Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Liquid chauvinism,
drinking with Muslims

January 22, 2007

you can't drink kefir lassis every single night
Buzzkill’s throwin’ a wrench in my terroir-ism.

From time to time a girlfriend coming over to dinner will burst in the door, plop down her big ‘ol handbag and announce with a performative voice loud enough for all to hear, ‘Oh, and I’ve stopped drinking!’

Pretty much always this means that Girlfriend has stopped drinking for the month of January, or that she’s trying to shed a kilo or two. I have never noticed that these temporary abstentions embrace extreme behaviours like refusing glasses of champagne. ‘Oh, and I only drink champagne!’ And cava and prosecco and cremant.

When this happens I don’t skip a beat. Ceremoniously and performatively I present non-drinking girlfriend with a wine glass full of water or try to make the tea feel fancier than it is. I then proceed to pour myself a wine glass full of wine and forget the matter entirely. Shortly thereafter dinner happens.

But what about the Boyfreund? This jewel of a gentleman dines (yet does not drink) here on an increasingly regular basis! Though his approach to his faith is chaotic and humanistic, (thank Gawd for that) it seems unlikely that he will start drinking beer any time soon like all the other Muslims I know.

He is emphatic about not ‘minding’ if I drink a glass with dinner, but when it’s just the two of us, it feels assymetrical for him to drink water while I enjoy my wine. No amount of hype can make a glass of Amsterdam tap water (deliciously filtered through the sand dunes though it is) seem auspicious and brimming with terroir as my perfect glass of red wine. If I were him, I’d totally lord my moral superiority over everyone at every possible moment. He’s obviously a better man than I could ever be and the opportunity to expand my repetoire of non-alcoholic adult drinks seems to present itself.

‘Oh, and I’m embracing the eradication of liquid chauvinism!’

debra at 14:26 | | post to


  1. I hear you, sister. I dine every day with a man of similar persuasion, who happily downs his sparkling mineral water while I quaff my wine. It seemed weird at first, but I’ve gotten used to it, and now I rather like it. We can drink different things and both be entirely happy.

    Comment by Jennifer Jeffrey — February 1, 2007 @ 0:32

  2. Lol, my friends have a hard time accepting that i don’t drink, either. Even though we are all muslim, we had different upbringings and what i feel is an easy thing to give up for my beliefs is just too much for them.

    i love your topics, by the way :)

    Comment by Maha — May 29, 2007 @ 11:12

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