Food, for all it represents, very simply connects people to one another.
And why not? What is food, if not a cultural and historical goulash? A tangible representation and evolution of the lives of different persons — their geographic locations, the animals they hunted, the spices and plants they gathered and all of earth’s resources they considered vital to their physical and spiritual well-being.
This idea, which applies to tribes, entire ethnic groups and nations, also applies to individuals.
Who doesn’t have food-related memories from their childhood? Grandma making stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey and baking while you sat quietly munching on other sugary concoctions, waiting for her famous cookies to come out of the oven.
Or mom cooking up Menudo, a traditional Mexican soup consisting of tripe, made from the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach, lime, red chili peppers and other spices.
As you start to formulate your opinions on food and salivate at the thought of your own culinary experiences, think about what those experiences-turned-memories-and-stories mean.
And with that thought in mind, that’s where we come in.
We’re Mike and Madeline: two food-loving journalists who are out to find the people and the stories behind Fort Collins cuisine.
For both of us, food has played an unequivocal role in our lives, shaping the way we look at the world and live our adult — ahem — pseudo-adult lives today.
And for both of us, our interest in food started with our families.
Mike comes from a multicultural background with a Lebanese father and Hispanic mother. Madeline has a mix of primarily Polish and German blood running through her veins.
But unlike Mike, who has cultivated his passion for foods linked to his family heritage, Madeline is not one for the blackberry dumplings, sausage and sauerkraut, but rather the multicultural mix of foods that are her mom’s delight. In Mike’s mother’s family, nobody can make better enchiladas than his grandmother. In Madeline’s family, nobody can make better pies than her mom.
Though we come from starkly contrasting backgrounds, we both love food: its many tastes, textures, colors, shapes and forms, and especially, the way it effects the individuals who create it and those who consume it.
With that said, we’re going to find all the people making and eating food and record their stories for all of you to read, imagine and to experience. Ultimately, we want to find the hidden culinary gems of this city.
Fort Collins, according to multiple Web sites including the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, has more restaurants per capita than most cities in the nation. With that, we have endless opportunities to unearth the culinary stories of the city.
So, CSU, if you’re interested in food in general or the people and stories behind food, pick up a copy of the Collegian every other Wednesday and get your diet of culinary journalism. And, if you, our dear readers, discover stories you feel deserve a place in the paper, let us know.
News Managing Editor Madeline Novey and staff photographer Mike Kalush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their food column runs every other Wednesday in the Collegian.