The Wandering Plum (formerly known as Alu Bukhara Junction) is a food memoir and blog that explores displacement, loss, difference, ethical food practices, and shared cuisines of the Islamic world. I investigate my fractured memories as an immigrant from Bangladesh and the historical background of different recipes. The blog tells my story as a secular Muslim and South Asian woman who is sometimes at odds with my chosen home in the United States because of continued racism and Islamophobia. Just like our genes, our cuisines hide the stories of the many others who form our identities often unbeknownst to us.I hope the blog will demystify the “otherness” of my identities through the story of food and contribute to the fight against the increasing Islamaphobia and racism both nationally and across the world.
As for the story of Alu Bukhara Junction (which became The Wandering Plum): the plum (alu in Farsi) of Bukhara became the potato (aloo in Bangla and Urdu) on its way from Iran to the Indian subcontinent. Such is the fate of travelers — to transform and be transformed; to forget that one ever knew certain things; to remember without trying when least expected. Junctions are places of meeting, not just for travelers, but also of stories, words, cuisines, histories and memories.
Stop here a while. Rest, read, remember and tell the stories of how plums surreptitiously and impossibly became potatoes and stole the hearts of nations. Eat well. Be well.