Feelings and Food

So disregard the flowery writing style, but here is a paper I wrote during my M.A. (hence why it is so flowery). It’s all about food…and how we feel about food, given our complex identities and histories. It has four recipes in it, so go forth AND SCROLL. Maybe one day…this could be a book? Who knows? Eat and cook away, my darlings. 

Feelings and Food: An Affective Cookbook

Affective History: My Experience with Food

Since food is a highly personal medium through which we can experience affect, I should take the time to address the layers to my identity. This dissection of my identity will connect to the different affects and gives insight to the recipes I provide. As a first-generation American Muslim of color, my understanding of food has always been complicated. Due to the intersectional influences that have invaded my life, I experienced all of these affects regarding food, sometimes all at once. With my parents, I have found food to be comforting due to humble beginnings and deep spices I learned to adjust to as a young age. It is reminiscent of home and warmth. However, that same food has also caused depression and anger in certain aspects. For example, the high-fat content and exotified smells caused a deranged relationship with food. To this day, I struggle with my consumption of food and body image perpetuated by hegemonic beauty standards. Along with this, the smells that came from this food evoked disgust amongst peers. Because my peers felt disgust with the food that I loved, I also began to feel disgust. More so than disgust, I felt anger. “Why can’t we have normal food?” I’d exclaim to my mother.

The normalization and Europeanization of foods without spice go back to the 1600’s when due to “snobbery,” the use of complex combinations of spice came to a halt.[1] This was due to how spice became common after colonization of India and the Americas. Spice was no longer a rare luxury, but cheap and accessible. Then occurred a culinary shift, focusing on butter, meat, potatoes, and vegetables prepared as simplistically as possible. One-dimensional cuisines and bland palates suddenly became a symbol of the bourgeois. Thus, the foreign spices that were so sought after all over the world became almost worthless; it seemingly parallels the perspective that Europeans had on people of color. The assumption was that if one uses spices, they probably cannot afford more expensive ingredients such as butter and meat. Also, it is indicative of primitive populations from where these spices were found. Alas, my naïve perspective on ‘normal’ food was a product of imperialism. Of course, at the time I wasn’t concerned with imperialism, but rather how I could fit in with my white American classmates. Behold – I did not.

Then, there was further demonization of the East as ‘Other’ after the terrorist attacks on September 11th. Thus my desire to be ‘normal’ was never fulfilled. However, after the terrorist attack, there seemed to be a large shift that not only was fearful of the ‘Other’ but also attempted to exotify the ‘Other.’ This makes sense due to the foreboding presence colonizers had on indigenous people in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. There is the notion of ‘Other’ as savage, but at the same time, there is a fascination and objectification of the foreign. “You are so exotic,” acquaintances would say. The nonchalant attitude of these ‘normal’ Americans and their authority to approach me was objectifying and exotifying, to say the least. My discomfort within these situations was not well-hidden, and yet normal Americans pushed on: “Being exotic is a compliment! You know, I feel as if I was Middle Eastern in another life. I love your culture!” I got angrier. I became more vocal. “Brown women are so feisty,” they’d say. Through these musings, not only did my Muslim, brown, female body become more desirable, but my history’s food also became more desirable and appetizing. Initially, this was a breath of fresh air. I might have been objectified, but at least food can be appreciated, right?

Ethnic cuisines became markers of being cultured; the more exotic foods white people try, the more cultured they are. I considered the idea that at least something about my identity will not be marginalized. And then, as if overnight, it was marginalized. Superfoods and complex hybrids of ethnic foods were some of the time impressive, most of the time alarming. “Why do people think they have the agency to do any of this?” I’d say to friends and family. “I think it’s innovative; plus, at least there is some recognition of good things surrounding people of color” I’d receive in response. Is it okay for something as objective as food to be the only acceptable part about us? Is this marginalizing? Also, is food something to be recognized through? If so, is that a good thing? As I journey through my selected affects and recipes, readers will hopefully feel and experience the affects of peace and comfort if they choose to put these recipes to the test. I also intend for readers to hopefully achieve comfort through my melancholizing (Flatley, “Affective Mapping”). If we view food through an affective lens we can better understand the world around us.

