Monthly Archives: August 2016

Influences on Italian and American cuisine

The article, “Italy’s Culinary Heritage” sheds light on the regional differences of Italian cuisine based on the different influences each region experienced. Sicily is a great example of how different cultures influenced the cuisine of this state because of the strong Muslim presence. As stated in the article, “Rare in Italian cooking, sweet and savory flavors are brought together in one dish, such as in pasta con le sarde;” however, because of the island’s location, this meal is prepared in an untraditionally Italian way, even today (16). Another great example is the state of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The article describes the cuisine as “mostly rough and hearty, though Venice superimposes some of its refinements in the first course with risotto. Thick vegetable soups to which beans, rice, or barley are added are typical Friuli fare. Pork stew with cabbage and goulash are of the Trieste cuisine, which is a melting pot of Venetian, Hungarian, Greek, Austrian, Slavic, and Hebrew traditions” (16). Clearly, the different countries surrounding Italy and different cultures strongly influenced different regions’ typical cuisine.

Looking at the food culture in the United States, I definitely see influences of other countries and cultures in our cuisine. Sometimes, I even find it hard to define what American cuisine is because the country is such a melting pot of cultures. What is a typical American dish? Hamburgers? Hot Dogs? Where I am from, there is a lot of seafood because I am so close to the Gulf of Mexico, but with regards to seeing foreign cultures in our own cuisine, the best example I can think of is in New Orleans, Louisiana. The French and Haitian cultures both have played a strong role in the cuisine of NOLA, and the city is known as the food capital of the south.

On the receiving end of cultural adaptations, Mexican food—more accurately, Tex-Mex—has definitely become a common food in the United States. I think a big contribution to this growing food industry is the influx of Latinos into the United States over the past decades. I worked in a Mexican restaurant in my city, and there were many immigrants working there as well. They taught me how to “mexicanizar” my Mexican food, or how to order my food at a Tex-Mex place to make it more authentic to they way they would eat it at home. On the one hand, I found it great that I was learning how to eat the food the way they eat it, but on the other, I was sad that more people do not have those friends to show them. One can definitely find authentic Mexican restaurants in many cities, but I find the cultural adaption very interesting.

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Sociology on the Menu

Beardsworth and Keil outline three different approaches to studying food in their Chapter “Sociological Perspectives on Food and Eating,” which include functionalist, structuralist, and developmental. They provide an analogy that defines functionalist approach in a way that strongly resonates with me. They compare it to a body where organs each have a separate role, but together are able to make the body as a whole function (58). Furthermore, they explain that the “functionalist theory makes an important distinction between the manifest function of some feature (i.e., the function explicitly recognized by members of the society in question) and that feature’s latent function (i.e., a function that a feature may fulfill, but which may not be recognized or admitted by society’s members)” (58). Essentially, it is like a machine, each part must work together for the machine to work properly, and this approach is the examination of each part of the machine.

Beardsworth and Keil detail how different the structuralist approach is from the functionalist, focusing on Lévi-Strauss’s explanation, who claims that the functionalist approach is more of a surface examination of a culture, while the structuralist aims to determine the underlying structure that would not be seen by the common eye, but rather by examining the rules of cooking, for example (61). Thus, in studying how and why the rules were made, one can gain a deeper level of understanding of the culture.

Lastly, the authors define the developmental approach as an idea that is more residual, and that “can be placed a range of approaches which exhibit some common features and preoccupations,” and furthermore, “that any worthwhile attempt to understand contemporary culture forms or patterns of social relations must take into account the ways in which these are related to past forms” (65). Essentially, studying the way society and culture has developed over time and how food has changed with it.

An alternative representation to the developmental approach that would help me better understand material would be to create a timeline of a recipe. Food culture so often is learned from a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, or a friend, who shares a recipe. From that recipe, maybe one forgets an ingredient, or accidently adds too much flour, or etc.… any small change in a recipe can greatly alter the final product! Thus, creating a timeline where we compare how one recipe is made from one person, to another, and additionally adding in important historical aspects to later analyze whether the change was accidental or of historical/cultural significance could be an interesting way to see the developmental approach unfold. For example, my grandmother used to make homemade chocolate brownies. My mom learned the recipe, but after meeting my father he suggested adding in chocolate chips. When I learned the recipe, I learned it with the added chocolate chips, but I poured 1 tablespoons of vanilla extract because I did not realize there was a difference between tablespoon and teaspoon. (I was 6.) Now, whenever my family makes baked goods, we triple the amount of vanilla extract required. After creating this simple timeline, I cannot wait to see if my child ever learns the recipe, and if so, if he/she will alter it in some way!

DCP_0740

Noodle Narrative

Final Paper

ITAL-376W

Yibo Wu

Dr. Hong Li

Dr. Ristaino Christine

7/29/2016

 

The reason noodles became the Major staple dish in China

Noodle is a starchy product mainly made out of wheat mixing with water and then formed into different forms and shapes. It became the primary way of in taking the carbohydrates for many people in the world after existing in the world for over 4000 years. As a nature article stated “Noodles …. Although it is debatable whether the Chinese, the Italians or the Arabs invented them first. Here we analyze a prehistoric sample of noodles contained in a well preserved, sealed earthenware bowl discovered in the Late Neolithic2, 3, 4 archaeological site of Lajia in northwestern China … This shows that the conversion of ground millet flour into dough that could be repeatedly stretched into long, thin strands for the preparation of boiled noodles was already established in this region 4,000 years ago.” (Nature) Since Chinese are the inventors of this amazing treat, they devote much more love than any other country does. In the morning, people from the city of Wuhan love to have a bowl of fresh Re Gan Mian (hot and dry noodle mixed with peanut butter), then, satisfied and off to work. Then for lunch, people from all over China have various types of noodles for lunch. Till the dinner time, Cantonese people always enjoy to have a delicate bowl of Yun Tun Mian (wonton noodles) which the noodle was made from eggs and flour. Along the 4000 years history of noodles, how did they evolve and change and adapt to become the major staple food in China? How could a boring wheat based dish be loved by millions of people? The secrets are the three facts down below.

First reason that made noodle a successful and well- accepted dish is that the hygienic condition and sanitation brought by the boiling noodles. In ancient China, people were having shorter life-spans than those nowadays and the major issue was the unhygienic condition of the food people every day eat and the water they have every day (Zhang D). The food the people were eaten were always undercooked or even raw. Also, the water they drank were mostly waters from the well or springs which are not purified before they drink. These unhygienic conditions have made the bacteria proliferated quickly. However, the appearance of the noodles are a great leap forward to make the people healthier. By boiling the noodles into hot water, the people can enjoy the food with less bacteria in it and improve the hygienic condition. Also, the noodle soup acquired by boiling the noodles turned to be a supplementary drink for the people. By consuming these hot-boiled based food and drink, Chinese people largely elongated their life-span and made noodles a popular choice among all those food.

I was once shocked by the improvement of the sanitation brought by the noodles. That was during the summer in 2010 and Henan province was enduring a serious flood. Since my father worked for the government in civil administration department and provide disaster relief was also their job, I went to the flooded area with him as a volunteer. We brought tons of supplies including water, tent and food. After I unboxed the food supplies, I was shocked by the amount of instant noodles; it was 3 tons of instant noodles which piled up like a small hill. Then the distribution of the food confused me, because, in my opinion, the people need some balanced food to recover. So I turned to ask an officer using interview method to approach: “Why do we only bring instant noodles here, what about all those healthy vegetables and meat?”  The officer told me that after the flood went off, it is impossible for them to get clean water and the precious bottled water are only for medical and drinking use only. Also, it is harder for people who live in far rural areas to get clean water supplies. By boiling noodles into the filtrated muddy water, the people’s need in food and water will be satisfied. Also boiled noodles will largely decrease the possibility of getting sick in the harsh conditions. This has proved that boiling noodles will immensely increase the quality of the hygienic condition and that is one reason to let noodles became beloved by the Chinese people.

