The Digest

The Melody of Hot Sauce & Other News

19th May 2018

Words: James Hansen

Saving dying cuisines, the story of a treasured condiment and more in this week’s food media round-up

Therese Nelson meditates on the melody of hot sauce for TASTE. “The idea of hot sauce as an essential part of the black table is complicated, delicious, and very much key to understanding what makes our unique culinary tradition culturally important.” Tying her writing to black music’s intersection with black foodways and taking cues from her grandfather’s migration, Nelson explains the practical necessity of hot sauce, its enduring inherence and “the constant search for deliciousness and heightened flavor that our culinary culture is predicated on.”

Tania Bhattacharya looks at how tech can save waning Indian cuisine for Ozy. Authenticook is a strangely named app that connects home chefs to an otherwise unreachable audience, preventing unheralded regional cuisines from fading out of public consciousness. “Rajni Jinsi, based in the Delhi suburb of Faridabad, cooks Kashmiri Pandit food at gatherings hosted by hotels and resorts. The Vijaykars, a Mumbai family belonging to the Pathare Prabhu community, host the wildly successful Dine With Vijaykars pop-up every couple of months.” In the face of younger generations moving away from historic methods or the overwhelming homogeneity of globalisation, the platform “is providing homemakers with a platform to revive traditional methods of slow-cooking and recipes, and help them gain financial independence.”

Sharanya Deepak breaks down the hurt of a food insult at Buzzfeed. “When you grow up in India, curry isn’t really a smell. It isn’t even a word. But on one day in April 2015, at my bar-tending job in Brussels, I was told I smelled like curry. And became, in one instant, reduced to a dish.” As Deepak explains, curry “becomes a blanket term for a complex culture coined by people that had set out to colonize it.” In reclaiming the word with friends, Deepak owns her experience, rejecting lazy assumptions for a reality her own.

Spoofing an email from a kindly (and possibly Portlandia-residing) friend, Josh Gondelman offers some restaurant recommendations at The New Yorker. Le Coquette is worthy: “it’s a little pricey, but every course will change your life, some of them in ways you might not like.” So too is Greenliness: “The food is all vegan, but it’s so good you’ll swear it’s vegetarian.” Sticking a fork in modish fads might be an easy sell, but Gondelman carries it off with aplomb, and it’s always good to reflect on our own absurdity once in a while.

Image: Lydia Ortiz / Taste Cooking

Posted 19th May 2018

In The Digest


Words: James Hansen

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