In National Dish, award-winning food writer Anya von Bremzen sets out to investigate the eternal cliché that ‘we are what we eat’.
Her journey takes her from Paris to Tokyo, from Seville, Oaxaca and Naples to Istanbul. She probes the decline of France’s pot-au-feu in the age of globalisation, the stratospheric rise of ramen, the legend of pizza, the postcolonial paradoxes of Mexico’s mole, the community essence of tapas, and the complex legacy of multiculturalism in a meze feast. Finally she returns to her home in Queens, New York, for a bowl of Ukrainian borscht – a dish which has never felt more loaded, or more precious.
As each nation’s social and political identity is explored, so too is its palate. Rich in research, colourful characters and lively wit, National Dish peels back the layers of myth and misunderstanding around world cuisines, reassessing the pivotal role of food in our cultural heritage and identity.
‘This voyage into culinary myth-making is essential reading . . . I couldn’t love it more!’ Nigella Lawson