When Flavour Meets Culture
Last night we told you about the exhibit launched by the folks who brought you the Flavors of Belize Cookbook. Well, now they have put together a pictorial representation of Belizean Food - and it looks good enough….to eat!
Janelle Chanona went to the opening last night and she has this report:
Janelle Chanona, Reporting
September is all about national pride: our national heritage-national pastimes-and national dishes.
Yasser Musa, Director, Image Factory Belize
"Food is everything."
That's why for the month of September, the Image Factory will be hosting a pictorial presentation dedicated to Belizean food.
Yasser Musa - Director, Image Factory Belize
"As a people who live culture, we see food as the ordinary. But what has been captured now is that it has been elevated to a kind of artistic prominence, with the photography, compositioning of the food. So, I think that this is a real breakthrough using something that we take for granted, and elevating it to a very high visual status."
Gilvano Swasey - Curator, Image Factory Belize
This gives a great overview of how culture has mingled, how they have mixed, and some of the ingredients have jumped from one area, and you even get lost. You might say, 'Sere is a Creole dish,' when it actually was a Garifuna dish. So, it gives you a better understanding of how we have intermarry our tastes and culture. It also gives you a great idea of appreciation of how things are prepared. People would ask, well, ' Why would you launch a cook book at an art gallery?' Well, cooking is a form of art, preparation of the food itself."
The team behind the Flavors of Belize the Cookbook planned the exhibition.
Tanya McNab - Publisher, Flavors of Belize-The Cookbook
"We hope that it really will inspire people to appreciate a little more, and definitely for our visitors who are coming home for the September Celebrations, that they can see copies of the book, and that they can experiment while they are back home. The idea is to be able to share it, and in doing so, that they can cook all these recipes right at home, even if they don't live here anymore."
Priscilla Thomas - Librarian, Turton Library
Looking at it there, the way how they put it - how they took the photograph, it's like 'Oh, my food could look this, even though I just decided bake chicken, rice and beans - whatever'. But it gives us a different view on our local cultured food. It's just awesome, and I feel like people are missing out, when you just take the thing for granted."
David Vasquez - Sales and Marketing Manager, Belikin
"Someone like me, who's never been inclined to the kitchen, this has now has pushed me toward trying to play a little bit with menus and cooking a little bit. It's incredible how simple and basic it is, but at the same time - in terms of the menus - but the pictures themselves are really incredible in terms of motivating you to want to cook. So, that's the thing for me."
Karen Diaz - Manager, The Health Store
"I didn't know that Belizean food could look that good in print. Everybody's a fan of Belizean food, once you get to try it out, but to actually see it in those vivid colors; it makes you want to try every single recipe."
"It's inspiring to see how beautiful, creative, straightforward, the images touch our hearts. And so, I think that this is a show that teachers from across Belize should certainly try and bring their students to visit."
Our national foods are certainly symbols of patriotic pride but they also make Belizean history more poignant.
The exhibit is open from eight in the morning to five thirty in the evening Monday to Friday throughout the month of September at the Image Factory.