Last week the NYT wrote about "Mormon Cuisine." Having grown up in Wisconsin and outside of the LDS Church, I don't have childhood memories of Mormon meals, but I have been to my share of pot luck dinners as an adult. Marrying into a family that descended from Mormon pioneers, I quickly learned that water is the drink of choice with evening meals (we always drank milk in Wisconsin); jello is a salad, not a dessert; and Sunday meals consist of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and cooked veggies.
The NYT story was focued on traditional food, but I was thinking about this today as I ate lunch at The Banana Leaf, a new Sri Lankan restaurant in Provo. While many Utah restaurants, like Chuck-A-Rama, still specialize in Mormon comfort food, the ethnic restaurant options in Provo have exploded since my student days at BYU. I assume both the demand for and the supply of more exotic options is at least partly a result of the expansion of the Church.
But it's also true that the more traditional fare is much better than 20 years ago. For a much improved version of meat, potatoes, and veggies, Communal (featured in the NYT story) is excellent, as is the Tree Room at Sundance. For a less pricey meal, there's La Jolla Groves. Even the cheap eats, like pizza, burritos, hot dogs, and whatever Guru's Cafe is serving are better than the older options. I am not sure people here are "redefining Mormon cuisine" so much as discovering (a bit later than the rest of the world) the joys of good food.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Links to weblogs that reference Mormon Cuisine?: