There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a Turkish fig, Barber says.
Dan Barber:It seems to me that part of the problem with the American diet is that we have very little culture. We have very little food culture. We have very little food memory that informs our sort of everyday recipes. So we’re all around the world, which is part of the great, great excitement of eating in America. You know eating in New York City you can eat Indian one night and Chinese the next night. That’s sort of like part of the American experience . . . eating experience. The problem with it is that it doesn’t . . . I think it defies reality, and it defies tradition and history; and recent agriculture history, which is right outside our doorstep; and to the extent that like, you know, as an eater you have kind of, again, a responsibility to connect to the local agriculture tradition. I think it’s important. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with eating other cuisines or preparing them at home and then nothing. But my cuisine at Blue Hill . . . The food at Blue Hill is much more about what the landscape and ecological conditions can offer us than it is about being excited about a Turkish fig – which I am excited about, but in ways that don’t get me spending as much time as I would on that almond carrot. Recorded on: 2/11/08