top of page

National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History, and the Meaning of Home

 

by Anya von Bremzen

 

We all have an idea in our heads about what French food is—or Italian, or Japanese, or Mexican, or . . . But where did those ideas come from? Who decides what makes a national food canon? Recipient of three James Beard awards, Anya von Bremzen has written definitive cookbooks on Russian, Spanish, and Latin American cuisines, as well as her internationally acclaimed memoir Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Now in National Dish, she sets out to investigate the truth behind the eternal cliché—“we are what we eat”—traveling to six storied food capitals, going high and low, from world-famous chefs to scholars to strangers in bars, in search of how cuisine became connected to place and identity.

Paris is where the whole idea of food as national heritage was first invented, and so it is where Anya must begin. With an inquisitive eye and unmistakable wit, she ponders the codification of French food and the current tension between locavorism and globalization. From France, she’s off to Naples, to probe the myth and reality of pizza, pasta, and Italian-ness. Next up, Tokyo, where Anya and her partner Barry explore ramen, rice, and the distance between Japan’s future and its past. From there they move to Seville, to search for the community-based essence of Spain’s tapas traditions, and then Oaxaca, where debates over postcolonial cultural integration find expression in maize and mole. In Istanbul, a traditional Ottoman potluck becomes a lens on how a former multicultural empire defines its food heritage. Finally, they land back in their beloved home in Queens, for a dinner centered on Ukrainian borsch, a meal that has never felt more loaded, or more precious and poignant.

A unique and magical cook’s tour
of the world, National Dish brings us to a deep appreciation of how the country makes the food, and the food the country.

National Dish

$30.00Price
Out of Stock

     

    2724 NE ALBERTA STREET, Portland,Oregon 

    503.575.2866 - viviennepdx@gmail.com

    OPEN Thursday-Monday 12-6pm 

     PORTLAND'S COokbook STORE

    vivienne logo

    Vivienne is Portland's independent, woman-owned cookbook store.

     

    We're also a wine bar, we do book and kitchenware consignment, we host cookbook classes, book talks, private parties, and more.

    bottom of page