Monday, 13 August 2012

Self Taught

One of the main frustrations, I find as an adoptee, is having to learn about my Vietnamese culture as an outsider. 

Teaching myself to cook Vietnamese food via recipe books without my Vietnamese grandmother scolding me, for under seasoning the Pho,  leaves me with a sense of loss.  I do not normally dwell on irrational romantic imaginings, as it's quite possible my dear Vietnamese grandmother could have been a tyrant!   However, there has been a certain amount of frustration and self doubt about my ability to cook Vietnamese food, and it has crossed my mind that I feel somewhat a 'fake'.  I ask myself, is it really Vietnamese food if these dishes have not been handed down through my ancestors and whispered to me over a clay pot?

So, I can only shake off regret, self doubt and nostalgic daydreams and return to being pragmatic.  I rely on my palate, which I know to be a good one when sampling the delights of Vietnamese food. I therefore come to the practical conclusion that even though my ancestors did not share their secret recipes, they have shared their genes with me, therefore my palate.

Pho Bo - Beef Noodle Soup

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