Second reason that made noodle such a popular dish in China is its astonishing adaptability to different climates, eating habits and even personalities formed by regional differences. First of all, China is an immense country that has 9.6 million square kilometers (China). Also, across the country’s wide boarders, there are different landforms contained in it. For example, from the northeastern part of China is the Manchuria where some of it is located inside the arctic. It is an example of the extremely cold condition. Then China has the Hai Nan Island and islands in South China Sea that are located closely to the equator. In Westernmost China, it is the Xi Zang (Tibet) and Xin Jiang province that contains the landform of both plateau and the desert. In the north-east part of China are Gan Su, Shan Xi province which are the most arid area on the planet. Then along the east coast, China has the eastern Venice of Suzhou where the climate is pleasant and rainy. Noodle overcame all the different climate and adapted to each part of China perfectly.

Shan Xi and Xin Jiang, are two of the most drought-ridden areas in China, yet people enjoy the noodles there and consider it as the main dish in daily life. People in Shan Xi cooked noodles mostly in gravy or even stir fry with oil, and that is the adaptation towards the insufficient water supply. Shan Xi people are famous for their Dao Xiao Mian which is knife shaved noodle cooked into boiling waters. They also tend to eat more noodles using wok to stir fry or to serve with thick gravy. These two cooking methods will reduce the amount of water they use in cooking daily menu. However, it is another story for the Si Chuan people. Sichuan is located at the southwest of China and it is extremely humid and hot there. People love to eat chilies and peppers to keep the extra moisture out of their body. So the way Si Chuan people conduct in their cooking of noodles is to add extra pepper and chili oil to make it hot and delicious. The most famous Si Chuan noodle is the Dan Dan noodles which vendors will boil the noodles in hot water and then drain them and mix the noodle with the pickled vegetables, meat, peppers and hot chili oil. Dan Dan noodle showed the perfect integration between noodles and the climate. Whatever the climate is, noodles can be combined with that climate by either changing forms of cooking, side dishes or use of spices and chilies.

In the adaptation category, the adaptation toward dietary habits especially to ethnic and religious dietary habits in noodles is extraordinary. China is a country with 56 distinct ethnics and each of them has a quite different recipe with the others (China). Also, religious diversity plays an important part in China, too. The Islamic Uyghur people’s dietary habits proved the combination of their own unique culture and the noodles can be wonderful. One of the most famous traditional dishes in Xin Jiang is the Xin Jiang La Tiao which is a hand pulled noodle boiled in hot water and then served with a stir fried side dish of a combination of lamb and tomatoes. Chefs use fresh lamb to stir fry the tomato and then put mixes of spices and chilies, finally, mix them with the fresh boiled and drained noodles. Uyghur people are all Islamic, so they had many taboos in consuming meat, however, La Tiao could be cooked within the limitation of the religion and create a perfect combination.

Chinese people from the south part love to eat rice. Noodles seem and sound irrelevant to them. However, Chinese chefs had break through the limits of using wheat flour to make noodles and create the rice noodles which became one of the signature dishes in Cantonese area. Gan Chao Niu He (stir fry beef with rice noodles) is truly a diamond on the crown among various types of Cantonese snacks. Because Cantonese people are fascinated with the silky and clean texture of the rice rather than the chewy texture brought by the noodles, Cantonese chef use rice to create the rice noodles that share the texture of the rice of being transparent and the appearance of the noodle which is slim and long. Then the precooked rice noodle will be stir fried in a hot wok with big fire with large portion of oil, beef and bean sprouts. Within seconds, the beloved dish that have the flavor of fried rice and beef gravy and rice noodle will be served at the table. These two examples suggested how the noodles are so adaptive to meet different needs from populations in different dietary habits from religious reasons to regional differences.

