Sunday, May 27, 2012

Reading And Food Go Together . . .

As long as one doesn't leave greasy fingerprints on the pages.

I mused about attempts to reduce the amount of literature students read here.  The practical folk behind this ludicrous alleged reform contend that fiction has little practical value.  Darya Pino STEM person who is also a foodie disagrees. She writes:
The power of language to whisk us away to other worlds, times and even into other people’s minds never ceases to astound me.
Fiction can often give me a better glimpse into a culture than even visiting, since the amount of time and exploration required to really get a sense for the mindset and lifestyle of the people who live there is substantial.
Some might argue that getting "a better glimpse into a culture" or getting a sense of others "mindset and lifestyle" still has no personal practical benefit. Pino adds one more more benefit that applies to everyone; reading fiction made her a better cook.
For instance, it’s impossible for me to read Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, which I’ve done several times, without craving Spanish tapas and red wine for the better part of a month (this is also why Spanish food is one of my absolute favorite cuisines). The Last Chinese Chef had me exploring obscure alleyways in Chinatown in search of the best dumplings and peking duck, and before reading it I would have said Chinese food wasn’t really my jam.
Midnight’s Children, the meta-award winning book by Salman Rushdie, forever changed the way I think and feel about Indian food. Spices and heat permeate the characters and events in Midnight’s Children, which is one of the literary tools Rushdie uses to portray his native culture. My obsession with Indian food lasted for months as I read this and other works by Rushdie, since I couldn’t stop reading him after finishing the first.
One need not read the highbrow literature Pino lists here.  Robert Parker's Spenser cooks in nearly title.

HT: LIfehacker

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