain in an interview with Trevor Noah. Isn’t it true? For me who hold the existence of food dearly, especially as a mean to comfort, it is the truest statement.
Several weeks ago I watched Netflix docs Ugly Delicious by David Chang, in which he blatantly asked the question on the origin and authenticity of food cultures in USA. He found racism in it.
Weird. It’s just food. But it’s loaded with unsaid contestation.
This I always forgot. Often times it’s the daily things in life, that’s so mundane people don’t talk about it, that actually holds a social meaningful depth no one usually bother to dive into.
The leftovers nostalgia
In the picture above was a plate of simple fried rice with shredded pickled vegetables and pork I ate when I visited Baisha Village in Lijiang. My friend said it was one of the specialty food of Naxi tribe.
One spoon of it reminded me of this pickled vegetables that I know the name as kiam chai (sayur asin), or pickled mustard greens. It’s a leftover tua chai (mustard green) that’s not sold in the market, then got pickled and sold as kiam chai the next day. I remembered mom will stew it with some pig bones. It was the taste I know and love in my childhood, which I hadn’t tasted again for years, until Naxi fried rice reminded me of it.
I should have said, in my two times traveling to China, unexpectedly, I didn’t enjoy most of the meal I had, simply for the reason that what I perceived as Chinese food actually tasted different when I was in China.
It was supposed to be the authentic taste and flavor of Chinese food, but I only missed Chinese food back at home–the Indonesian Chinese food.
The Naxi fried rice was actually one of the meals I enjoyed in China very thoroughly until the last spoon. Because it reminded me of childhood and home in Indonesia.
I am currently trying to follow an eating challenge I found in the internet, solely because I felt my eating routine has become something I just put into my body mindlessly. Thus this challenge meant for me to put more awareness into the activity. On going on week 2, I found that most of the food around me is all about fried food. I am going crazy trying to substitute it jajajajaja especially since I don’t cook for myself (mind you I don’t have kitchen to use 🙈).
Will dig deeper on this issue some time later in my life. For now, I will just leave it here as a food note.