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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

A Bento is Not As Big As the World

Reblogged from I’ll Make It Myself!

In the lead-in to Carlsen’s and Turner’s “In Japan, Food Can Be Almost Too Cute To Eat,” there is a slideshow showcasing the cuter side of Japanese food: tofu character goods, a kyaraben (character bento), and images of Anpanman in cartoon and pancake form. The authors mention that food presentation is part of the culture of cute, but instead of an obsession with food presentation dictating the creation of characters and mascots like Anpanman, I would actually say that Japan’s love of cute things dictates the creation of anthropomorphized food. I don’t just mean in terms of kyaraben, I mean that the regular onions I buy at the grocery store have an anthropomorphized onion on the bag. So do my eringi mushrooms. So do my tomatoes. Visual presentation of food is definitely a part of Japanese food culture, and creating a cute obento for a child to eat is part of that culture, but the food presentation didn’t create the characters necessarily.

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Noto Wine @ The Lobster Dance

I snapped this photo in the cellar at Noto Wine a couple years ago when my parents visited.

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Reblogged from I’ll Make It Myself: I Did Not Order My Beer with a Side of Sexism

While I’ve regrettably come to expect national-brand beers to perpetuate the stereotype of beer as a man’s drink and insult women in the process, what about craft beers? Caroline Wallace of  Bitch Beer recently discussed this in her article “How to alienate female beer drinkers in one easy step.”

Bitch Beer is a Austin, Texas-based beer blog written by a group of women. Bitch Beer’s name is similar to that of Bitch Magazine/Bitch Media:

We went with the name Bitch Beer because we want to disprove the old adage that women aren’t really beer drinkers. We’re evoking a name often given to sugary, low-alcohol content beer substitutes like Smirnoff Ice or Mike’s Hard Lemonade to prove that, from a stout to an IPA, these so-called bitches can drink any damn beer they please. You heard us, every beer is a Bitch Beer.

Wallace starts with a comparison of two beer ads seen at a local roller derby event… [full article]

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I’ll be covering food-related Halloween posts over on I’ll Make It Myself! this season and reblogging here. Enjoy!

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Starbucks Crunchy Caramel Latte and Pumpkin Muffin

One thing I love about living in Japan is trying the seasonal sweets and drinks in cafes, conbini, and grocery stores. “Seasonal food” is partially the function of the availability of the harvest, such as a café’s changing the menu from summer blueberry cake to fall fig tarts for desserts; however, part of “seasonal food” is more related to cultural perceptions of seasons and their associated foods: Pepsi’s Salty Watermelon soda and Pocky’s and other company’s mint flavors for summer probably had less to do with available ingredients and more to do with the collective consciousness of what are summer flavors; Candy Corn Oreos come from a desire for Halloween food, not from the candy corn harvest.

I love Halloween and autumn, and with more companies in Japan creating Halloween flavors or packages for their products, I’ve decided to do a series on…

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Check out my new post on I’ll Make It Myself about gendering the “new domesticity,” DIY food, and second- and third-wave feminisms.

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[note: this was edited to update terminology in 2016]

A friend linked a really interesting article from the Washington Post: Emily Matchar‘s “The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women?” (26 Nov. 2011). I know this article is nearly a year old, but it demands contexualization. In this piece, Matchar discusses American women’s new-found passion for cooking, crafting, and DIY projects and her concerns about the relationship between feminism and “domesticity.” To elaborate, she writes,

My grandmother died nearly a decade ago, but I can imagine how puzzled she’d be to behold my generation’s newfound mania for old-fashioned domestic work. Around the country, women my age (I’m 29), the daughters and granddaughters of the post-Betty Friedan feminists, are embracing the very homemaking activities our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shucked off. We’re heading back to jam-canning and knitting needles, both for fun and for a greater…

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For those of you who follow my posts about gender, head over to my food blog to read my analysis of masculinizing foods for Father’s Day.

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There are few phrases I hate more than “guy food.”

As it’s now mid-June, Father’s Day has come and gone, and, like any proper holiday, we celebrate it with food. However, as a food blogger and perpetual recipe-hunter, I’ve been bombarded with so many blog posts, articles, and recipe suggestions for “guy food,” “guy-friendly food,” and “meals for dad” that I’m starting to wonder if the gender police are about to knock on my door and arrest my husband and me for willful negligence of the hunter-gather roles we so clearly agreed to in our wedding vows. Because all gender roles are totally fixed and set from time immemorial, and culturally-informed personal preferences have nothing to do with food consumption!

Somewhere along the line, American culture decided that cooking meat over charcoal was the epitome of manly cookery, as it combines the three tenets of heteronormatively masculinizing your home-life: gadgets…

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In case you were wondering about the Engrishy title of this series, “Let’s Merry” is the Starbucks Japan campaign slogan for the seasonal drinks. Update: AND the slogan for the Starbucks US holiday campaign?! Really?

Image from starbucks.co.jp

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