Poetry / culinary poetics
Food Evolves as Palates Evolve — A New Vocabulary for the Times
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
Thanks to Blue Insights for publishing this culinary poem!