Cooking Up Religious Beliefs
Here’s a surprise: some of the everyday favorite foods we swallow and savor were originally created as sacred food for thought, dishes that deliberately expressed, encouraged and even enforced a specific religious belief. The Hebrew Challah, for instance, is two breads braided into one, first as a reminder of the double portion of manna that fell on the Sabbath while the Jews wandered 40 years in desert, and thus also as an enduring representation of God’s mercy and generosity. Here are a few other seemingly ordinary foods whose spiritual message is supposed to be the key ingredient.
Sandra Garson, a well-known cook for Dharma centers from Maine to Mongolia, is the author of Veggiyana, the Dharma of Cooking and How to Fix a Leek and Other Food From Your Farmers’ Market.