Conflict Kitchen: Food as Art, Politics, Awareness

I heard about this on the NPR Food podcast.  I did some catching up on it today as I was making food for the week (hummus, energy bars, protein shake, Smitten Kitchen’s rice krispy treats) and food for dinner (shrimp burgers and potato rosti, both recipes from How to Cook Everthing by Mark Bittman (you’ll notice him over on my blogroll)- my most favorite cookbook for which I am evangelical).  And I got to give a shout out to Laurie for letting me know about Smitten Kitchen and making those ADDICTIVE rice krispy treats for us the first time.  Or maybe I shouldn’t be thinking her.

Anyhow, back to the subject at hand: Pittsburgh’s Conflict Kitchen.  I’m just going to quote the NPR report which explains what it is:

But an eatery in Pittsburgh is giving customers a savory introduction. It’s called the Conflict Kitchen, and it’s a new takeout restaurant that will only serve food from countries the United States is in conflict with.

For now, the sole menu item is a sandwich from Iran. […]

The eatery is an experimental public art project — and the medium is the sandwich wrap. […]

Conflict is defined as anything from an armed dispute to an embargo. The creators chose Iran because they knew people there — and Iranians in Pittsburgh.

Weleski says opening the restaurant added a layer of cultural diversity to the city — it’s the only Iranian restaurant around. At the same time, though, the Kitchen crew didn’t want to alienate Pittsburghers. […]

In a few months, the grant-funded restaurant will switch countries — and cuisines. In September, it will serve food from Afghanistan. After that, maybe Venezuela or North Korea.

The idea sounds amazing.  So does the food.  I am flying to Pittsburgh soon in order to drive to Youngstown, OH, to my friend Julie’s wedding.  For a split second I seriously pretended to myself alone in my kitchen that I was going to find this place and drive to it before heading to Youngstown.  Probably not.  But hopefully I will get to visit one day soon and that it will still be around.

Here’s more info:


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