Crips, Bloods, and Guilt

KevinPhilosoFoodLeave a Comment

I’m reading yet another book by Anthony Bourdain [my 5th]. In it, he discusses a Canadian author who categorizes chefs into two camps: Crips and Bloods. Crips being the fusion-loving multicultural innovators, and Bloods being the terroir driven, regional-and-in-season-only kind of folks. I like to at least think of my self as a ‘Blood’. I spend a lot of time focused on meat I hunt, vegetables and fruit I grow, wine I make, and other local food producers’ products.

But if I am such a blood, why am I so inexperienced with Alberta Beef – supposedly some of the best in the world? Not that I don’t know how to cook beef properly or do not eat it on occasion – but I would have to admit that I am not intimate with the nuance in how our beef is better than anybody else’s. I probably buy beef once every few months at best. Now, I can pat my guilty feelings on the back using the fact that I eat game rather than beef [economics and ‘natural food’ more than snobiness, honest] as an excuse. But it doesn’t change anything about my lack of Alberta Beef intimacy. Perhaps intimacy is the wrong word to use when describing farm animals. But you get what I mean.

And another thing I’ve come to realize. I’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money traveling all over Europe learning about ‘their’ regional cuisines and foods. Not that the education and experience isn’t valuable. But what about ‘ours’. Our food culture isn’t as well developed or time-worn, perhaps. And yes, I will continue to learn about and practice French and Italian cuisine – but I’m trying to start to put a lot more weight on the regional cuisine of the region I live in.

I know I can feel good about what I’m reading when it provokes this kind of thought.

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