culinary: [kuhl-uh-ner-ee] adj. Of, pertaining to, or used in cooking or the kitchen.
grammar: [gram-er] n. The elements of any science, art, or subject.
I consider “culinary grammar” to be 1) the wholesome, basic elements of eating that we have become removed from because of our industrial food system 2) the “language” of food in a particular area, whether that be city, region, or country. Culinary Grammar originally started under the name Cuban Cracker two years ago as a mission to teach myself to cook the delicious Cuban food I grew up eating but had never appreciated (sorry, Mom!) Now I have a new mission: to learn how to cook and eat locally, responsibly, and deliciously. Let’s break it down:
Locally: Eating as many seasonal, regional foods as possible, or in other words, food that is fresher, healthier, supports the community, and doesn’t waste gallons of fossil fuel on its way to my mouth. I am including eating at local (non-chain) restaurants and markets, so that I can explore the food culture of where ever I may be.
Responsibly: Eating healthily and as organically and environmentally responsible as possible. Eating locally falls under this qualifier as well for the benefits I mentioned above. I also hope to eat “financially responsibly,” or on a budget, so I can observe the financial aspect of eating primarily healthy, whole foods since socioeconomic class is a huge predictor of obesity. And then there’s the fact that I’ve got a poor college student’s budget.
These aren’t stringent requirements (except perhaps the “delicious” one) but rather guidelines. I want to see what it takes to life a healthy, responsible life and still enjoy food. I’ll not only document my personal experience, but also various delicious recipes, the larger issues of the movement to eat local and organically, the current state of the food system in America, and related topics. I may be teaching for the next couple of years, depending on how a certain interview goes, so I’m particularly interested in the topic of school lunches and Michelle Obama’s new program to change things.
Hope you enjoy!