Food

Identity of Food and the Vendor

Bruno to vendor: Are you a Moor?

Vendor: “I am a Pulaar (ethnic group from Senegal) sir, and I am from Lao Air. You can't read? It's nevertheless well written on my beautiful stove! - - aere lao cité baratal fouta toro.  ... I know this way of preparing meat better than the Moors. It is a job, like any other, that does not belong to any ethnic group."

Disappearing Rice Varieties

The rice in the photo is known as "Namar catsa" or " Caca". It looks strange from its name to its colour. According to the farmers, the rice used to be eaten by the Kings and the senior citizens because it is nutritious. The interviewee shared, "it made up complete balanced nutrition for the sick or weak. But now most of our people don't have much knowledge concerning with that kind of paddy ( including me). Today that kind of rice is not grown widely".

Street Food in Dakar & Suburbs (1): New Eating Habits

Depending on the time of day, meals with varied menus are served to this very diverse clientele. For breakfast, for example, the saleswomen have bowls on a table, each containing a sauce to make a sandwich, at the customer's discretion, on site or to take away, wrapped in newspaper:

"Arame provides its customers with three long benches. On his table are bowls containing mayonnaise, tuna, pea sauce, spaghetti, French fries, canned meat, ndambé etc. It adds seasonings and spices (chilli, pepper, broth) to foods to suit the taste of customers.

Street Food in Dakar & Suburbs (2): Makeshift Eating Squares

“It seemed that the whole city had turned into a huge market.”

On every street corner various food outlets compete for customers with other types of businesses. Most places have very rudimentary facilities.

"Some have simple tables set out in the open, others stay in the sun while others, like breakfast sellers, join sheets together to make a sort of voting booth in a corner of the street"

Making Jou: Traditional Boro Rice Beer

Jou is the most favoured traditional brew of the Boro people in Assam. It has social, cultural and religious usage but jou for a long time was identified with the community. Particularly the Hindu caste society of Assam looked down upon the indigenous (tribal) people of Assam because of their traditional lifeways that involved making and drinking of jou. But for the Boros, no ritual and custom is complete without it. Traditionally, Boro women were expected to know how to make jou, and therefore, this community knowledge also is held by women.

Food preparation: Questions of Hygiene

"We used to pack food while wearing gloves but some customers would ask us to take them off and then pack with bare hands," one of the vednor's response to us when we asked her why she didn't wear gloves while packing food.

We were puzzled by this response. Why did the customers ask the vendors to remove their gloves? How did the customers perceive gloves? Is there lack of awareness over hygiene? Do people - vendors and customers- view hygiene differently?

 

Rice Varieties

One of the items on display at most of the local Autonomous Council sponsored/organized exhibitions at BTC areas of Assam is different varieties of rice seeds, including indigous and hybrid ones. The main target is to create awareness of hybrid varieties of rice but what it does is also make aundience realize the invisibility of indigenous varieties.

Fish Selling in Leiden and Elmina Market

On my visit to the Leiden Market, I witnessed a scene where the fish sellers were singing in unison with each other. There was a man and woman selling and singing, while scraping herrings. But in my home country, Ghana, the fishermen sing when pulling the nets of fishes out of the water whilst the women await and take the fish away to sell at market like the Elmina fish market. The women are the one that sell and the atmosphere is mostly of chaos.

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