Cultural Leftovers

I like to cook, but being of Italian blood, it is impossible for me to cook just for one or two people. There is ALWAYS extra. But thankfully we live in a world where there is a plethora of tupperware-like items to choose from. Ohhh…pretty:

Ahh. I love tupperware.

So anyway. I cook alot and often. Back in Boston, my refridgerator (did I spell that right?) was often filled to the gills with random plastic boxes of pastas, veggies, sauces, etc. It seems like a sin to me to throw food away, so I don’t. I just wait for it to get moldy and gross in my fridge and THEN I throw it away. Doesn’t that make sense? I wouldn’t want to, you know, waste good food. Wasting bad food though is another think all together.

Recent Conversation during lunch:
Damir: Sweet, you really are a wonderful person, did you know that?

Me: Oh that’s so nice of you. Why do you say that?

Damir: You always think ahead. You’re always like three steps in front of us.

Me: Um, what do you mean?

Damir: Like
you cook food and keep it in the fridge so it is there to eat all week.
Me: Huh?

You see, in the Damir Family culture they really don’t do leftovers. They cook enough for whomever is eating and the remaining scaps, what little there would be, gets trashed. No tupperware necessary.

So, given my unemployed state of mind, I really started to think about this. Are leftovers so very American? Afterall, Tupperware was invented in 1945 by a dude named Earl Tupper here in the good ole` US of A, Flordia I think.

Recalling the size of my fridge in Amsterdam, which was no larger than most bar refridgerators you’d find in a small college dorm room, I can see why you wouldn’t want to was the precious cool space on old food. Is it a question of space?

Maybe the reticence to over produce comes from experiencing the war they lived through back in Yugoslavia. I would imagine that food, especially fresh vegetables, was in limited supply during the long war in the Balkans. One would have to become accustomed to cooking just what was necessary.

Well, I will have to do some more investigating before I can get to the bottom of this. In the meantime I leave you with hysterical Dutch cartoon which clearly is a satirical commentary on the mass production of food amongst the upper-class:

Hm. Man, I need a job.

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