Last reason that showed the thriving noodles being loved by the Chinese are the adaptation towards cultural differences formed by the regional difference. China has a population of 1.4 billion and the difference in cultures can be characterized into different regions (China). As Yutang Lin has suggested in his My country and my People“ For the one hand we have the northern Chinese, acclimatized to simple thinking and hard living, tall and stalwart, hale, hearty and humorous, onion-eating and fun-loving, children of nature…..Down the south-east coast, south of the Yangtse, one meets a different type, inured to ease and culture and sophistication, mentakky developed but physically retrograde, loving their poetry and their comforts….The raw, rugged North and the soft, pliable South.” (Yutang Lin) The cultural difference influenced by the regional difference has shaped the people in distinct personalities. People in the North part are generous, straightforward, vulgar and outgoing while the Southerners are sometimes more of an elegant, polite and introvert. These differences in characters shaped the noodles disparately and diversified the noodles in all kinds. Northerners tend to eat hand pulled noodles that are thick, chewy and wide with a mouthful of tenderness and toughness and served with thick gravy. These sorts of noodles are always high in calories and sometimes oily taste. Northerners eat noodle with a loud sound of “shu” and that shows the satisfaction the man has. However, the characters Southerners had formed their noodles to be soft, smooth and a silky texture and served with a transparent chicken or beef stock. Also, southerners have a quieter way of enjoying noodles than the northerners. The way to achieve the Southern noodles’ texture is by mixing the flour with the egg, but not the traditional way of mixing water with the flour. By mixing flour with the egg, the chef will bring the texture to a whole other level. The clear and crispness of the noodle always meets the satisfaction of the southerners. This has showed that the distinct personalities for different people can be satisfied by different kinds of noodles.

Lastly, the reason that Chinese people are fascinated by the noodle is the easiness of getting the ingredient to make noodles and the easiness to store them. The majority of the noodles in China are made of wheat. Chines people started to grow wheat since 5000 years ago and wheat soon became one of the main crops that Chinese people consume daily (John R. Dowson). As time goes by, even southern part of China started to grow wheat to meet the increasing need for consuming wheat. Till the Song Dynasty, wheat has achieved the second largest output among all the crops in China. (He, Z, 2)By growing wheat, farmers could get the output twice a year. Also, wheat is not limited to any landforms and not dependent to water, so farmers lived in different areas could grow this crop and the output is assured. By getting all those wheat transformed into flour, chefs have prepared the major ingredient of noodles. Then just by mixing water or eggs with the flour, chefs could gain a decent portion of large dough which could then be cut or hand pulled or sliced into various types of noodles. Since the crop has been grown anywhere in the country, it is so easy for chef to get the ingredients to make noodle. Additionally, compared to other crops grown at the same time, they are limited either by the taste and the texture of the crop or the grown amount or regional limitations, so they could not stand out and became the ingredient of a major dish.

The second reason in the easiness category is the simpleness of storing the prepared noodles. Although Chinese people still consume large amount of fresh made noodles from farmers’ market to homemade noodles. Dried noodles like instant noodles and Gua Mian(Vermicelli) have taken more important roles than that before. Gua Mian is a unique sort of noodle that was created to be easy to store. It was first invented in the Yuan Dynasty which was 700 years ago. The noodle was prepared with soda and salt, then hang it for 2 days with a tall stick to dry it naturally. Then, vermicelli is ready to be stored for months. This creation promoted the development of the noodle and its culture. Since then, it is the standard disposition for the army to bring dried noodles like Gua Mian into the battlefield.

