Action 2 – Terroir

I am believe strongly in the saying – You are what you eat. There are several contexts to the way this  is perceived. The proverbial notion is that you need to eat good food to be healthy. Some believe that it has a religious root rather than a dietary logic (It is said that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are changed into the body and blood of Jesus). However the earliest known origin of the modern day proverb is known to be the words of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the famous French lawyer also known as an epicure – “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are”

What, in my understanding, he was referring to was a larger lens of looking at the relationship between man and the food they eat. For the Action 2 – Terroir – I have illustrated for April a recipe for ‘Kheer’. It is a sweet rice pudding, versions of which are traditionally made on important festivals across the Indian subcontinent. The primary reason I saw this as a fitting offering was that the base ingredients are common across both our cultures. Rice, for example, is a staple in China. My diagram captures the simple process of making the pudding along with illustrating through colours the texture of the sensory experience that I have while making it in my kitchen. 

This is a dessert I grew up on and was the first thing I learnt to make when I moved out of my parents house. Apart from the obvious memories the aroma and the taste provide comfort along with the much needed sugar kick at times. The relationship that I share with Kheer is dynamic – it reminds me of home during stressful times and is also reminds me of one of my first triumphs at being independent. 

April’s offering to me was actually a very familiar dish that made me nostalgic about my undergraduate days. Egg Fried Rice is a dish which is often whipped up as a quick snack in many Indian dorm rooms. I was excited to see if the recipe matched the version I had been making for so long. Well, it didn’t! It was much more simpler and had more technique than what we did here. I made the dish in the general cacophony of my home kitchen and had little time to enjoy it fully. But I did notice the distinct flavour and it reminded me of my trip to China. Being an Indian, we have a very different perception of Chinese food. But this offering took me back to the memories of the authentic flavours and made me realise how cultures, traditions and even flavours change drastically when they travel through timezones and generations.

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