Finding Home Through West African Food and Cooking

There was a time, just a couple of years ago, when I would invite two dozen strangers over to my apartment for dinner. Twice a month, I would cook and serve dishes like fish pepper soup, seasoned with up to 10 different spices; fork-tender goat, braised for hours in a fiery red obe ata; baobab granitas; and lemongrass coconut soup over springy tapioca pearls — all in an effort to connect with the food I grew up eating in Lagos, Nigeria.

I have revisited those memories in the last few months, amused at what I once thought were the necessary logistics of serving four courses to a group of lively diners — timing the dishes, finding places for coats, getting the bar ready, to say nothing of today’s face shields, temperature checks and social distancing. And, although I was consumed with those details at the time, they were

Read More

50 Ways Food Has Changed in the Last 50 Years

With combined sales of $5.75 trillion, it’s hard to imagine any industry bigger than the food retail and services sector.

In modern America, chefs are celebrities and these food celebrities release cookbooks as if it’s part of their job description. Even with (or perhaps because of) myriad food bloggers, cookbooks are one major book category surviving the shift to digital, with sales up 21 percent year-over-year in 2018. Personality, competition, and lifestyle food shows continue drawing huge viewership on television and online, exemplified by the likes of YouTube channels like Tastemade and Food Network stalwarts like Chopped and Barefoot Contessa. Food-related documentaries like the acclaimed Salt Fat Acid Heat continue to flood Netflix and other streaming services. Once upon a time, naysayers questioned whether the Food Network could survive, but now Hollywood can’t get enough culinary programming.

The same is true with food and social media. Instagram

Read More