This project started out when Hong had to take a summer course on food and I started reading one of his textbooks, The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu by Daniel Jurafsky. It’s actually a fascinating book that goes into various historical food oddities like how ketchup actually originated from Southeast Asia and how the word entree came into use. As I was reading a chapter on how ceviche and fish & chips originated from this medieval Arab stew that was a favorite of Shahs of the Sassanid Empire and had ballads sung about it by sailors, I was like ‘Hey this recipe is surprisingly achievable! HONGHONGHONG, WE NEED TO COOK THIS AND SING ABOUT IT.’
(Hong was down for everything up to the singing part. I will be solo-ing that part.) (I’m also doing most of the writing and Hong will be doing the – ‘Liz, that sounds really stupid, take that out’)
I’ve always been very interested in history, but for all the indirect contact I get with historical recreations, black and white photos, and diagrams, it’s not the same as if I could only have a time machine and see everything. But cooking and eating food that people actually ate historically can be something AKIN TO THAT.
And so we’re on a food time machine: cooking, cutting, and burning our way through history.
Who We Are:
Liz reads Wikipedia obsessively and wishes she lived at any time before the 1940s. Preferably as a rich blond Caucasian male, because if she was true to her demographics, she’d probably be building the railroad to the West, being forced to have her feet bound, or dying at the mature age of 12 from childbirth or witch burning.
Top 5 list of time periods (in priority) she would visit if she had a time machine:
- Gilded Age in NYC
- Atlantis (if it existed!)
- Mycenaean & Minoan Greece/Troy
- Qin dynasty of China
- Mayan classical period
- Middle Assyrian Empire (whoops, 6)
But since she doesn’t have a time machine, this will have to do.
Hong got roped into this project. He just wants to make good tasting food regardless of time period, and make sure Liz doesn’t burn down his kitchen. Also, he has better cutting skills and cooking utensils essential for the success of this project. When he is not making sure Liz doesn’t accidentally injure herself, he occupies himself with lurking Reddit, reading anything he can get his hands on, or enjoying a good debate about politics.