Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

"Iran bans state TV from teaching foreign recipes"


Dakki
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here.

If accurate (and I think it's a good idea to doubt anything published about places that are perceived as unfriendly to the West unless it's confirmed by multiple, independent sources), they're probably going about this the wrong way. The sort of people who protect their culinary culture are also the people who tend to want to learn about other culinary cultures, while the sort of people who forget their culinary culture don't so in favor of cooking French, Italian or Japanese; they do so in favor of fast food restaurants and take-out. At least I think so.

Your thoughts?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will probably work as well as it did when some local governments in Italy banned "foreign" restaurants from their cities: Sunday Times article

Seriously? I can't tell if you're being ironic or not. The government of Iran has far more power over its people than that of Italy. If the story is true, I'm fairly certain the ban will be firmly in place and those who transgress will be punished severely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will probably work as well as it did when some local governments in Italy banned "foreign" restaurants from their cities: Sunday Times article

It's pretty funny that in the original post, "Dakki" points out that you need to be very skeptical of "anything published about places that are perceived as unfriendly" and then there's a link to a News Corp. publication...

I'm endlessly amazed and intrigued by Iran - often at both ends of the "respect/appalled" spectrum almost simultaneously. (I suspect that's how folks around the world feel about us in the US...)

Also funny: while I was reading the original post there was an ad for a new "Larry the Cable Guy" show called something like "Only in America!" (Again... speaking of how the rest of the world perceives the US...)

I guess if you're going to focus on only one cuisine, focusing on Persian cuisine would not be the worst choice.

But these sorts of things are almost always "indirect" - I guess we can all assume that this prohibition on "foreign" cuisine would be targeted at Western cuisine, but I wonder if there might be something else? If the "Green Revolution" supporters are generally "middle class", "educated" and "Western oriented" then that might explain this seemingly silly ban. It would be a way for the inwardly-oriented, nationalistic (jingoistic?) conservatives to "stick it" to the outward-looking progressives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No offense, I hope. My point was not to compare governments--obviously different in the extreme--but to comment on the inefficacy of censorship to squelch a desire for information. Interesting that food can be the focus of government efforts at controlling/defining culture.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I can't seem to pull up the post linked in the original post, but honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the underlying story were true. (Even if it was in a News Corps. publication as another poster said.) I'm Persian by birth, though my family had to leave the country when I was very young for political reasons; I have no problem believing that the Mullahs would ban foreign recipes.

The crackdown on ALL things smacking of Western influences and of things that are not purely nationalistically, centuries-old Iranian -- and obviously, in line with the current orthodoxy -- has manifested itself in a thousand tiny, almost seemingly silly, miniscule aspects of life.

Another reason why I think this ban might be true and which may not be obviously apparent at first glance to those who are Westerners: those who have the knowledge to teach foreign recipes in Iran are -- often -- those who are hugely Westernised. My parents, grandparents, uncles and family friends all had private or personal chefs who used to work at Michelin-star foreign restaurants or various consulates; more importantly, were all trained in Paris and London. Yes, they could cook Persian food (but rarely did); the issue though is that those who have culinary training in foreign cuisines are more than likely to be *so* Westernised as to be dangerous to the current regime.

I so wish I could pull up the original article cited (I'll try to do a manual search on the site after I post this) but to try to answer the original question, I think the situation in Iran doesn't lend itself to general statements about normal food cultures. First, in my opinion, there are Persians and there are Iranians. Then, amongst those who are "Iranians" -- let alone Iranians back actually IN Iran -- there are those who live in the urban areas and those who are essentially -- by all socio-economic, educational and historical standards -- essentially peasants. (Yes, I said "peasants." And yes, that is what they are by all sociological standards.)

Amongst the young, urban population though, I think Dakki would be right in saying that *THEORETICALLY* such a prohibition would trigger a backlash. But not much, and if it did occur, I think it would just be a mental backlash. Basically, those who care about the West are already revolutionized and against the regime.

Side note: [i've had friends who chose to go back -- for whatever insane reason -- after years studying at US Ivy League schools and being the best of the best as doctors, lawyers, Wall Street people, etc. They're not unique amongst the revolting youth of the urban streets today in Iran. And one doesn't need a Western education to be ultra-westernised in Iran today.]

So, IMO, people like that don't need a ban on foreign recipes to think the regime is too authoritarian to bear. But yes, I'm sure it adds to their frustration and pisses them off that they can't have sushi or other foreign cuisines. In my experience, Persians (and even many Iranians) can be amongst the most culinarily open-minded of people. And the Persians (and Iranians) of my generation long for sushi, indian food, thai curries and Ethiopian food, almost as much as the French or European food that they are so familiar with.

"There are dogs, and then there are German Shepherds.... "- Unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's pretty funny that in the original post, "Dakki" points out that you need to be very skeptical of "anything published about places that are perceived as unfriendly" and then there's a link to a News Corp. publication...

Does Dakki's original link go to a News Corp. site? Because every time I click on it, I get an error page on the Washington Post site. (Last I heard, WaPo was not a Murdoch paper, so....????)

I've tried manual searches on the WaPo site, listing main key words, but nothing turned up. Honestly, I don't particularly care about the politics right now; I am just curious to read the original article. Can someone point me in the right direction? Should I be looking on Fox News?

"There are dogs, and then there are German Shepherds.... "- Unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was indeed a Washington Post article, but the link now appears to be broken. I actually found the article via another publication(link here) but linked what was quoted as the source article in the spirit of... whatever.

Allegations of links to NewsCorp were not made by myself but by another poster, whom I believe mistook the Washington Post (which is not listed as a NewsCorp publication) for the New York Post, which is.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Allegations of links to NewsCorp were not made by myself but by another poster, whom I believe mistook the Washington Post (which is not listed as a NewsCorp publication) for the New York Post, which is.

Dakki, I never thought you were linking to a News Corp site; the repeated linked returns to WaPo were too clear, but with the broken links, I did start to wonder if I was just becoming confused or if there was something on a Murdoch paper which I was missing.

Thanks for a link to the proper article. It was -- simultaneously-- a bit of a let down, and yet, also totally damn hilarious. (Jamie Oliver references??! Ha.)

It would be interesting to see if the original article (which would presumably have less 'flavor' in terms of journalistic expression) also pointed to specific Persian dishes under supposed threat. Because, if you take the referenced Khoresht-e Gheimeh (split pea and lamb stew), I've always thought it was damn similar to various Moroccan and Lebanese dishes. It can hardly be under-attack and threatened by the West when there are numerous variations a few thousand miles to the West!

But yeah, I stick to my original point that this will not change the mind of those already fed up with the regime, and will have absolutely NO impact on those who are on the fence. Persians (and Iranians) ADORE their food, but those who are not progressive won't alter their perspective based on some mere food decree.

I also doubt it will really change things drastically for those who ARE progressive. Those who want Western food, will have Western food... regardless of what the Mullahs says. What a lot of outsiders don't realise is that there is a HUGELY vibrant, underground, Westernised culture in Iran that revels in all Western things. I would hear tales of how -- during the worst of the Iraq-Iran war in the '80s, during the height of the bombings in Tehran-- women would go to parties totally wrapped up in "Chadoors" but throw them off once through the door, showing tight, expensive clothing underneath and then, drink French champagne, eat black-market foie gras and nibble on Teuscher chocolates smuggled in by friends. That was in the mid '80s and a war that involved chemical and biological warfare by Iraq!

I think I'm rambling off-topic now, so let me just say thank you for the link.

"There are dogs, and then there are German Shepherds.... "- Unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...