Anthropology



Understanding Food Ways

My interviewee, Judith, is Mexican and her diet revolves around her culture. I come from a Persian family, so my family dines on a lot of Persian Cuisine. Her main types of dishes that her family prepares for her are Enchiladas, Posole, and Sopes. An enchilada is a tortilla rolled around a variety of filling, which can consist of meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood, etc. Posole, or Pozole, is a traditional soup or stew from Mexico. A Sope is a Mexican dish, which came from the southern parts of Mexico. It consists of a thick fried masa, and topped with refried black beans, crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, salsa, and a variety of other ingredients. The staple dishes in my family are Kabobs, or Kebabs, which are a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/South Asian dish which is a rolled up piece of meat and vegetables that is skewed and grilled. My family incorporates rice into almost every Persian dish we eat, and I donít want to brag, but my family has just about perfected it. Both of our motherís cook, but my dad cooks just as much as my mother does. Her mother acquires their food from a local grocery store, as do my parents. Both our families prepare and cook food in the kitchen with various spices and styles. Judith and her sister serve the food, while my parents prepare the food. My brother and I will set up the table and thatís all we do. Both of our mothers had learned how to cook from their mothers. My mom actually has box with hundreds of flashcards filled with recipes. Judith is Catholic, but it doesnít affect her familyís diet, aside from lend. Her ethnicity plays a role in what kind of ingredients are used, based off


tradition. My family comes from a Muslim origin, and although we donít practice any religion, you wonít catch us ever cooking pork, aside from bacon; but we will absolutely devour a pepperoni pizza when necessary. Gender does not play a role in any of our familyís food traditions. Judith does not necessarily read the labels on the food products she eats. When my parents go to grocery store, or if I am ever the one doing the grocery shopping, I make sure that the beef we buy comes from grass-fed, and that the chickens are cage-free. I donít think most people actually know where their food comes from, mainly because of how the companies and corporations can hide it and mask the truth. I havenít learned anything I didnít know from this article, but I think itís great that this class is incorporating it into the curriculum, because people just donít understand how disgusting some of the substances we inhale are. Judith and I cannot compare to the Waorani, mainly because they go and hunt for their meat, and pick their crops. Iíve yet to go hunting or anything even remotely close, but my family does grow tomatoes, guava, mint, and basil. Thatís as close as I can relate myself to them.