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紐時賞析/馬克.吐溫的美食 美國的故事

2018-11-28 09:00紐時賞析

The Story of America, Told Through Mark Twain’s Favorite Foods

Mark Twain was a well-traveled literary superstar, so famous that his editor once journeyed to Washington to ask President Theodore Roosevelt if he would move Thanksgiving because it coincided with Twain’s birthday plans. (Twain moved his party.)

馬克.吐溫是遊歷甚廣的文學巨星,他如此出名,以至他的編輯曾到華府去問當時的總統西奧多.羅斯福,能否將感恩節改個日子,因為跟吐溫的生日撞期了。(吐溫後來把慶生派對改期。)

But in 1879, on a book tour through Europe, he craved the simplest foods from home, with agonizing specificity. Twain wanted Early Rose potatoes, a Vermont-bred heirloom, roasted in the ashes of a fire. Mussels from the waters around San Francisco. And hot broiled Virginia bacon.

不過,1879年吐溫在歐洲各地宣傳新書時,很想吃家鄉最簡單的食物,還提出令人苦惱的具體要求。吐溫想吃早熟玫瑰馬鈴薯,這是佛蒙特州世世代代的特產,在火灰裡烘烤;舊金山海域的貽貝;還有維吉尼亞州熱烤培根。

He compiled a list, an extensive fantasy of a meal, which he imagined sitting down to enjoy right off the steamship when he got home. That list is now a snapshot of some of the most cherished regional American foods of his time.

吐溫列出一張表,是他對一頓正餐包羅萬象的幻想,他想像著一下汽船回到家之後就能坐下來享用。這張表如今呈現了那時代美國一些最受寶愛的地方食物的大致樣貌。

But for a vast array of political, cultural and ecological reasons, few of Twain’s picks — terrapin, prairie chicken and raccoon among them — would be considered an integral part of our national identity today. This month, the audiobook company Audible released an eight-episode series, hosted by the actor Nick Offerman, that explores the reasons.

不過,由於一大堆政治、文化和生態因素,吐溫選擇的水龜、草原榛雞和浣熊等等,絕少被認為是我們當前國家認同不可或缺的一部分。這個月,有聲書公司Audible發行了一系列8集的音訊節目,由演員尼克.奧佛曼主持,探討箇中原因。

Offerman, who compared the taste of turtle meat to that of chicken, was eager to get his hands on some of the more esoteric foods on Twain’s list. In May, as part of the show, he organized a dinner at the Mark Twain House & Museum, the author’s carefully restored home in Hartford, Connecticut, where Twain lived with his wife, Olivia Clemens, after they were married in 1870.

奧佛曼曾將龜肉的滋味比作雞肉,他渴望品嘗吐溫清單上一些常人難以理解的食物。今年5月,他在吐溫故居與博物館辦了一場晚宴,作為節目的一部分。吐溫在康乃狄克州哈特福市的故居細心修復後改為博物館,吐溫與妻子奧麗薇.克雷門斯1870年結婚後就住在這裡。

Offerman asked Tyler Anderson, a Connecticut chef who competed on “Top Chef,” to put together a menu inspired by Twain’s list.

奧佛曼要求康州廚師泰勒.安德森以吐溫清單為靈感設計菜單。安德森曾參加美國競技節目「頂級大廚」。

Anderson produced an eight-course meal. It started with raw oysters with a frothy sherry-maple cream, and moved on to smoked raccoon sausage wrapped in caul fat. The fifth course was sheepshead, a tough, bony fish he poached in olive oil and served with potato purée.

The audio series, loosely based on Beahrs’ 2010 book “Twain’s Feast,” includes plenty of snippets from that dinner, along with excerpts from Twain’s fiction and memoir, weaving in new interviews and reporting that examine changes all over the country through the prolific author’s palate.

安德森做出八道菜套餐。從生蠔佐起泡雪利酒槭糖漿開始,接著是豬網油包煙燻浣熊肉腸。第五道菜是羊首魚,一種肉質很老且多刺的魚,他用橄欖油煨,搭配馬鈴薯泥。

Each episode of the series focuses on a different ingredient that Twain loved. Raccoons, like sheepshead, are still plentiful, but the recipes for its meat that were published in the original edition of “Joy of Cooking” have since been edited out. Tastes change.

這套節目大致以作家安德魯.比爾斯2010年的書「吐溫的盛宴」為藍本,包含那場晚宴大量的片段,吐溫小說與回憶錄選段,穿插新的訪談,並在報導中透過這位多產作家對美食的鑑賞力檢視全美國的改變。

系列節目每一集重點介紹吐溫喜愛的一種食材,每集介紹的都不同。浣熊就像羊首魚一樣,雖然數量仍充足,但在美國出版最多次的食譜之一「烹飪的樂趣」第一版介紹的浣熊肉作法,如今已被刪除。大眾的口味變了。

“The foods Twain loved, we took for granted as American classics,” Beahrs said. “But these things that are part of the richness of everyday life — they can vanish very, very quickly.”

比爾斯說:「吐溫喜歡的食物,我們理所當然以為是美國的經典,不過這些屬於豐富日常生活一部分的事物,也能消失得非常非常快。」

文/Tejal Rao 譯/李京倫

馬克.吐溫。 美聯社資料照片
馬克.吐溫。 美聯社資料照片
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