Affect Theory and Method

To understand how I employ affect theory and connect it to the medium of food, I will attempt to unpack what affect is and how I have come to understand its use. Affect is hard to define, but I have come to comprehend it as a type of feeling or emotion. This is perhaps oversimplified, so I will provide some context to this definition. Affects can connect to each other creating different affects through certain concrete actions. What is important is the feeling that is evoked using these affects. Additionally, the way that the affects and recipes work together will vary affect to affect. I will discuss how these affects can either act as a response to food, or how certain foods may evoke an affect. I will also examine the underpinnings of negative or neutral affects that need to be remedied or fulfilled through the act of food. A point of introspection – the act of cooking may also invoke an affect of comfort. So, not only may the act of eating certain foods stimulate or remedy certain affects, but the act of cooking these recipes may prove to be therapeutic as well.

I provide the affects of comfort, disgust, anger, depression, and desire. I choose these affects due to my personal observations on how individuals approach food. These affects also tend to be very personal. The ways that we may get angry about food may differ from person to person, as everyone has their own unique triggers based on their life experiences. Along with this, we have different ideas on how one is comforted, what may come off as disgusting to someone, and what someone will define as desirable. As I deconstruct each affect, readers will come to the realization that affects in the context of food are multifaceted. For example, there are layers of classism associated with food and desire which I will elaborate on in the section, “Desire.” There are also other affects that are associated with each affect I discuss, such as joy within comfort or the idea of bringing about joy and comfort to ease one’s anger. Structurally, these exist within the affects. The affects themselves are rhizomatic because of the ability to ebb and flow between other affects, but still maintaining their own distinctive quality, or rhizome if you will (Flatley 7). I look to Jonathan Flatley to employ this structural understanding of the internal and external conditions of various affects. Flatley is also useful in his understanding of affective mapping. Affective mapping is “the name [he is] giving to the aesthetic technology that represents the historicity of one’s affective experience” (Flatley 4). In my sections themed around affect, I will attempt to map out the different emotions and affects that emerge from the rhizome of the overarching affect-theme as stated previously, but I will also indulge in a thorough analysis regarding the affect and my own personal understanding in context of food. As Flatley would say, I am melancholizing or experiencing melancholia which is “the very mechanism through which one may be interested in the world” (Flatley 1).

I also look to Sara Ahmed and the way she structures her book The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Although she avoids using the term ‘affect,’ she discusses emotions which is similar to how I attempt to define affect. In Ahmed’s book, she organizes a variety of emotions through political, historical, and personal analysis. She considers emotions such as love, hate, and fear and describes how these are organized and felt through lived experiences. This is precisely what I believe affect is, and the structure she employs when discussing these emotions provides simplicity and structure to understanding not only affect but our multifaceted society. She organizes her book by emotion, with titles such as “The Organisation of Hate” and “In the Name of Love.” In the ensuing sections, she attempts to understand the cultural undertones of the emotion in question. Similarly, I harness this same structure and have organized my recipes by the affect-themes of comfort, anger, depression, desire, and sometimes disgust. True, many of these affects overlap with one another which I will discuss in my individual analyses of each affect, but this layout is easy to understand to a reader not familiar with affect or even the ramifications of imperialism, racism, globalization, etc.

The last theorist’s musings I utilize are those from José Esteban Muñoz and his article “Feeling Brown: Ethnicity and Affect in Ricardo Bracho’s The Sweetest Hangover (and Other STDs).” I do not engage with his work structurally, but I use his theory as an added dimension to how I analyze the relationship between food and affect. I must point out that this is not possible without citing Flatley as having a pivotal moment in this analysis, considering his way of being “interested in the world.” This is layered with Munoz’s conceptuality as carrying out feeling ‘brown’ as an action, or in other words, race as an affective performance (Muñoz 68). The performativity of race is crucial in analyzing these different affects and intersecting it with how I feel ‘brown.’

An interesting point I reached while researching for this project, I slowly began to realize through my own musings that there are two affects that were the results after consumption of food. Comfort and disgust occur through either joy at eating certain foods or disgust which can happen for a variety of reasons, i.e. a palate that is unique to the eater. The other affects of anger, depression, and desire are categorized as negative or neutral affects which are the feelings that are remedied, mediated, and fulfilled. Comfort is the overarching, umbrella affect. This is a solution to the other affects, as well as something that is sought after from a neutral standpoint. When the affects of anger, depression, and desire are ‘fixed,’ then the affect of comfort is felt. However, sometimes disgust is felt instead which appears in particular contexts which we will deconstruct in the following analyses and recipes.

Comfort

This affect is perhaps the main affect that is felt with food. Food satiates, warms, and nourishes the body regardless of the condition it was in prior to contact with food. Comfort, I argue, is the goal with food. Comfort is evoked and is also the ensuing affect after anger, depression, and desire. If all food causes comfort, then is all food comforting food? Is comfort the only affect we need to discuss? Not necessarily. We first must understand how comfort can be achieved in the first place.

We cannot discuss comfort without deviating a bit and talking about disgust. As mentioned previously, disgust exists within all the affects, but I decided to not list it as its own affect. The reason for this is because disgust is best understood through the initial affect. Although, it is like the affect of comfort in that it is evoked, it is also something that can be corrected similarly to anger, depression, and desire. Additionally, I would not be able to provide a recipe for disgust for obvious reasons.

So, what characterizes comfort? How do humans experience comfort? Through anecdotal evidence, comfort is a reminder of home, warmth, and the idea of easiness. In context of food, it is something that could be low-cost, accessible, and possibly something you did with your family. It often has a humble aspect to it, due to its accessibility and simplicity. In the Pixar film Ratatouille, the food critic was presented with none other than Ratatouille, a humble French dish usually made in the countryside. The food critic experiences a flashback of his mother serving it to him as a young boy. This scene is juxtaposed against the high-society restaurant the food critic dines at, but he is ultimately floored by the humility and deliciousness of the dish and gives the restaurant a very positive review.

Due to globalization, particularly here in the west, it is possible to now find comfort in comfort foods from other cultures. A popular choice, pho is characterized as comfort food even in the West although it is a Vietnamese soup dish. Perhaps it is the fact that soup overall is comforting. Or, maybe we have found comfort and ease through the process of shredding basil and bean sprouts into a vat of steamy beef broth and slurping up rice noodles with a soup spoon and chopsticks. It is hard to say. We do know, however, this is a comfort food that is popularized in both Western culture and Vietnamese culture.

Comfort also has a communal aspect to it. So often, comfort is something that reminds one of home which may involve multiple people. It may be the explanation for why the holidays in the West are sought after. The idea of being around family and food induces joy and relaxation for many. Personally, when I think of comfort, I think of chai because of these factors. Chai is something that is extremely communal throughout the Middle East and South Asia, served at five in the evening alongside various snacks. It is also warm and done in a home environment, and is a necessary component to the everyday lives of many. Throughout my childhood and the innumerable trips my family and I made to Pakistan, one thing remained stagnant: chai at five o’clock. Cousins and friends would gather around the living room, gripping old, stained mugs in sweltering heat. We would munch on cake rusk and papad as we waited until we were finally served the steamy, golden liquid. This recipe honors this fond, affective memory. Chai is made differently all throughout the world, but this is how I understood it and the joy and coziness it brought. The recipe also has a small innovation on my behalf; milk in Pakistan is often thick and creamy with a very high-fat content, as it is not pasteurized as it is so often in the United States. Thus, chai is often thicker than your average British tea with milk. What I utilize instead of regular milk is sweetened, condensed milk. This sweetens the chai without needing to add sugar, although you may if your heart desires. It also gives chai thickness, mirroring the chai I drank in Pakistan. I also recommend to go ahead and prepare yourself a cup of chai to enjoy as we work through the remaining three affects.

