Short films capture the intersection of food and culture

Tajikistan bread

Most of the stories on the EYB blog involve the written word, whether that is cookbooks, links to other blogs, food news, or other information about food. But that just scratches the surface of the food-related information available on the web. Videos - whether instructional (like these in the EYB Library) or entertaining are available via many outlets. One source for fascinating short food videos that are informative and can also be visually stunning is National Geographic. They have an entire library of video shorts called the Short Film Showcase. The videos cover a wide array of subjects, one of which is the intersection of food and culture.

Ranging from one to 15 minutes in length, the videos explore many facets: tea in the Falkland islands, drinking absinthe, eating ants, a cranberry harvest. One particularly compelling video portrays a Tajikistan woman making the region's traditional flatbread, a major source of calories for the residents in this rugged and inhospitable area.

The vignette captures a great deal of information in just over one minute: you get a glimpse of the rustic dwelling, see how the in-ground oven is lit with dried branches, watch as the woman executes the unique scoring and decorating of the dough, view the dough being plopped onto the sides of the oven, and see the golden brown bread emerge. If you want to learn tidbits about subjects as diverse as durian, truffles, and rotten shark meat, check out the other food and culture offerings on the National Geographic website.

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