In contrast to encyclopaedias, compendiums, atlasses, etc., Garden of Blues will never be a complete or comprehensive overview of recipes. The recipes are deliberately organized around a vague archival taxonomy with little desire for order. Our recipes can appear in several gardens and some gardens are even empty.
The recipes are not divided into either “ Malaysian” or “Honduran” origins. The Honduran and Malaysian gardens contain no recipes. The icons simply rearrange themselves if you click on them: it is a fruitless dead-end to search for “national” cuisines (are we ourselves guilty of this very quest?)
The gardens refer not to geographies but to specific experiences, neighborhoods, and relationships.
In the words of Julian Tenison-Woods, a land-surveyor and Catholic priest who conducted land surveys in Malaya in 1884:
“perhaps in no country in the world is exploration rendered so difficult from the extraordinary thickness of the jungle and the steepness of the mountain ridges which increasingly cross the travellers path.”
What we are venturing into is not the wilderness of a “borderland” of colonial imagination, but an emotional and sensory landscape of foods and friendship, which actually is pretty wild.