 

Comforting Chai Ingredients Directions
Serves 2

10-15 minutes

2 ½ cups of water

3 tbsps. of loose leaf black tea

*Preferably a South Asian brand like  Ahmed Tea

**May use 3 black tea bags instead

2 green cardamom pods

1 stick cinnamon

½ cup sweetened, condensed milk

3-4 tbsps. evaporated milk

*May use more if desired

Sugar to taste (optional)

1.       In a small saucepan, bring your water, tea, cardamom, and cinnamon to a boil until it is a rich, dark color. It should be slightly darker version of amber. This should take 5-7 minutes to properly steep.

2.       Add the milks and stir to dissolve fully. The liquid should turn a rich, golden color; slightly lighter than the color of caramel. If it does not reach that color, feel free to add a bit more evaporated milk. If your chai becomes too light, add a bit more water and another teabag or tablespoon of tea. Cook over medium heat until it begins foaming.

3.       Take your chai off the heat and let sit for a minute or two. Then, using a strainer and a steady hand, pour your chai through a strainer into a teacup or mug of your choice. Serve with cake rusk, Parle-G biscuits, or papad (these may all be found at your local South Asian market or online).

 

Anger

How does one feel angry about food? Isn’t this paradoxical given that food is comforting and nourishing? Of course, it is. But here is an affect that can be alleviated by food. Food is, again, a comfort and can bring comfort to someone that is angry. However, I aim to talk about the misappropriation and exotification of food. Through the lens of the racialized ‘Other,’ food is constantly ‘discovered,’ commodified and bastardized. This is seen through a process of schismogenesis and how instead of different cultures creating a blend of cultures, one group begins to despise the other due to potentially violent means of entry (Highmore 126). This is not to say that one cannot be creative with food; you absolutely may! There is also the preconceived notion that the more exposure white groups may have to the cuisine of non-white groups will promote dialogue and peace, which is simply not true (Slocum 308). It is more so destructive and appropriating when credit is not given where it’s due. For example, there are detrimental effects of commodifying indigenous food on the indigenous people from which it is taken. One case is the glorification of quinoa. This newfound love for an essential grain in Bolivian diets has resulted in a steep rise in price globally which has heavily impacted indigenous communities (Hammarling 29).  This is the story of other superfoods, such as avocados and acai berries. Additionally, this occurs in one aspect – hegemonic communities ‘discovering’ nutritious food. This connotes the lasting postcolonial perspective on the world today. Some other examples include:

  • Hummus labeled as Israeli cuisine
  • Chicken tikka masala labeled as British cuisine
  • The discovery of superfoods
  • Food hybrids, i.e. sushi burritos

Some other ways one may feel angry about food is the accessibility of mainstream food, particularly in the West. Those that adhere to specific diets, like vegans or sufferers of Celiac disease, regularly find it achingly difficult to find food to suit their dietary needs. This may also apply to Muslims and Jews that adhere to kosher or halal diets and avoid pork and/or alcohol. The inaccessibility is indicative of these different groups as minorities in the West. However, it is certainly representative of what types of cuisine are ‘normal’ and what is ‘exotic.’ Additionally, being able to adhere to a particular kind of diet allows a varying degree of privilege. For example, the cost of halal meat in Muslim communities is significantly higher than non-halal meat.

