Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blogger since 2008
Blog:  The Wandering Taster

One of my friends, Edith-Ingrid, kindly nominated me to write about my blog, so I am stepping up to the challenge here.  Here are the basics of who I am and why I blog.

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, but moved to the East Coast of the United States when I was 18, and basically stayed here since then.  I have lived in Northern Virginia for 20 years. 
Why did I start blogging?  I have always written down my observations, thoughts, feelings.  I started The Wandering Taster because like many people, I love food.  To me it is more than a basic need that keeps us alive. It is an expression of my personal memories, my associations with my family, and my links to the larger cultures around me. 

Food can be a force that unites people.  Latin Americans light up when I mention dulce de leche or flan.  Argentines get very happy if I suggest a beef cookout.  These are foods that were a regular part of my childhood trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina, my parents’ home country.  So for me this food symbolizes a sort of homecoming.   

It can also be a force that divides.  We have all been to that restaurant in a particular part of the country or world that makes things differently, in a way that we did not expect or like.  I think of my first experience with New-York style pizza.  As a native Chicagoan, I could not believe that what I was eating passed for “pizza”.  To me, it is deep-dish or I am done!  And it should be cheese and sausage, not cheese and pepperoni.   I have argued endlessly with my husband, a native New Yorker, about this.  It is an area where we have agreed to disagree.

Why my blog is different:  Most people agree that cooking and eating are meditative and pleasurable.  When I make a new dish, why did I choose it, and what does it evoke? A friendship, a country visited, an early memory?  This is what I explore.  It is not so much a “how-to” blog, which states, “this is what I made and how”.  Don’t get me wrong:  Such blogs and channels have their value and I watch and read them avidly.  But my blog is more of a reflection of my relationship to food.  I write about why I made a particular dish, and what this dish evoked for me when I made it or sampled it.    I also explore food, not just in my kitchen or a restaurant, but its presence and meaning in movies and other media. 

Another reason my blog is different:  Well if you haven’t already guessed it, I am a non-linear thinker -- ah the joys of ADHD!  So my essays tend to wander from topic to topic, just like my brain and my interests.  To some readers, this may be a drawback, because they will say my blog lacks focus.  Other readers might enjoy the free-association of my writing.  But ultimately, I say, “To thine own self be true”, so do what works for you. 

Thanks for your interest.  If you are new, enjoy what is on my pages.  If you are a veteran reader, may you keep carrying the torch for my blog.  I am very grateful for you, my awesome audience.

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