Play It Again, Sam

You must remember this, couscous is just couscous . . .

OK, those aren’t the words to the song, but that was the sentiment of the cooking class I took at my community college this week. It was a class on Moroccan food – and it was awesome!

As usual, I took a lot of pictures of the food and I had a great time meeting new people, tasting new cuisine, sharing ideas, recipes, insider foodie information (don’t tell the feds!). But what I really loved learning about is our interconnectedness. Food really is a tie that binds.

In between sauteing chicken or braising lamb or marinating shrimp, the chef talked about how food is our common denominator.

It’s the thing that was left behind when countries were invaded.

It’s the common language of troubled areas of the world who seemingly have nothing on which they can agree.

It’s a map of where and how people lived – and shared their knowledge – centuries ago.

Like a lot of people, I have a busy life, and it takes something really important to convince me to break up my son’s routine and take an evening away from him.

But when I can come home and tell him about how and why people in Spain and North Africa both love pastillas and why people in Morocco, Lebanon, and Israel all love couscous, I feel like I’m not just doing something for me. I’m also giving him just a little more knowledge or insight that will help him go where he needs to in life.

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