Meant to be Eaten looks at cross-cultural exchange in food and contemporary media. What determines “authenticity”? What, if anything, gets lost in translation when cooking foods from another’s culture? First-generation Chinese host, Coral Lee, looks at how American culture figures forth in less-than mainstream ways, in less-than expected places.
Gastromica's New Feed On HRN
If you’ve been keeping up with Meant To Be Eaten, you know that our last few seasons were produced in collaboration with Gastronomica, the Journal for Food Studies. Gastronomica now has its very own feed on the Heritage Radio Network where they are continuing this work!
So, if you’re a fan of Meant To Be Eaten, go check out Gastronomica and subscribe! Here’s a little sneak peak of what you can expect.
On this episode, host Jaclyn Rohel, a member of the Gastronomica Editorial Collective, talks with food historian Krystyn Moon and biologist Jennifer Rhode Ward about their new research on the complexities of taste, identity, and food access in Cuba. Krystyn and Jennifer shed light on why hierarchies of taste persist even amidst state attempts to flatten social hierarchies.
What to Read Now: Melissa Fuster's Caribeños at the Table
This episode is part of a collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, hosted by editorial collective member Jaclyn Rohel. Jaclyn shares some new and soon-to-be published titles in food studies and is joined by her Gastronomica colleague Melissa Fuster in conversation about Melissa’s new book, Caribeños at the Table: How Migration, Health, and Race Intersect in New York City (UNC Press, 2021). An expert in both public health nutrition and food studies, Melissa weaves together research in history, policy, health, and everyday life to connect newcomers’ culinary practices to the complex structural factors that shape well-being. Melissa also discusses how this work led her to develop her community-based research initiative, the Latin American Restaurants in Action Project.
Stephen Velasquez on Art and Activism
This episode is part of a collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies hosted by Gastronomica editorial collective member Paula Johnson. In this episode, curator Stephen Velasquez discusses how activism and food history come together in a graphic calendar. The Calendario de Comida 1976, created by California-based artist collectives in 1975, sought to bring attention to alternative foodways and indigenous food knowledges as part of a broader social justice movement. Stephen discusses some of the imagery within the calendar and expands on the role of Chicano activists in reimagining colonial histories and identity.
Sucharita Kanjilal on Tomatoes and Taste-making in Indian Recipes
This episode is part of a collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, hosted by Gastronomica editorial collective member Krishnendu Ray. The tomato is a staple ingredient in Indian subcontinental cooking, but this is a relatively recent phenomenon. In this episode, anthropologist Sucharita Kanjilal explains how tomatoes became incorporated into Indian pantries in the 20th century. Weaving together the histories of two British imports -- the tomato and the recipe -- she discusses the fluidity of taste-making in postcolonial India.
Photo courtesy of Sucharita Kanjilal.
Aya H. Kimura on Pickling: Histories of Tsukemono
This episode is part of a collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, hosted by Gastronomica editorial collective member Daniel Bender. Aya H. Kimura unpacks the biocultural history of tsukemono (Japanese pickles). She discusses the different kinds of traditional tsukemono in Japanese dining cultures and explains how these preserves are made. She also offfers insight into how modern agriculture has affected tsukemono.
Benjamin Schrager on Risk, Regulation, and Raw Chicken in Japan
This episode is part of a collaboration with Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, hosted by Gastronomica editorial collective member James Farrer. Geographer Benjamin Schrager talks about his new article, “Risky but Raw: On (Not) Regulating One of the Most High-Risk Dishes in Japan,” published in Gastronomica (issue 21.3). He raises awareness about food risk and discusses the tastes and textures of some raw chicken dishes, local regulatory responses, and the development of the poultry industry in Japan more broadly.