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Current Topic: Food

Three Meals in Afghanistan
Topic: Food 7:21 am EST, Feb 18, 2010

Asadullah Falah:

First we eat, then we drink, then we talk!

Naheed Mustafa:

Afghans have a term, ishqi watani, that refers to a deep and abiding affinity for one's people, culture, and identity. Essentially, it means an unconditional love of the homeland. But the state -- or at least what we in the West think of as a state -- has never really existed in Afghanistan. There have been attempts to bring reform through monarchy, through secularism and Communism. The country has had kings and presidents. None have matched up well with Afghans' ideas about what it means to be Afghan. Ishqi watani has helped Afghans endure thirty years of war. But it has also kept their gazes fixed upon their battles to preserve, not looking ahead to where they could go.

Rory Stewart:

"We're beating the cat."

"Why are you beating the cat?"

"It's a cat-tiger strategy."

Three Meals in Afghanistan

One Noodle at a Time in Tokyo
Topic: Food 7:21 am EST, Feb 18, 2010

Matt Gross:

Over six days in late November, I submerged myself in Tokyo's ramen culture, eating roughly four bowls a day at shops both fancy and spartan, modern and ganko, trying to suss out not just what makes a good bowl but also the intricacies of ordering and eating well. Above all, I wanted to know why such a simple concoction -- brought from China by Confucian missionaries in the 17th century -- inspired so much passion and devotion among Japanese and foreigners alike, and to thereby gain some deeper understanding of Tokyo itself.

Andy Raskin:

Success at the Tokyo restuarant Ramen Jiro starts with knowing yourself:

Can you handle the large size?

"Bob" on Ramen Jiro:

"It's like the White Castle of ramen."

One Noodle at a Time in Tokyo

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