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Junot Diaz, Beli, and Dominican Foodways

Pasteleria Ideal in Mexico City is a chain that's been in business for 82 years! The place is big with a unbelievable assortment of baked goodies. This is the evening Crowd; Latin Americans generally eat a large meal between 2-4 pm and then a light snack in the evenings like pastries and coffee. I had delicious almond covered Danish and a chocolate filled Danish with white icing. Good eats folk!
Teaching chapter three of Junot Diaz award wining novel today The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The chapter is set in the Dominican Republic between 1955 and 1962. It looks at the teenage years of Oscar’s mother growing up in a provincial city as a marginalized dark skinned girl coming of age, boy crazy, and wanting to escape many aspects of her life. The chapter begins with Beli kneading dough in the family bakery and ends with her working as waitress in Chinese owned tavern. She is a member of Caribbean country which evolved out a great deal of ethnic mixing. In the Americas Iberians purchased enslaved Africans as domestic servants, cooks, and bakers. As a labor incentive masters gave obedient slaves opportunities to make money selling baked goods in urban centers. Thus some enslaved Africans literally baked their way to freedom.

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Food, Slavery and Manumission: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=manumission

Bakery Stories and Recipes:

Remembering Pete Seeger Through the Lens of Food

Cheese Cake and Other First Time Culinary Encounters