(Roughly) Daily

Breaking bread…

A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes
– Wendell Berry

Food is our common ground, a universal experience
– James Beard

Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant [in Pittsburgh, PA] that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. The food is served out of a take-out style storefront that rotates identities every six months to highlight another country. Each iteration of the project is augmented by events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country. These events have included live international Skype dinner parties between citizens of Pittsburgh and young professionals in Tehran, Iran; documentary filmmakers in Kabul, Afghanistan; and community radio activists in Caracas, Venezuela…

More about Conflict Kitchen on their site.

Those who look to food as the apotheosis of another kind of aspirational experience would do well to heed the wisdom of the (much misunderstood) father of Epicureanism

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink… 

– Epicurus


As we lick our lips, we might pause to recall that this was the date, in 1917, that the “Third Battle of Ypres”– or “Passchendaele”– began in Flanders during the War to End All Wars, World War I.  It lasted over three months, and cost over half a million lives – the Germans lost about 250,000, and the British and their Commonwealth allies, about the same.  To put the scale of loss in perspective:  the British death toll at Passchendaele far exceeds the combined death, casualty, and missing-in action toll on U.S. forces during the entire Vietnam War… and the world was of course smaller then: the  young Commonwealth of Australia, with a population of fewer than five million at the time, lost 36,500 men.

Eventually, on November 12, the Canadians took the village of Passchendaele, or what was left of it, and the battle was finally over.  In the end, the battle was of little import to the larger conflict.  In his memoirs Lloyd George wrote, “Passchendaele was indeed one of the greatest disasters of the war…. No soldier of any intelligence now defends this senseless campaign…”


Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 31, 2012 at 1:01 am

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