It's Alimentary.

Not Quite Digested

Hello valued readers!  The silence since the last blog post and return back to Australia from USA  has been deafening. I can only blame it on a grant I am writing. Like most national level grants this one is complex, has many facets to consider and in short, difficult to write. Of course it is on food history and it has taken a life of its own...

Rest assured I have a couple of posts in the pipeline for you.  First I'll be dissecting my experiences on eating out in America versus eating out in Australia. Themes include tipping - pros and cons - or is it just con con con, the restaurateur conning the customer to pay his wait-staff for him; ways of cooking and ways of serving; the globalisation of food pretensions; and the costs of eating out, comparatively speaking.

Another post will be on coffee snobbery. I'll write on the fact that less than two decades ago cafe coffee in Australia was a mild version of dishwater. But now there are more baristas than the entire population of Finland. All hissing and frothing away at coffee machines the size of oil tankers. And the snobbery of Australian coffee drinkers, travelling thousands of miles overseas to criticise the coffee of foreigners, to laugh at their late discovery of the flat white, and so on. So, please wait up for me!



As a food historian, I am intrigued by the current level of food discourse both here in Australia and worldwide. While my research interests have focused on British colonial food history (India, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia), I am keen to engage a wider dialogue on food as something to be enjoyed and appreciated with all its associated cultural and social meanings. The Digest will not engage in the dark arts of precious and pretentious pontifications about food consumption, something so central to our lives. Someone, I can't remember who, said, "just eat the food and don't give me all that philosophical crap"!  I will draw on my Chinese Hakka background for meals and food practices that have sustained the Chinese "gypsies" for centuries. I will post recollections from my years spent living and eating in Malaysia, New Zealand, Brunei, Germany, England, Tanzania, the Sudan and of course Australia. And, there will be restaurant reviews, but I will go as far as to say that no vicious review shall darken these pages.  More scathing, however, may be the close critiques of food critics themselves!

Illustration & Design by Nena Salobir

© 2015 Cecilia Leong-Salobir.  All rights reserved.