Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finding American Food in Århus

I've been mulling for some time about how to write about Bazar Vest, food, America, identity for a while now. This isn't all I have to say about the subject, that's for sure. But for now this is a post I wrote up quickly before I left for Amsterdam.

During my second week in Århus, the novelty of being in a new place was wearing off somewhat. I craved familiar things. At the top of the list was hummus and pita bread. In the States, I always have these two things on hand. This lead to me searching for hummus and pita in Århus, which I finally found in Bazar Vest, a market with stores by North Africa, Turkish, and Middle Eastern immigrants.

While at Bazar Vest,  I also had coffee with cardamom and it was as good as or even better than any I had in the States. A bakery sold baklava too! After I bought pita and hummus, my friend and I went to a mutual friends house where we sampled them. Even though the hummus tasted a little different, the pita was perfect. I thought the baklava lacked the fragrance of rose water, but it was really a minor quibble compared to finding baklava at all.

My friend summarized my quest for pita and hummus: a Chinese-American girl and a Polish boy go to the immigrant neighborhood in Denmark to find Middle Eastern food that reminded the girl of America. And the box from had the Chinese character 福 and a bamboo motif printed on the side.

I was very very happy that day because I got to eat food I really missed. But I also treasure that trip to Bazar Vest because it represents all the things I love about my life in America and in my life here: the intersecting identities of people in America and the cosmopolitan community of exchange students here in Århus.

 Pita. The label says it's Lebanese

Baklava in bamboo motif box

Baklava with 福 box

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