I’ve always had a love of food. Although I don’t remember, my Peace Corps friends fondly recall my detailed descriptions of beloved American dishes as we adapted to local foods. While living in San Francisco exposed me to a variety of new tastes, a trip to Japan with a friend in 2006 was the first time that I really paid attention to food: its origin, composition, taste, texture, and influence. From udon joints in Kyoto to okonomiyaki stands in Hiroshima, every place we visited contained its own food itinerary, and I was blown away by the sheer number of flavors. Japan was so much more than sushi.
I returned to San Francisco and started to pay attention to where my food was coming from, and experimenting with various cooking techniques. I joined Eatwell Farm and received a farm produce box twice a month; it remains one of my favorite memories of living in San Francisco. And now when I travel, I do research ahead of time to understand the flavors and dishes not only of the country, but also of its various regions, and make a list of what to try. Recent trips include Afghanistan, Egypt, and of course, Italy.
Food isn’t just nourishment. It’s also a story. Here’s to the next chapter.