Also, a traditional way of storing the noodles, dated earlier than the Gua Mian, took place in the Shan Xi province. The locals, following the landform, build their homes—cave dwellings out of the mountain and lived there for a long period of time. The cave dwelling itself is dry and isolated with the sunlight. So the locals used this specialty to store their noodles by drying them first and then put them into these cave dwellings and the noodles can be edible for years. This discovery has made the Shan Xi people fond of noodles and Shan Xi province itself, became the capital of noodles in the world.

Noodles, the traditional Chinese diet, have transcended its food status into a cultural phenomenon. It has become the representation of the farmers and chefs hard-working and wisdom. Noodle could achieve today’s status in Chinese menu and recipes are all because of its hygienic condition brought by the cooking, its adaptation towards the diversity of region difference, dietary difference and personality differences and finally, its easiness of getting the ingredients and easiness of storing them.

 

 

Work Cited:

  1. Lu, Houyuan, Xiaoyan Yang, Maolin Ye, Kam-Biu Liu, Zhengkai Xia, Xiaoyan Ren, Linhai Cai, Naiqin Wu, and Tung-Sheng Liu. “Culinary Archaeology: Millet Noodles in Late Neolithic China.” Nature 437.7061 (2005): 967-68. Web.
  2. Zhang, D. “Ren Kou Xue Kan.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 1991.
  3. “China.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2016.
  4. John, Dodson R. “Origin and Spread of Wheat in China.” Origin and Spread of Wheat in China. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2013.
  5. He, Z. H. A History of Wheat Breeding in China. Mexico: CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, 2001. Print.
  6. Lin, Yutang. My Country and My People. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1935. Print.
Category: Student Work

Interview Project

Web Post 3

Blog post 3

Dr. Christine Ristaino

Dr. Hong Li

Yibo Wu

7/13/16

 

Chinese people values cooking and food the most among all the countries on this planet. In ancient times, there is an old saying called “food comes first” (Min Yi Shi Wei Tian). By putting the food as the same status of the heaven, people can know how important Chinese people view food. As time goes by, even in the modern times, Chinese people still continues the ancient heritage. Nowadays, the Chinese people call the food lovers “Chi Huo” which means the people who thinks about food all the time. Since we are a 5000 year continuous civilization, Chinese developed many unique eating cultures about food and cooking. Shared dining was one of the cultural traditions that are famous. Basically, Chinese people will sit together, eat together and share food from one plate. This one, compares to western tradition, is a huge different eating habits. The reason we do this is that Chinese people pursue the integrality of the dishes. When we serve the fish dish, the cook will take out the viscera of the fish and leave the bones right in there and cook it. So when the fish get served, it will look like a whole fish with sauce, that means the unity cannot be divided and served separately. Also, the reason why Chinese people sit and eat around a rounded table is that we would like to share the importance of the kinship. While eating together and share the food from the table, Chinese people believe it will foster a stronger relationship than sitting a squared table and eating separately. The other important point we pursue in food is the texture of the combination of the ingredients. Chinese people paid so much attention in getting the perfect feeling while chewing and swallowing. For example, when the cook want to use bamboo shoot or black tree fungus to cook a dish, they would like to find other ingredients that are soft like fired pork with eggs because of the crispness bamboo shoot has. Chinese cooks tried to pursue the perfect balance of the ingredients, and when one ingredient is plain, the cooks will put other ingredients that are either salty like smoked ham or sweet like dates. The other significant point is that Chinese people put soup in a very high status in our food system. A good cook should have the ability to make a good pot of hot soup. Because soup is the way of cooking that you can put expensive ingredients in it and it will keep the original flavor of the ingredients and lock the nutrition in the soup. This way you can maximize your usage of the ingredients. Chinese people would sacrifice hours of time to boil a pot of soup. Also, when traditional Chinese medicine doctors will always recommend you to use “Shi Liao” (food treatment) to cure your disease first and if not working, then medical treatment came in.

