Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Slow Food Nation 3: Pupusas de Dios

The legendary Alice Waters was the last of the speakers at the Civic Center Victory Garden planting. She started with a charming story about being a four-year-old in New Jersey during World War Two when her parents had a "Victory Garden" and she got to play "Queen of the Strawberry Patch" but she confessed that she really was never a gardener, but always an eater, a chef, a combiner, and she had the utmost respect for people who grew food.

In a surreal bit of scheduling, the annual revival tent meeting of Central American evangelicals was also slated for the Civic Center Plaza the same weekend (click here for my take on "El Santo de Israel" two years previous)...

...and though an agreement had beeen worked out which allowed for some quiet time during the Slow Food Nation's hour of speeches...

...the other orators had taken too long and Alice Waters was interrupted almost immediately by the powerful sound system and religious fervor of those testifying on the lawn next door.

To her great credit, Alice was amused rather than irritated and said, "Well, they're having a religious revolution over there, and we're having a food revolution over here," implying it was a variation on the same theme.

She didn't bother competing with the loudspeakers and graciously told people they should go for lunch, which the volunteers did behind their chain-link fence.

In a piece of perfect irony, the really delicious smells were all coming from a tent set up to feed the religious fanatics, and they were Salvadaron Hispanics who were selling insanely delicious chicken stew pupusas.

Even though the preachers were going on about the horror of "los homosexuales" over their microphones, the food people at the event were extremely sweet and their food exquisite. When I paraded my sandwich in front of the volunteers who had just finished their fancy lunch, I saw a slight twinge of envy.


Sam said...

Micahel - your last few posts are cracking me up.

janinsanfran said...

Those Slow Food people are so right -- and so damned irritating.