Why is this blog called “Barbarian Radishes”?

A few years ago, I was reading an interview with the wonderful British chef, Fuchsia Dunlop. In talking about the history of Chinese cuisine, she mentioned that the names of certain foods in Mandarin tell you something about their place of origin. A large number of spices came across the land routes and so were prefixed by the word hu (or barbarian) to indicate that they came from the barbarians of the north. The literal translation of carrots in Mandarin is “barbarian radishes”.

I thought this was hilarious and amazing. I said that if I ever had a food blog then I was calling it “Barbarian Radishes”. And so I have.

Who exactly writes this blog?

My name is Jen and I currently reside in Chicago, though I originally hail from California. I spend my days toiling in an office. I spend my nights either making theater or making food. Good theater disturbs, disrupts, discovers. Good food restores, replenishes, rejuvenates. I think the two endeavors compliment each other quite well. But this blog is all about the food.


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