The dish that impressed me the most was the winter melon with the spare ribs and corns soup. My family cook this soup almost every week because winter melon is low calorie and rich in Vitamin C. Also, although spare ribs are a bit oily when its cooked independently, when stewing with corns and winter melon, the final delicacy will be an almost transparent soup with a bit oil in it. After taste it, I could assure you all you can say is WOW, AMAZING!!! It will present you a feeling of fresh and fragrant. Taste the soup and then put rice in it, I am in heaven right now. Since the soup is transparent, some eaters who love the feeling of gravy would like a deeper color of the soup, then some restaurant started to boil the soup with some milk in it, then it will present a state of milky white with the soup itself and a more juicy rib. However, I think that is a violation of the original balance of the winter melon and the corn. Though milk did bring the corn more fragrant and more appetizing. Also, many Chinese office workers would like to order their lunch through the phone on line while at 10 o clock. So that left limited time for the restaurant to prepare. They first fry the rib to let it half cooked and then boil it in hot water. To me, this is an infringe to the tradition, however, it is also a compromise to the modern rhythm.

Recipe:

1: wash the ribs and put them in clean water for 30 mins

2: put some oil in the pan and put into some ginger slices. Then fry the ribs a bit.

3: transfer the ribs into a stewpot and pour enough water in it. Put several drops of rice vinegar.

4: use big fire till the water is boiled and then turn it into small fire and boil for 2 hours

5: put corns and winter melons in it and add some salt. Then boil it for 20 more mins

6: put some pepper in it and some green onion slices.

7 ENJOY!!!a

Web Post 2

ITAL-376W

Dr. Christine Ristaino

Dr. Hong Li

Yibo Wu

7/5/16

 

The article we read about was the introduction part of the book Eating Culture. In the introductory chapter, it mainly discusses three types of ethnographical fieldwork method that anthropologists use in food studies.

The first method is participant observation. Basically, it is the method that anthropologists fit into the cultural background and do what the observed do. Prepare and cook and serve food as the locals did. This will help the outsiders acquire a quite accurate etic perspective, which is the perspective from the outside. However, this pattern could make the observers come up with a relatively biased emic perspective, which is the view from the insiders. The reason it is biased when come to the emic perspective is that although the observers live with the observed and do what they did, the observers are still sitting inside their own cultural background, they still think like themselves before. That might cause the point extracted from the participant observation method biased.

The second method anthropologists used in food study field works is the interview method. Interview, as it defined in the chapter, is a useful way in food studies. The anthropologists just simply raise questions to the locals thus gaining insider’s perspective. Through the answers, anthropologist could extract accurate information from the locals about thing like different roles played in food preparation. Also, the field workers observations to the group will help to build up a complete outsiders perspective. This method enables the anthropologists to still think inside their own cultural background while gaining unbiased knowledge for the emic point of view.

The last method listed in the article was comparison. This sort of method will provide the anthropologists a broader range to access to two totally different culture and see what the same is and what the differences are. For the previous 2 methods, it was all about the anthropologists’ culture and the observed culture. However, this method gives the third culture a place to get compared and contrast with the 2 original cultures.

The one type of method that resonate me the most was the interview method. The city that I am from was famous for its noodles called Hui Mian. The noodle was formed with three different parts, the soup base, the noodle and the toppings. The soup base, always using fresh lamb, braised and stewed for five hours with traditional Chinese spices will finally appear to be a milky white color and fragrant smell. The noodles, different from other noodles, were hand pulled and stretched from a dough and turn into a 5 cm wide and 0.5 cm thick noodle slice. Then the toppings are always made up by giant sliced of lamb meat, quail eggs, tofu skins, cilantro and skin noodles. This delicacy made my childhood and youth. I would go to the restaurant every week at least one time. After I went to the United States for studying, I could not find decent Hui Mian due to the lack of my hometown people here. So I was very disappointed until one day, I found a Chinese restaurant which serves Hui Mian, so I ordered it and turns out it was great. After several times I have been there, I was more than curious to see who was the chef that made the great bowl of noodle. It turns out that the chef was an old lady from my hometown, since we were from the same city, we soon became close friends and she decided to teach me in the kitchen. She took out an old recipe which seems to be falling apart and let me read through all the details, then she showed me the processes. I was astonished by her craftsmanship, every detail, every process was being made absolutely perfect. Then I asked her about some questions and attitudes toward the food. The answers solved all my curiosity and conveyed to me her personality and the way she treats food. By interviewing the old lady about the recipe, I not only learned how the dish was made, but also learned the person and the cultural background she represented.

