2017 has not been an easy ride, and most of us are relieved to see the year come to an end, hoping for a more uplifting 2018. Food, as always, has reflected the major tectonic shifts in global culture, economy and politics with all the sensitivity of a barometer. Here are some of the most important pieces of food journalism to come out of 2017.
The Birthplace of Soy Sauce
A window into how one of the world's most beloved condiments is made. Yuasa, Japan is the birthplace of soy sauce as we know it, and this video offers a journey behind the scenes, into how artisanal soy sauce is made.
The Great Nutrient Collapse
Climate change has featured prominently in public discourse over the year, and rightly so. However, less talked about is the impact that raised CO2 levels have on crops. “We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history―[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply”, writes Helena Bottemiller Evich.
A bpb Mom Reviews Mahim’s New South Indian Restaurant, Thangabali
This review of a Kerala restaurant in Mumbai is one of our favourites from the year. It does exactly what a good review should do — teach you something about cuisine while critiquing the restaurant. Bonus points for keeping the reader in splits while doing so.
Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks
In an era of restaurant chains, Helen Rosner distils the essence of the popularity of chains into a beautiful piece that captures not just a snapshot of modern food culture, but also of their isolating, strangely dystopian appeal.
1947: A Story of Tricolour ‘Halwas’ and Subversive ‘Mithais’
We often hear people say that food is not political. However, Indian politics in the last few years has shown us otherwise. Lesser known examples of food as a political device are the mithais and halwas we know and love. Pushpesh Pant writes about the subversive history of your favourite Indian sweets.
Why We Fell for Clean Eating
Social media has played a pivotal role in 'clean eating' gaining popularity as a movement in a last five years. However, unlike other food movements and fads, this particular one has only been gaining in strength. Bee Wilson explores the reasons why.
Chuck that Kiwi: Check these Native Fruit Instead
Indigenous produce has had its moment in the sun this year, and Simrit Malhi writes about some of the more esoteric fruits that are native to India (when to look for them, andhow to grow and cook them). This treasure trove of information also comes with flavour notes for whipping up your own masterpiece in the kitchen.
Pakistan's Martha Stewart
As more women step into the public sphere, we are seeing more in-depth, nuanced reportage on women as well. This piece by Saba Imtiaz on Pakistan’s Martha Stewart, Zubaida Tariq, hits all the right notes.
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