On a comida…

Corned beef, rice and fries

Corned beef, rice and fries

What better way to start a blog called “Comida Studies” than with a photo of a Puerto Rican meal? Rice with corned beef, french fries and ketchup, topped with home-made pique (hot sauce – not shown)… This was my lunch. I digest this as I write these first words. As I do, I  think of this seemingly traditional meal. My husband cooked this. The corned beef came from Uruguay. The rice – not white, but brown, long-grained – came from India and Thailand (two different bags). The “Carne Bif” is cooked with organic cherry tomatoes and home-made sofrito (made in someone else’s home). As my body metabolizes this meal – this comforting, flavorful, calorie-dense meal – I can’t help but wonder, how can we call this a traditional Puerto Rican meal?

This simple lunch represents globalization, a combination of organic foods and conventional, ultra processed foods, a commentary on changing gender roles, and a questioning of how this dish can be traditional when none of its components have roots in Puerto Rico, or even the Spanish Caribbean. This dish, served in a modern rectangle platter, represents the many complicated issues we seek to address across multiple disciplines – nutrition, food studies, food policy, agriculture studies, just to name a few. It is then quite fitting as an aperitif to this space, to open the conversation with an unknown cyber audience, to share emerging ideas for a greater understanding of the many complicated issues this comida represents.

Buen provecho.

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One thought on “On a comida…

  1. It is very interesting the way you present your views about the traditional Puerto Rican meal. It reveals our total dependency on imported food in order to prepare our own. Our agricultural tradition has been replaced by our dependency on imported goods. Recently, there is a very shy movement to return to our land to produce some of the food we eat. Unfortunately, it is more expensive to buy our own than to buy what comes from abroad. The younger generation rather have a slice of pizza than “vianda con bacalao”( not knowing where the bacalao comes from, but at least the vianda could be from our own land. Loved Comida Studies.

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