Writing about the Flavors of our Identity

Ambassadors gathered around the discussion table staring at the assorted foods presented before them. This week's session focused on the beauty of "food writing" and how it straddles so many other genres, giving the author a huge area to explore. 

A good writer can make just about any subject interesting. But you don't need to be a food expert to write about food. As we turn our attention to the notion of culture and identity, food becomes much more than something we eat. We can learn about people and culture through the foods they prepare; the recipes which have been passed down and shared over time; and the meaning behind the meal. 

One Earth Writing Ambassadors started the session with a food tasting to engage the senses. They were asked to describe without embellishing to the point of redundancy to describe what the dish looked, smelled, and tasted like. They were pushed to go beyond the visual and beyond a description of taste, evoking the surroundings that go into the experience of the food itself.  Next, they were asked to identify with a meal of their choosing and write about the experience and meaning behind it. Why is it your favorite meal? How do you feel when you eat it? What personal interaction or relationships were involved when you prepare and consume it?