The next recipe I provide is mash ki daal. This recipe is appropriate due to honest origins. This recipe is adapted from my very own mother who is native to the Indian subcontinent. Additionally, daal traditionally serves as comfort food which is certainly needed when faced with anger. I also found it appropriate to list a recipe for daal because of its low cost and relatively safe ingredients for vegans, Muslims, people with Celiac, etc. Lastly, in the online food blog community, the newest superfood is turmeric. There are absurd uses for turmeric as of late, the most atrocious being ‘Golden Milk Ice Cream.[2] Although it may taste nice, so often these blogs do not even provide historicity and prevalence of turmeric or acknowledgment of where it is most often consumed. Thus, I decided to provide a recipe that traditionally always has turmeric in it, along with a delicate blend of other spices. A side note – there are several different types of daal recipes; this just happens to be my favorite.

 

Mash Ki Daal Ingredients Directions
Serves 4-6

30-45 minutes, not counting soak time

¼ cups of a neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2-3 tbsps. ginger-garlic paste

1 cup of urad daal soaked overnight

*A few hours will suffice, but you may need to add more water as you cook

**Urad daal may be found in your local South Asian market

1 ½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chili powder

½ tsp garam masala

            *This may be found in             your local South Asian  market

3-4 chopped green chilies

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

A handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves

2 tbsps. of butter or ghee

 

  1. Heat oil in a karahi or wide-set pot/pan at least 3 inches deep over medium-high heat. Add a small piece of onion; if it sizzles slightly, the oil is ready. Add your onions and fry until translucent but not golden.
  2. Once translucent, add your ginger-garlic paste and mix with your onions. Then, you may add your drained and rinsed urad daal. Add approximately two cups of fresh water and stir. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once boiling, you may add your spices. Add cumin seeds, turmeric, salt, red chili powder, and garam masala and stir. Bring your heat to medium-low and cover. Let cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or when the water is reduced by at least half, and the daal is soft. If your daal is not soft, add another cup of water and cook for another ten minutes. The daal pieces should hold their shape but easily mashed when pressure is applied. If soft, bring your heat to medium-high to cook out the remaining water.
  4. There should still be a little water left at this point. You may then add your chilies, tomatoes, cilantro and butter or ghee and stir. Serve hot with a side of basmati rice or naan.

 

 

Depression

Depression, sadness, grief, apathy, anxiety – these all are interconnected to one another and complexify one’s relationship with food. This is one dimension to how depression interacts with food. Another dimension of depression’s relationship with food is similar to how anger’s relationship is with food – food may mend the negative affect and transform it into an evoked affect of comfort. The affect of depression may be the most complex, as it has several different facets we can consider.

How does one get depressed about food? This discussion has much to do with classism. For those that come from lower-income backgrounds or residing in third-world countries may say that no food or the lack of access to food is the way they are depressed about food. Naturally, this is a classist problem brought about by colonizing attitudes towards the ‘Other.’ Despite the surplus of food in Western, imperial states, there seems to be an idea laden with classism that poor people of color, both in the West and outside of it, are unable to receive food. On the other side of spectrum, due to our surplus of food and hegemonic beauty standards, there is an unattainable standard placed on its residents. To be beautiful is to be slim, and this is difficult in a society that has such a strange relationship with food. Where fast food is easy, efficient, and very cheap, food that is healthy is much more expensive and difficult to come by. Along with this, due to the unattainable beauty standards to become slim, this causes a different type of depression. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and binge eating have become increasingly common to attain an appearance in a society that makes it difficult due to the way we interact with food in the West. This is where we find the affect of disgust, or to be specific, disgust with our bodies. To be ‘healthy,’ one must have expendable time to work out, plenty of income to purchase food that is nutritious, and overall stability in life. The West is capitalistic in nature – to make a decent income, one must work extended hours thus creating much more stressed out individuals. When faced with stress, people have a tendency to either eat much more than normal or much less than normal (Bachar, Berry, and Canetti 162). This leads to two deviating paths: one of food-related sickness – i.e. high cholesterol and diabetes among others – and one of the depressive measures on handling food – i.e. anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.

