We Are What You Eat

I love it when a book leads you to read another book, like how Northanger Abbey introduced me to The Mysteries of Udolpho.

When a fictional character reads, I need to know what they’re reading and I don’t think much of authors who don’t mention the title of the book their protagonist is enjoying (or not). Isn’t that a missed opportunity to reveal something about the character?

But then this post wasn’t supposed to be about books. I was actually thinking about podcasts.

I listen to shows about how all kinds of subjects, but my main areas of interest are books, art, race, gender and body politics. Often, the guests on these shows have podcasts of their own and that keeps my list growing.

One of my regular listens is Bitchmedia’s podcast, which incorporates Popoganda (45 minutes of in-depth exploration of various topics) and Backtalk (conversation about pop culture news). A recent episode of Popoganda introduced me to Soleil Ho, a chef who co-hosts my new favourite podcast, Racist Sandwich.

racist sandwich

Racist Sandwich focuses on food and how it  relates to gender, race and class. I’ve been listening to random episodes, and topics discussed by Ho and her co-host, Zahir Janmohamed have, so far, included eating disorders; the politics of food photography; and lifestyle veganism vs political veganism.

I’m liking how the podcast is making me think about food and food culture in ways I’ve never considered before. For example, how, in food photography, Asian food (or any kind of food that is not European or Western) is presented and framed: it is often dressed up; it is exoticised; it is shown in a way that is aimed to be most appealing to white audiences, and this usually misrepresents the food, its history and even its appearance.

Ho is also a writer. You can follow her on tumblr, and she also writes for Bitch Media and Taste (an online food magazine).


Wine, Cheese, Olives, Weekend …

It’s Friday!

This weekend, I wish myself wine and cheese.

This article tells you how to host a wine-and-cheese-pairing party. Sounds stressful.

I’m not adventurous when it comes to cheeses. I can’t stand anything smelly or that looks like it may walk away by itself, or like it’s involved in trials for new antibiotics.

And I can’t drink red wine – I break out in a rash.

So, it’ll be a medium white, with some unremarkable cheeses. Oh and olives. There will be olives.

wine and cheese 2


PS Here’s an article about wine and junk food pairings. The sweet stuff sounds sick-making, but I could go with bacon-wrapped anything with a dry Marsala; and jalapeno poppers with German Pradikat Riesling.

Sunday Lunch


grace helmer

By Grace Helmer

How lovely to sit eating and drinking with friends on a mild-weathered Sunday. I will be meeting Marisa for lunch today. I hope it will be a good day for both of us.

It’s all about moimoi

Don’s brother, Iyke, made moimoi the other day so I finally got to try this food that I’ved been reading about in various Nigerian novels.

moi1As far as I can tell it’s made from black eyed peas, onions and fresh chillies, which are blended into a paste. Iyke added shredded fresh mackerel to the mix, which was then double-bagged in plastic and then boiled in water.

I didn’t think the finished product [left] looked very appetising, but it was delicious. And my kids liked it too.

Don says it wasn’t the best he’s had so I look forward to trying the ‘real thing’ in Nigeria.

While looking up moimoi online, I came across this Nigerian recipe website – not that I intend to do any cooking of this sort. I shall leave that to Don: My egg sauce never tastes anywhere as nice as his.




Ipoh getaway

My first proper visit to Ipoh was spent eating and walking about the old town, looking at colonial-era buildings and old shophouses. My sister, Christina, was my guide, and that was the best part of the trip because we haven’t hung out together in ages.

People make a huge fuss about Ipoh food, but I don’t see what’s so great about it. Then again, I’ve never known what the big deal is about Penang food either. I actually prefer Singapore hawker food – this statement outrages Malaysians, but, calm down, it’s just my opinion, OK? I’m from Johor (Segamat and Batu Pahat) and lived for many years in Singapore. Maybe that has shaped my taste preferences, and maybe Singapore food matches what I like more than Ipoh and Penang food does.Read More »