Blue Insights
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Blue Insights

Poetry / culinary poetics

Food Evolves as Palates Evolve — A New Vocabulary for the Times

Culinary creations by Chef André Chiang / © Pseu Pending (Seu)

they dug a hole
for the enormous ceramic tureen
firmly staged in cool earth —

fertile playground riviera abundance —
frolicking roots ‘n fruits of
rolling yangtze — red basin greens

in time-honored textures written in cursive —
subversive yet harmonious —
every sichuan taste bud comes alive

in fermentation. temptation. flirtation.
every ingredient ceremonious
in folk kitchens petite or palatial —

grandpa tureens tightly lidded. pickles
brine in water pristine.
celery. garlic. scallions. ginger —

fiery chilies numbing peppers
the soul of sichuan cuisine —

wisdom of generations they say.
dispel mountainous humidity they say.
trapped in the body they say.

i have zero tolerance for the cure
will i come out alive?
astounding palette pops

as the pickle-cart wheels over
looming like a glamorous land rover
shaking. tongue twisting. crystal beads dripping

on my forehead.
soggy palms boggy.
will i survive?

i shudder at chilies the devil.
is it too late to excuse myself?
wish i hadn't agreed to come —

wish i could escape on skates.
wish i had wings.
wish i could vanish.

wish i could turn into water —
douse the hell out of fire.
oh mama do i see the white light?

what? blackcurrant flavored winter melon~~
shizuoka tomatoes in plum wine~~
herbal fennel / caramel ginger butternut squash~~

ooooh so intense~~juicy fruity umami~~
sweet tilt smooth lilt~~swirling
around tongue and palate~~aromas awash~~

every bit goes to my heart — charming
as arresting colors satiate — mmmwha!
i lived. thank goodness for

chef’s contemporary interpretations —
the updated vocabulary —
the uplifting spirit of modern pickles!

© 2023 Pseu Pending (Seu)

In the garden of soil & toil, artisan farmer cultivates himself.
~ André & His Olive Tree

I seek to interpret artisan, an element in Chef André Chiang’s culinary Octaphilosophy — pure, artisan, south, texture, unique, salt, memory, and terroir.

Previous on Chef André here and here

Culinary Poetics

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Thanks to Blue Insights for publishing this culinary poem!



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Pseu Pending (Seu)

Leisure is a path to the thinking process. Museum Educator/ Contemporary Art Researcher/ Lover of culinary arts. Top writer in Poetry, Art, Creativity, Food