Hey. I’m Jenny. I live in Tucson, Arizona, with my partner, Raphael, and my dog, Lila. I’m an archaeologist and someday hope to be able to say without shrugging and rolling my eyes that I’m also a writer and a photographer. Raphael’s a recovered archaeologist who’s currently going to school to study architecture. Lila’s a big, lanky mutt with a impressive bark and a lot of damn opinions. Both of them like the way I cook – or like that I cook – and both are superheroes when it comes to handling the leftovers.
Some people know this, some people don’t: archaeology is a subset of the overarching discipline of anthropology. That means archaeologists study people. Not rocks (too much hard science) and not dinosaurs (too many teeth). First and foremost, we’re anthropologists. So it’s not too much of a leap to understand why I’m starting this blog.
I want this blog to be a place where I release my inner (cheerily untrained) culinary anthropologist and let her run around screaming enthusiastically and waving squashes about in the fresh air. (Not that I do that.) (Okay. I do that.) In other words, I want to explore food and the traditions, mythologies, stories, and taboos that transform certain dishes and the elements of them into more than simply sustenance. Among other things, I’m interested in regional dishes, holiday traditions, unusual condiments, and fruits and spices I’ve never heard of before. I don’t plan to make a dish for every post because there’s still that pesky day job, but I would like to cook a lot of things I’ve never cooked before using ingredients that may or may not be mythical (“Persimmon”? Is that like “unicorn”?). I hope also to collect interesting stories and histories of foods you’re familiar with and also ones that you’d never eat on a bet. Or maybe ones that you’d ONLY eat on a bet. (Maybe it all depends on the bet.)
I’m no expert (you’ll probably pick up on that in the span of a heartbeat or two), but I’ll try to be as accurate as I can or include resources created by people who actually know what they’re talking about. This tender young blog is also likely to be a work in progress for all of its life, so better get used to uncertainty while you’re getting used to the idea that there may have been, for example, people who considered Chihuahuas snacks.