We have deconstructed depressed feelings about food. We can now discuss the different types of food used to remedy depression. Depression can also be a form of grief, which brings me to the discussion of funeral food. Traditionally, funeral food is a communal effort where neighboring grievers are provided with a food acting source of solace or comfort. Funeral foods are often casseroles or pasta dishes; these are easy to prepare and serve, fulfilling its purpose of comforting a grieving family. Funeral foods are not the only foods that induce comfort. Ice cream and chocolate are also foods that cause comfort, which is stereotyped as the cisgendered woman’s holy grail. Whether or not this is true, desserts can spike blood sugar levels to give a momentary rush while chocolate releases endorphins into the brain, inducing a euphoric state. This euphoria is indicative of joy, which is comforting to many. This brings me to my recipe for vegan chocolate mousse. Individuals that suffer from eating disorders will often resort to vegetarianism or veganism to limit their food intake (Dean 136). Although this may sound detrimental, it is instead channeled as an outlook of control and ownership on one’s choices that may have political, emotional, and cultural factors tied to it (Dean 136). Ultimately, this may provide comfort which is the ultimate goal when we talk about food and affect. Chocolate is comforting, as we have already discussed. Furthermore, this vegan chocolate mousse is much easier than regular chocolate mousse and even tastes better than the regular kind. It’s decadent, simple, and not necessarily nutritious but it isn’t detrimental to one’s health either. Also, it has only three ingredients! As you can see, there are no precise measurements besides the coconut milk cans. This recipe is free form, and you can adjust it to your taste. Besides, who wants to be told to stop putting in the sugar and cocoa?

Chocolate Mousse Ingredients Directions
Serves 2

10 minutes

2 full fat coconut milk cans, refrigerated overnight

*Make sure the brand is  free of additives and thickeners ~ try Thai Kitchen

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Sweetener of choice

*I opt for honey, but other times I have used agave nectar or stevia

 

1.       Open your chilled coconut milk cans. The fat from the coconut milk will have risen to the top while the liquid sloshes around on the bottom. Scrape out the thick, creamy fat and place into a mixing bowl. Save the remaining liquid for smoothies.

2.       Taking a hand mixer and setting to medium speed, begin whipping your coconut fat in your mixing bowl. Beat for about 5 minutes or until it gets light and fluffy.

3.       Add in cocoa powder a little at a time. Stop when you find the color pleasing to you. More chocolate if you like dark chocolate flavor, less if you like a more delicate chocolate flavor.

4.       Add in sweetener a bit at a time, tasting as you go. Adjust to your liking. You may serve it as is into bowls or chill before serving.

 

Desire

Perhaps the most complex of all the affects, desire is difficult to understand because people will often equate it with comfort. This is not necessarily the case, although this is one way desire may be interpreted. Another point of speculation is if we are comfortable in a socioeconomic sense, is it easier to desire food? Is desire a luxury? Perhaps not with comfort, but certainly in other ways. The desirability of food moves in three different directions. The first direction is how desirability is mirrored in expensive and rare food. Foods such as steak, aged cheese, caviar, oysters – they are all expensive and considered to be a luxurious food item that is indicative of class and taste. In context of classism, we go up the class system as our palates are refined due to how we spend money on food. However, what if we desire comfort? Comfort, as we established before, is inexpensive and easily accessible. The second direction that desirability moves is down the class system in context of classism. We also satiate our desires which evoke comfort. This occurs whenever desire is satisfied, realistically. But it is also indicative of class. Often with comfort foods, there is a sort of richness associated with it like macaroni and cheese or cake. Therefore, desirable foods may be expensive, but they also may be inexpensive and have tantalizing effects on one’s palate – for example, decadent and rich foods or well-spiced foods are desirable as well. The third direction that the affect of desire moves in is transnationally due to globalization and exposure to exotified foods. Things like sushi and escargot become markers of class as well; the more exotic the food, the more cultured one is. This direction may also delineate as there may be an ensuing affect of disgust. Disgust can be a marker of aversion to exotic foods but ends up being a specific experience for the individual. As David Hume once said, “’We are apt to call barbarous whatever departs widely from our own taste and apprehension; but soon find the epithet of reproach retorted on us’” (Highmore 126).

