Saveur Fare

Saveur Fare Nov 2007 - Sikh-2

I have a short piece in the current issue of Saveur Magazine (November 2007) about the Sikh tradition of langar, or communal kitchens, and about the annual Sikh parade in Yuba City, CA.

Several of my photos ended up appearing in a colorful montage. A couple of photos from my visit to the Stockton Gurdwara were mixed in with those from my visit to the Yuba City temple.

Actually, there are a few corrections to the edited text, too. For the record:

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Sharing Food Among the Sikh


Every year, on the first Sunday of November, tens of thousands of Sikh from across the U.S. and Canada travel to Yuba City for the largest gathering of their extended community in North America. It’s the only public festival I’ve seen in this country where not a single piece of food is sold, yet I still managed to eat and drink for six hours straight.
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Old San Francisco: Eating Through the Ages

This week I scored big. In addition to finishing off a pint of burnt caramel ice cream, I found a dusty but still strongly bound first edition of Laughter on the Hill, a book about a young woman who moved to San Francisco alone in the winter of 1940.

Sfbooks Grandmothers
Grandmothers, 1955. Courtesy of San Francisco Public Library.

For others who have adopted this city as their home, who have looked over the Bay and its bridges with awe, lived in a drafty dump of a flat that’s very well stocked with wine, or danced in the streets with strangers, this memoir will also strike a chord. It reminded me of other books that capture a special, specific time in the City’s history.

For a taste of San Francisco in years past…

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Vermont: Maple Creemees and Common Crackers

Far from the golden hills of California, with endless lush stretches of forest and field, the Green Mountain State lives up to its name. My road trip continues, and this week I find myself heading toward the Northeast Kingdom. Along the way, near the shores of Lake Champlain, I’ve been enjoying two local treats.

 Weblog Food Creemee Sign-1

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Sharing the Sacred: Community Meals at Buddhist and Sikh Temples

It’s been a long time since I’ve worshipped anything beyond dumplings or doughnuts on Sunday mornings, but this weekend I joined Stockton’s Sikh community at their historic temple on Grant Street. The act of sharing food as spiritual devotion has deep roots in many of the world’s religions. At Buddhist temples, serving vegetarian food to the public is a way to raise money for community work. At Sikh temples, offering a meal free to anyone who asks is an act of spiritual generosity mandated by the religion’s founders.
As I research immigrant foodways here in Northern California, I’ve been struck by how temples have emerged as the center of many of these transplanted communities. In the Bay Area, there are many temples where you can experience the intersection of devotional prayers and delicious meals.
Here’s a short list of three worth visiting:
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