First let me declare – I love food and I love travel! I could wax poetic about these topics all day. But I’ve discovered so many talented bloggers, that I thought I’d leave those subjects to their capable hands – but never say never. Instead, I want to focus on how culture and traditions make for a richer experience when dining or traveling.
As a child growing up in the heartland of the US, I remember thinking how much more exotic the local Chinese restaurant compared to my Mom‘s hamburger casserole. Now that I have developed more sophisticated tastes (I hope) and know that the ‘brown rice’ they prepared was nothing more than white rice with soy-sauce splashed on it (I kid you not) – but it sure was exotic at the time. Or later, after learning some dim sum etiquette and putting it to use; I felt like I shared a secret with the restaurant staff. It was heady stuff, especially as my table mates marveled at my ability to get our tea refilled by simply tilting the lid on the teapot, compared to their clumsy attempts to catch the attention of the staff as they darted around the restaurant.
I am naturally curious, and relish the added dimension that cultural awareness adds to appreciating food and travel. Two activites I consider intertwined. I feel that with globalization, the customs and traditions that make us unique get overlooked or blurred. Choosing to order Chinese or Indian cuisine for dinner seems to make the sam personal connection as the choice of chicken or hamburger, and where’s the fun in that?
Why did I name my site after a crustacean?
I wanted a foodstuff enjoyed the world over that had positive connotations associated with it. For me that was oysters. Oysters are a food that achieved great popularity around the world, and until they were over-harvested, people of all economic strata enjoyed them. They are the harbinger of the environment – if they start to thrive in a once poor area, its a good indication of an improving environment, and conversely eating oysters from less than pristine water, does not bode well.
I realize I could have selected the name of any number of foods, but what other fare comes with such ready associations and expressions as:
- The world is my oyster
- Pearls of wisdom
- Amour (of course)