Bromography, meaning a book or writing dealing with food or a story, tale, narrative or description of food, is a word that has been out of fashion for sometime, but Elle of Bromography – Discoveries of a New York Foodie is bringing it back into fashion! Elle writes a food blog about her passion for food and describes her love for it as “somewhere between that of a gourmet and a glutton.”
Elle was kind enough to talk with us and become our first featured interview on the English MadeinKitchen blog!
MiK: What made you want to start blogging about food?
Elle: Well, I have always had a passion for the subject, and I suddenly found myself with a lot more free time. I used to work 80 hours per week on wall street, but that has diminished substantially. Friends have always asked my opinion on dining and recipes, so I just centralized that information.
MiK: It’s always nice to have people want your opinion on recipes and food! So what made you become passionate about food and cooking?
Elle: My family originates from Trinidad in the Caribbean. Trinidadian cuisine has many influences; Indian, West African, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Middle Eastern. Growing up, I learned that not everyone had that type of exposure to such a broad spectrum.
Fortunately, New York provided wonderful opportunities for me to expand my palate further. Also, cooking and sharing meals is a significant part of the Trinidadian culture. We only cook for or eat with those that we like and love. I enjoy exploring cuisine as a way of getting to know people. Nothing tells you more about a person than what they enjoy eating!
Additionally, the blog has taught me surprising things about myself. I realized that I do not use recipes! It has been surprisingly difficult to include recipes on the blog. I also have learned that there are wonderful bloggers online that do exceptional work in that area. I have decided to only post recipes that are going to be unique or original to most of the readers.
MiK: I had noticed there aren’t too many recipes on your blog, but that you’ve mentioned several other food blogs where one can find recipes. Is there a recipe that you enjoy making at home that you plan to share with your readers that fits the “unique” category?
Elle: Yes. I have a series of recipes coming up that should be unusual to most readers. First, 5 beverages unique to parts of the Caribbean. 1. Mauby 2. Sorrel 3. Ginger Beer 4. Soursop 5. Sea Moss. They are all my family’s unique recipes. Then I plan to do a series of soups. Fish Tea, Yellow Split Pea and others.
It has taken a little time to put together, since I want readers to be able to try them out. I will list where people can source the more unusual ingredients, or at least do the recipes successfully with reasonable substitutes. I have had to try a number of variations.
When you live in a large city with many ethnic groups, you can take it for granted that unusual supplies are available. However, my sister has lived in some remote towns, so I know her frustration with sourcing ingredients. I frequently ship “our food” supplies to relatives all over the world.
The beverage series will have a new recipe each week starting March 21.
MiK: On Bromography under the “community” section, there are several posts about “Foodie Friends.” What are the Foodie Friends?
Elle: Foodie Friends is a team of supporters who offer micro-loans to foodies around the world through Kiva.org. I started lending $25 per month to various women-owned food related businesses through Kiva about 2 years ago. It has been a rewarding experience for me, so I decided to share it with my readers.
The loans allow women to take their businesses to the next level. $25 is a small amount to me, but can do a lot for someone in a third world country. Best of all, I have always gotten the money back. I just turn around and re-lend it.
MiK: It sounds like it would be a great way to help people! If people are interested in learning more they can find more about it on your site, correct?
Elle: Absolutely! All the information you need to get started is posted there. I was fortunate to meet someone who benefited from a Kiva loan while vacationing in South America. It was amazing! She had opened a great restaurant! The food was fabulous, and she could support her family.
MiK: I noticed that you also have “Food For Thought” on Bromography, where you give food related quotes. Is there one you’d like to share with us or one that is your favorite?
Elle: That is a tough question! They all suit my mood at different times. I have posted or selected over 350 quote for the site. One of my favorites is:
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. ~ Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
It seems odd, but it reflects my belief that each food has a distinct personality. The best cooks know that personality and work to best showcase it in a recipe.
MiK: My last question (more like two in one) is actually from the original MadeinKitchen blog that’s in Italian. They have a game of “if” where they ask the people they interview if you were a dish, what would you be? If you were an ingredient which one do you think you’d be?
Elle: If I were a dish, I’d definitely be a stew! With a “little of this”, and a “little of that” all thrown together! If I were an ingredient, I would be a Trinidadian Pomerac (also known as a Malay Apple) – it can be sweet and tender or sharp and tart. It all depends on your timing! I will post a recipe using pomerac in May.
Thanks so much to Elle of Bromography for taking the time for this interview. Check out her site Bromography and be sure to check back on March 21 for the beginning of her unique Caribbean recipe series!