It was one of those incredibly busy days in the Writing Center this morning, where I had only a one hour shift, yet every second of it taken up talking to different students. In that one hour, I saw maybe five. perhaps six students, all of them writing a fun assignment about a dish that reminded them of happy family memories or their home countries.
Since there are students who come from many different cultural backgrounds and they all have their unique food cultures to draw on, there were a number of different dishes represented here. I read a paper about a Filipino dish, balut, a fertilized duck egg, hawked on the street and at market stalls. The dish looks like an ordinary boiled egg on the outside, a bit over sized for those of us used to hen eggs, but once broken open, reveals a boiled duck fetus in broth. The embryo has to be caught at the perfect stage of development, before it has bones, lest the experience be unpleasant for the diner.
There was also a lovely draft about Chinese hot pot (2 different versions!) and a paper about chocolate covered strawberries. One paper discussed the finer points of Armenian shish kabob, and another, by a student with the fetching first name "Aladdin," was about steak. He was the only student to write about a dish that evoked BAD memories, and I advised him to chose another food, since the prompt didn't call for such a topic.
I love reading and writing about food and watching programs on cooking and eating, so this was a fun and interesting morning.