Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Turkey to Netherlands, finding heritage...

I had an epiffany last night- one of those rare moments when everything just becomes clear. The revelation may not be a new one,  but this time, it appears with a clarity that sparkles like shattered glass- and it suddenly makes so much more sense than it ever did before!
Ash took me for an impromptu dinner at the gorgeous Rumi in Brunswick (certainly we were lucky to get a seat, cosied up as we were at the window) and the energy of the place made me bubble up with enthusiasm and excitement. There is nothing quite like aniseed-y Arak and tangy labne to ease the mood into a pleasant sense of wonder. As we sat and lazily picked at the last remaining morsels of spiced goat and wondered if we could replicate the amazing salt mix at home, a realisation dawned on me.  Food is best when it is served with passion. Pure, deep passion. Knowledge and flair also help- but passion for the food at hand is certainly the driving force. A desire to share with others food that has influenced your life and your experiences.
I spend all my spare time looking into the food of other cultures, searching for the best food experience that I can find. I fritter away countless hours playing with interesting food in my own kitchen and dabbling in the history of any new flavour that takes my fancy- but I have never once showed any real interest in the cultural food roots of my own geneaology. This surprises and somewhat horrifies me when I think of all the personal history that I have chosen to overlook in favour of what (at first glance only) seems to be more 'exotic food'.    
I have a terrible problem that I like to call 'information anxiety'. When I have an interest in somehting, I need to find out as much as I can about it- read up, look into, test, poke at- but I am somehow always deeply convinced that I am reading or looking at the wrong thing, that there is something better out there that will give me a clearer insight into my new found interest, and I panic. I create within myself a sense of frantic searching... I drown myself in the facts... I wallow about in the new information and flail around at the sensations and flavour....and I love it- it's a self perpetuating cycle that leads me ever onwards to more discoveries, more 'information anxiety' and I live my life with a certain sense of panic that there is always too much to know about food and never enough time! 
And so right here right now, I set myself a new course. One that will certainly wander from time to time- but one that I believe I owe to myself. To stop ignoring the food of my own heritage and to embark on a conscious exploration of it instead. To embrace the food of my family and its roots and to try and find the pockets that have influenced it along the way. I am heading out to 'find Dutch'- and this time I vow to look beyond the cheese! It will be an effort make a methodical rediscovery of my heritage, a chance to take the time and not panic- A chance to take another look at the foods that I have long taken for granted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A great way to go back to ones roots I would say. You may even find that your origines go back to before the Holland connection & then there's also the other side of course....Thanks for the pasion.