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Cultural Food Demonstration with FLP

One of the things I feared as I clicked the accept button to confirm my attendance at Harvard College was that I would be the odd one out at a school full of well-off families and ostentatious students. But I was happy to find that was not the case. Even from my first day upon meeting my roommate I realized students were just like me, from schools and backgrounds like me or diversely different in a great way.


My freshman roommate & best friend, Anita, & I [Harvard-Yale Football Game Day]

Even with the discussions of continental philosophy and solving problem sets (or, psets) over dinner, there’s a great diversity of opinion and culture. This week with the Food Literacy Project (FLP) with me and a few other house representatives put on an event with HPACE that celebrated cultural exchange. HPACE is the Harvard Program for American-Chinese Exchange and “aims to bring together top students from universities across China and Harvard students in a weeklong series of events and activities to promote mutual understanding between the students of both countries.”


FLP provided a typical American dish and how-to course, and HPACE did a dumpling demonstration. We ended up going with guacamole making both for ease and deliciousness but I was surprised to learn that avocados are rare in China—most students were loved to try the guacamole with chips, having never tasted avocado or tomato people except here in the U.S.

A How-To Guac’ Demonstration

The dumplings as well were equally delicious. One of my favorite things about food is the ability to bring diverse people together in conversation and to create a community. The event was about more than just food literacy, but cultural literacy and just fun. It took place at the Mather House Junior Common Room (JCR) and the people playing on the foosball table and piano provided a nice background against it all.


After the event I headed to Clover Food Labs in Harvard Square. Clover really wants to connect to the local community, including Harvard, and so I work a there for just a few two hour shifts a week. There’s always something going on in the square, which is great and yesterday was not exception. Clover was having a launch party for one of their new vendors, a common happening featuring samples and conversation that happens for example each time a new coffee roster is featured at the store. Even though Harvard’s embedded within the city of Boston, Cambridge often feels like an exciting home away from home where you see old acquaintances at these events.


Tonight my friends and I are doing dinner in Cambridge at Inman Square near Harvard to celebrate my boyfriends 22nd birthday. I’m looking forward to the social outing before locking myself in the room for the next two days (midterm on Monday). After that, freedom (until finals at least…). Until then, hope you all have a great weekend!




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A Presentation of the Books for my Course: “97 Orchard”

Ever wonder what McDonald’s in East Asia is like, or the type of food immigrants to America in the 1850’s cooked? Interested in doing your own research projects on local ethnic restaurants or a growing food movement?


If you answered yes to these questions then you’re probably like me and would find Harvard’s Anthropology Course “Food, Culture, and Society” one of the most fascinating courses. Taught by esteemed Anthropologist Ted Bestor, an expert in the global fish trade and Tsukiji fish market in Japan, Food and Culture allows you to explore the myriad forms of culture surround foodways and consumption.

 My Professors’ Book “Tsukiji”

As you probably guessed by now, I’m a bit of a foodie, so some of the material I’ve passed by before. But this was my first anthropology class and a great experience. One of the best parts about the class was the two ethnographic studies we did individually—an opportunity to document a cultural phenomenon in food as an outsider.


My most recent ethnographic study was on the artisanal food movement: I studied one particular artisanal site, Cambridge local When Pigs Fly bakery. Being able to engage with our class’s theoretical concepts in a way truly applicable to real world settings was helpful and fascinating.


On McDonald’s Gone Global: Golden Arches East

It is also the first class to be completed this semester. With our final paper turned in last night, I’m only two classes from the end of my last fall semester. Next final up is for Science and Cooking. We recently had our final science fair and my team’s project on Coffee Emulsions won “Most Business Applicable” and received a spherification kit–can’t wait to play with that over winter break.

My Lab Group with Chef Ferran Adria

And just in time, it is beginning to feel like winter: with temperature dropping, high winds, and Christmas trees about, it’s the perfect excuse to stay in with a warm cup of tea and my textbook to study.


Enjoy the rest of the weekend!



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