Eating and traveling are the spice of life. In these pandemic times, travel may not be as convenient as it used to be. The joy of eating remains constant, however. The library offers an interesting alternative to food tourism that allows you to learn about other cultures without ever leaving your kitchen. But first a story that illustrates one of the potential benefits of staying at home to enjoy your cultural cuisine. This first hand report is from Ellie Krieger of Ellie’s Real Good Food. In her blog she writes:
“I was 18 years old in Japan (when I was a model) and I went to a cavernous noodle bar by myself, filled with serious-looking business people in suits sipping steaming bowls of noodle. I didn’t speak a word of Japanese and the staff didn’t speak English so I pointed to a bowl of soup and my waiter nodded enthusiastically. I really wanted chicken in my soup, but no matter how slowly, clearly and loudly I said CHICK-IN, of course he still didn’t get it. As a last resort, I got up and began to flutter my elbows and chuckle a little shyly. Even the serious suits laughed. I got my chicken noodle soup that evening and also learned a little Japanese: Baka Gaijin means “stupid foreigner”.
Food is more than just food. It’s an adventure. There are memories in the making. Who says you can’t go on adventures and make memories in your own kitchen?
I want to bring your attention to A to Z Food America and A to Z World Food in the Digital Library. These digital services are unlike anything you’ve probably explored before. These are not just recipe pages. And they’re not exactly travel sites. They are certainly not your typical geographic research center. But they are all of these things.
Have you ever tried to find a recipe online only to scroll through the minds of some food bloggers and affiliate ad pop-ups and give up in frustration before you made it to the recipe? That won’t happen here. The first thing you will see when you open this site is a locale. Clicking on it (or searching for another one) will give you a chance to check out the food culture of that region, including traditional spices, dishes and drinks. You can locate the farmers markets in the area and research the best farm products there. The “Did you know” section contains bullet points with interesting facts about the area.
Here’s an idea: ask your family to host a cultural dinner. Visit the Digital Library at ebonnerlibrary.org and find this place in A to Z Food America or A to Z World Food. Assign each family member the responsibility to prepare one of the traditional courses for that location. Each family member can also share one of the fun facts in the Did you know section? That evening, for dinner, play music inspired by this Freegal culture at The Digital Library. Make it extra authentic and learn a few words in this language from Mango Languages (you guessed it – it’s in the digital library). And if you’re celebrating Japanese cuisine, it might be a good idea to learn a few words in that language.
Tuesday, November 3rd, 12pm – Local author links with Suzen Fiskin. Watch a short interview with local writer Suzen Fiskin (“Playboy Mansion Memoirs”), followed by a reading excerpt and a question-and-answer session with you. Ask your questions in the comments on our Facebook events list and we’ll put them up in the air. Visit us at noon on Facebook Live at facebook.com/ebonnerlibrary.
StoryWalk – Enjoy “The Monster’s Monster” by Patrick McDonnell and “Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes in McNearney Park in Ponderay at Dover City Park. The titles are updated monthly and published at facebook.com/BonnerStoryWalk.
Marcy Timblin is responsible for public relations, marketing, and community development in the East Bonner County Library District. She can be reached at 208-208-208-208-263-6930, extension. 1204.