An Afroculinaria Menu:
I love so many different things about food, history, culture, contemporary food/cultural politics, and spirituality that I really want to write about and study it all. One concept in my toolbox is nhomosua/nhumu from the Akan wisdom tradition of central and southern Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire. The two words are related. Nhomosua means learning, studying and nhumu means insight, the search for nyansa–wisdom inside and outside in all things. So many West and Central African see wisdom as divinely given and something that’s meant to be retrieved as well as received. The idea of “study,” or limmud in Jewish tradition means a lifelong dedication to learning and seeing those ideas, concepts, and creations that seem trite as something as novel as a snowflake crystal by asking new questions, surfing the sea of knowledge, turning things on their head going against the grains and looking at things from an outsider perspective with insider knowledge. I look to all of the cultures that are part of my genetic and spiritual DNA for insight into my journey and to guide the journey I call learning.
As I cook, travel, meet new people, read new books, encounter new ideas and take new paths, I want to create a system to file my blog posts. I’ve provided a list here of different subject headings, so the next time you see a blog post it will have a filing title and for the most part I’ll try to cycle them through–in no particular order to make sure all the different things I want to learn about with you are touched on now and then…
- Afro-Alimentary: When you want to read about classic dishes and recipes, heirlooms and heritage plants, crops and breeds with a basis in African American Foodways traditions. I’ll focus on a specific food or variety and talk about its qualities and usage.
- The Sable Gourmet: Me as I cook both historic-based and contemporary food and go into the kitchen to play!
- Food Justice/Social Justice: Talking about issues of access to healthy and nutritious foods in communities of color, looking at greening, sustainable eating and living, food movements and greater trends and patterns in sustaining a human culture and society.
- Dishcourse: When I want to dish, snap, talk smack and just make commentary.
- Kosher Soul: My oft-quoted “alter-ego” When I want to talk about being a Jewish eater (“fresser” for the initiated) and what to meet the crossroads of African American and Jewish foodways.
- Lessons for Now: Sure history is great but how can this help “the community” and society right now? Self-explanatory–notes from the fields on how to make knowledge into power.
- Guest Spot!: This is an invitation for others to blog, post photos, dialogue with me, etc. I’ll post interviews in guest spot posts.
- Bolokaja!: Means “come down and fight” in Yoruba, these are quick-rant, vent and not have a stroke posts.
- Terroir Noire: Whats the relationship with the land that goes into the food? I’ll blog about the specific culture of terroir (earth presence) in African American foodways and our emotional bond with nature to produce food.
- Ancestors and Elders: Honoring my forefathers, foremothers, family and teachers, ’nuff said.