Newsroom by the Bay

Eye

Culture@Crocker Galleria

Stephanie Lam, Staff

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the Crocker Galleria farmers market in San Francisco, tables are lined up on the downstairs floor, filled with all sorts of food: colorful vegetables, pastries, even exotic cheeses. Each table displays tasty-looking food, but each represents a story of culture and dedication.

IMG_1206

On one table, a man with a black coat and a green apron offers samples of tart olives to customers. The round, pickled ovals are packed in containers and placed in neat rows with labels reading WHOLE GREEN OLIVES to LOW SALT OLIVES.

“I like how olives give you an idea of history, how long it takes to grow from a pit to a tree,” the olive man said. “These olives [for example] come from California, the olive trees there are around three hundred years old. Olive trees in Greece are closer to three thousand years old.”

IMG_1183

On a table further down, bins of dried fruits lie open-faced in a container: figs, raisins, dates. All are sun-shriveled and dried in sugared syrup. The owner presenting the delicacies wears a red shirt, khaki pants and a gold chain with a cross pendant around his neck. He enthusiastically encourages customers to try the Mediterranean fruits, suggesting which ones to eat with them.

IMG_1192

The farmer’s market is a small example of how food continues to preserve one’s culture. Jennifer Berg, a director of Food Studies from the New York University, further explains the importance of food and culture in the TED article What Americans can learn from food culture.

“Food is important when you become part of a diaspora,” Berg said. “There are some aspects of maternal culture you’ll lose right away…With food, it’s something you’re engaged in, so there are more opportunities to connect to memory and family. It’s the hardest to give up.”

“Every culture has a different variety of food, spices, flavors from their own country.” the dried fruit man said. “We’re not all alike, but that is the best part about being in America.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Newsroom by the Bay
Culture@Crocker Galleria