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Web Post 1

ITAL 376 W

Hong Li

Christine Ristaino

6/30

Yibo Wu

 

The passage that I am responding to today is the chapter 3 from the Social Dimension of the food system. From the chapter, it mainly discusses 3 approaches to the food studies, the functionalism, structuralism and the developmental approach.

The first approach was the functionalism. It possesses the feature which is an analogy like a living body or a living organic system. It basically suggests that everything in the society was composed by many distinct things that come together and form a holistic unity. This way of approaching the society or more specifically speaking, to the food studies, remind me of my father’s old story. When I was 4 years old, one day, my father brought me back from the kindergarten and started to talk to me seriously. He told me whole chunk of stuff that I don’t even understand, so I let him to make it simple and he told me that the leader in his company gave him an promotion and he needs to go to some rural area for 3 years. Then I asked why do the company wants you not others to go there. Then he explained to me that everyone one in the society plays their unique role, a person is like a brick, when somebody wants to build a beautiful castle, we need to put ourselves in different positions so we can form the beautiful castle. So I can totally understand that every process of the food are like the organs of the living human being and thus it made the whole foodways.

The second approach was the structuralism, basically, it looks a little bit similar to the first one, which is the functionalism. However, inside, the two ways to approach the food studies are totally different. Unlike the functionalism showed the connection of the society from the surface, Structuralism focused below the surface. It showed the connection or linkage deep down from the thing itself. That means the supporters of the structuralism paid more attention to the core of the food studies. It get the chance to approach it from the inside. That is the spirit of structuralism.

The last one is the developmental approaches. This certain type of approach is the newest fashion in sociological studies. It conveys the idea that with the development of the society, the things you are used to live with will change with the society. Thus when it applies to the food studies, it basically proved that with the change of the cultures and the society, the menu you are eating everyday will change too.

The one I found the most representative is the last one, developmental approach. This approach just correspond to what my family has happened during these years. When I was a little kid, the family recipe was filled with meat, pig, lamb, beef, shrimp, all kinds of the meat were cooked and served in the table. According to what my grandmother said, they suffered a lot when they were little, always mal-nutritious, dehydrate, could not fill their stomach because there was nothing for them to eat. They were even forced to eat roasted insects to make them stop feeling hungry. So she cooked all those meat in order to make me and my cousins get enough nutrition. So our family traditional menu was 70% meat, 20% carbohydrates and 10% vegetables. However, as time goes by, when I grow up and become a relatively fat guy. My mother started to make changes to the menu, I stated to learn from the westerners to ear healthy, I started to have avocado in my salad and replace rice with sweet potatoes. All those changes in my menu was from the internet where I learn and make those changes. That is why I find the last approach accords to all my experiences in food and diet.

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Category: Student Work

Ital 376W Noodle Narrative Video

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For my noodle narrative project, I interviewed my brother, Thomas. Thomas Kervin (full name Thomas Jose Medina-Morel Kervin) was born in Honduras and spent his early childhood in the city of San Pedro Sula. He was 9 years old when he immigrated to the United States (Tampa, Florida), and previously had little exposure to noodles. Thomas discussed how his cultured lacked a significant connection to noodles, and how his experiences in the United States have affected his perspectives towards noodles. His observations are from the viewpoint of an outsider, thus allowing for an interesting analysis of how American culture influences individuals’ attitudes towards Chinese and Italian noodles.

Watch the full interview here.