What is the relationship between food and culture? How does the food we eat, and the way we eat it, reflect our own personal and cultural identity(ies)? What do poutine, shumai, mole, biryani, and Prince Edward Island Mussels have in common and what can these food items tell us about Bhutanese refugees in Concord and third generation Franco-Americans in Manchester? More importantly, when are we going to eat?!
Together with Ms. Gale and Ms. Coles, a handful of curious—and hungry—NHS students will be tackling these questions as we discuss, read, write, and eat our way around New Hampshire’s constantly evolving regional and international culinary scene.
Students will begin their culinary journey locally, with lunch and conversation at the Common Man in Plymouth. From there, we will go on to explore New Hampshire’s Québécois past at Chez Vachon in Manchester, before reflecting on the Mexican and Japanese cultural presence in the region at such restaurants as El Jimador in Belmont and Moritomo in Concord. We will conclude the week with a visit to a Bhutanese-run Asian and African grocery store in Concord, where students will have the opportunity to taste and buy the ingredients they will need to contribute to that evening’s culminating group dinner.
Through these restaurant outings, daily readings of memoirs, fiction, and cookbooks, interviews with cooks and restaurant owners, and nightly reflective blogging, it is hoped that students will come to a better understand of the personal and collective cultural significance of food in their own lives and in the region where they live.