Whether what follows amounts to a tale is not something I feel especially competent to judge. I have known people who would feel angry and let down if they were sold this piece on the understanding that it was a story. My Great-aunt Nell was one. She has long since passed on, having died in a mental hospital after many years of exile in the absolute solitude of Alzheimer’s disease; but while she was alive and daylit she never experienced any difficulty assigning texts she came across to their correct genres. She would have had no use for terms – like ‘fictions’ or ‘factions’ or ‘fictional essays’ – that pander to the uncertainties of pussy-footed intellectuals who have lost confidence in the simple distinction between truth and fiction. As for myself, still alive and apparently sane, I do not share her certainty and shall be quite happy to go along with any reader who would prefer to classify the ‘tale’ I am about to tell as an ‘essay’; or to de-classify it and call it a ‘construct’.
Certain Thoughts Arising out of being Pointed out by my Two-year-old Son
‘I was also unable to imagine that future years would generate a pair of green-brown eyes which would look at me, a little brain that would recognize me, a small mouth that would re-christen me 'Daddy’.’
‘Indigenous chefs will tell you that their dishes are Indigenous, not Canadian. With the plate, these chefs demonstrate that the food is the land, and that the land is still theirs.’
Zoe Tennant profiles Andrew George, a Wet’suwet’en chef.
Cooking from Memory
‘Each bite exploded temporally, an exquisite blend of past and future that put you firmly in the present moment.’
Barclay Bram on Sichuanese cuisine.
‘This might seem a lot of biographical significance to attribute to a single bad experience with a shepherd's pie.’
John Lanchester on what to eat during winter.
Typical Global and Typical Local Food
‘The banana is a gentle, sweet, ingenuous child. The plantain is a more complex adult.’
Héctor Abad Faciolince on Colombian food, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.
Fatima Bhutto | My Other Thing
‘The team here makes 3,500 to 4,000 pieces of viennoiserie a week. That’s forty-four kilos of dough a day, one third of which is butter.’
Fatima Bhutto learns to make the perfect croissant.