Below, I offer a decadent recipe for lobster macaroni and cheese. Since desire and comfort seem to be even more closely related than the previous two affects, I decided to find a way to fulfill both affects in one recipe. I have always found macaroni and cheese incredibly comforting, which is understandable given my birthplace in the Bible Belt of America. The lobster is apparently fulfilling the affect of desire while the macaroni and cheese creates an affect of comfort, ultimately creating an extremely pleasurable and comforting experience while eating.

Lobster Mac n’ Cheese

*adapted, tried, and tested through a variety of recipes online

Ingredients Directions
Serves 6-8

1 hour and 30 minutes

Kosher salt

Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed

1 lb or 4 cups of cavatappi pasta

4 cups of full-fat milk

1 stick unsalted butter, divided into 6 tbsps. and 2 tbsps.

4 large garlic cloves, minced

½ cup thinly sliced red onion

½ cup all-purpose flour

4 cups grated Gruyere cheese

2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup chopped, fresh chives

½ tsp black pepper

1 jalapeno, diced (optional)

3 cups cooked and chopped lobster meat, about 1 ½ lbs.

1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs

½ cup parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley, for garnish

 

1.       Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit

2.       While your oven warms up, grab a large pot and fill halfway with water and salt with vigor. Bring your salted water to a boil and drizzle in your oil. Add in your pasta and cook for 6-8 minutes or until it is al dente. Drain your pasta and set aside. You may drizzle with a bit more oil to avoid the pasta sticking together.

3.       Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat. As it heats, in another large saucepan, melt the first portion of your butter (6 tbsp.) over medium-low heat. When your butter is melted, add in your garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes, or until the onions are translucent and soft. Whisk in your flour and cook for no more than a minute – don’t let it burn! After the first minute, continue whisking and add in your heated milk. You may need another hand here (communal!). Whisk until well combined and smooth.

4.       Take your pot off the heat and mix in your Gruyere cheese, cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, chives, black pepper, jalapeno pepper if using, and salt to taste. Mix until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

5.       Then, with a rubber spatula, fold in your pasta and lobster meat carefully. Try to keep the lobster chunks intact as much as you can. Then, taking a well-greased 13×9 baking dish, pour your pasta mixture into the dish.

6.       Take your remaining 2 tbsp. of butter and melt in the microwave. Meanwhile, take your breadcrumbs and mix with parmesan cheese. When it is well distributed, pour in your melted butter and mix. Distribute the breadcrumb mixture on top of your lobster mac. Bake in your preheated oven in the center of the rack for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the top has browned. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

 

 

Works Cited

Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. 2nd ed. New York and London: Routledge, 2015. Print.

Bachar, Eytan, Elliot Berry, and Laura Canetti. “Food and Emotion.” Behavioural Processes 60 (2002): 157–164. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Dean, Megan A. “You Are How You Eat? Femininity, Normalization, and Veganism as an Ethical Practice of Freedom.” Societies 4 (2014): 127–147. Web.

Flatley, Jonathan. “Affective Mapping.” Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2008. 76–84. Print.

Flatley, Jonathan. “Introduction: Melancholize.” Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2008. 1–10. Print.

Hammarling, Maria. “Bolivian Quinoa in the Context of Globalization.” n. pag. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Highmore, Ben. “Bitter After Taste: Affect, Food, and Social Aesthetics.” The Affect Theory Reader 118–137. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

Muñoz, José Esteban. “Feeling Brown: Ethnicity and Affect in Ricardo Bracho’s The Sweetest Hangover (and Other STDs).” Theatre Journal 52.1 (2000): 67–79. Web.

Slocum, Rachel. “Race in the Study of Food.” Progress in Human Geography (2010): n. pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

 

 

[1] NPR’s “How Snobbery Helped Take the Spice Out of European Cooking.”

[2]‘ Found on the Minimalist Baker’s food blog.

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