“Ginger Is Good For Taking Care of Yourself”

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“It feels like cheating,” Larissa Pham says in a Gawker essay titled “In My Shopping Cart,” “to write about culture by writing about food.”

But it reads like anything but cheating. Pham wheels us through the grocery aisles of her memory, pointing out the Vietnamese food her family made with American ingredients, childhood treats with forgotten names, and the unexpected privilege of growing up with first-generation American cuisine.

Proust had madeleines; I have lychee gummy candy and yogurt drinks and rice crackers with tiny specks of white sugar crystallized on their puffed tops.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →