November 6, 2008

Food culture, here and there

I listened to the 11/1/08 podcast of NPR's The Splendid Table, and was happy to hear some direct reporting on food culture from the CEERES region. The link to this particular episode is here.

Two segments of the show caught my ear, and made my stomach growl just a little. The show opens with a report from a couple, Jane and Michael Stern (their site is, that travels around the U.S., reviewing the local food stops along the way. In this episode of the Splendid Table, they visit West, Texas (an actual town, not the region) where there happens to be a significant Czech-emigre population. Czech bakeries touting their traditional kolache abound. The couple gives a great discussion of the how the food tastes and why it's there. It's not solid reporting on the lives of immigrants by any means, but hearing about the food will make your mouth water.

Even more fascinating, and much more rigorous in its scholarship is a segment later in the episode. Unfortunately, you have to download the podcast and fast forward to get to this segment. At 25.45 minutes into the show is an audio documentary recorded in the field by Carla Seidl in Azerbaijan on Azeri food culture, including discussion of the food, social roles in preparing and serving, and interviews. I was pleasantly surprised to find this, and I think some of you might fing it interesting for your teaching, research, or just plain entertainment.

No comments: