Food During Wartime

When I started writing here many years ago, the subtitle of the site became: “Why Talk about Food When There’s a War on OR The Gourmet’s Guide to Berlin, circa 1941…Scott Haas Analyzes The Bunker Mentality.”

I’ve always felt that food was a conundrum.  On the one hand, there is the defiance implicit in celebrating life with good food during wartime.  On the other hand, if it becomes the focus of attention, a top priority, it’s dissolute–a distraction from more important matters.

Best of worlds, worst of worlds.

From the Beckett archives: “The word “war” itself appears nowhere in Godot or in those strange lyrical fictions of 1945-1946, which were published in Nouvelles et Textes pour Rien (Stories and Texts for Nothing, 1955)— L’Expulsé (“The Expelled”), Le Calmant (“The Calmative”), and La Fin (“The End”). But the very absence of the word has an odd way of insuring its prominence in these stories. As the narrator of “The Expelled” (1945) puts it sardonically:

‘Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little. That is to say, you must think of them for a while, a good while, every day several times a day, until they sink forever in the mud. That’s an order.'”

Yellow fin tuna pan seared, fresh chanterelles, and grilled shishito peppers.


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