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Memories of Thanksgivings Abroad and In Between

I remember tweeting into the void about Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce on the morning of my first Thanksgiving abroad. Nobody who might have cared was up yet.

In it, she writes about realizing, after becoming a foreign correspondent, that the picture she had of America hadn’t been complete—that one hadn’t seen the whole picture of America until one had left the national borders, because the whole picture included foreign interventions, cultural exports, and various modes of thought that were invisible at home.

The agonizing particulars of the Presidential race, which were doubly nerve-wracking to watch from afar, had been hard to explain to inquisitive Spaniards. I craved American company—to be able to dish and spar with some compatriots in the know. So when a group of expats invited me to dinner, I accepted, bringing a bottle of Rioja.

All of these celebrations offered, and birds ritually consumed, have led me to a single, significant conclusion: If it’s true, as my colleague Calvin Trillin long ago suggested, that everything exotic that isn’t chicken tastes like chicken—rattlesnake, ostrich, etc.—the one thing that can be said for certain, on Thanksgiving, is that no matter what you do to it, a turkey will always taste like a turkey.
gaijin  expat  home  festival  nostalgia  work  paris  ukraine  stans  turkey  food  eating  story 
november 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:為甚麼不嫌中菜吃得慢(中國人吃的閒情之二)

所以我覺得問題並不在於你真正花在一餐飯上的物理時間有多長,而在於你感受到的心理時間。就好比同樣兩公里的路程,如果是老胡同老巷弄,又或者歐洲古城的卵石小道,一路曲折,風光步步生變,你是不會覺得自己走了那麼多路的。若是換在洛杉磯那種通衢大道,抬望眼,兩側平房,除了棕櫚樹還是棕櫚樹,走路可就真是地獄裏的折磨了。

總而言之,這是種自由的狀態,吃東西的速度與節奏操之在我,決定於那天耍戲的需要,而非餐廳上菜的次序。

這是種非常中國的自由與閒情,是你在吃飯,而非飯在吃你,不會有種被食物壓倒的感受。猶如古人出外賞花,花固然可觀,卻也不必專注呆視,幾個人自己閒聊喝茶甚至唱闋小曲方是主要內容,以花為背景,間中隨興瞧它幾眼,更覺其可親解人。又像走路散步,路不是主角,要緊的是和誰在走,以及沿路的風光。
question  opinion  eating  restaurant  chinese  europe  time  comparison 
march 2017 by aries1988
You May Also Like by Tom Vanderbilt review – what forms our tastes in a digital age?
As is fitting in an inquiry into taste, Vanderbilt starts with food. Among rats, taste is indeed a simple thing. If they eat something, they tend to like it. The more they eat of it, the more they like it. Their social situation when eating does not seem to matter much. “Rat eating behaviour does not change according to who is watching or to feelings of guilt or virtuousness.” Humans, Vanderbilt notes, are trickier. Unlike rats, they eat things because they have never tasted them before and because they think other members of their species like them. The pleasure they get from food seems much more variable than that experienced by rats.

It’s long been understood that making pleasure your goal in life will lead to diminishing returns.
book  review  food  pleasure  society  social  eating  choice  philosophy 
august 2016 by aries1988

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