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You are cozily situated  in a Paris café in Montmartre or perhaps Montparnasse with a warm cup of the most delicious, rich, robust coffee you have ever had.  It’s nestled in a chalice between your palms.  The steam rises up into the cool air with a heavenly aroma that would surely rouse the most sound sleeper out of bed.  On your little table, a flaky, warm butter croissant perches on a glossy white plate just slightly to the west of the Venus Di Milo of coffees. The city buzzes all around you but instead of a car horn you hear a muted trumpet.  Instead of a police siren, a café piano. And that motorbike, a french crooner… Read the rest of this entry »


‘How do we eat our soup? We skim our spoon delicately across its surface, as if we were sending a ship out to sea, then bring it to our lips and silently sip.’ Marjabelle Young Stewart, Commonsense Etiquette, 1999

Pretty Soup

Not so fast Marjabelle Young Stewart! When we talk about table etiquette we are talking about rules that do not picnic blanket the entire human population. Rather, they govern a particular society or portion of a society according to the norms and conventions established therein.  So, to put it simply, while I may think it improper to slurpity slurp my soup, the Japanese man sitting next to me may feel quite the opposite. He may be wondering what about the soup was so off putting that it evoked such sipping silence, as slurping in Japan typically indicates approval and appreciation for what is being eaten. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to The Cupboard Mouse!

I began my education in linguistics, and through my many travels I came to realize that  in order to even begin to understand a new language, an individual must look beyond the grammar and vocabulary of that language, and become socialized into its culture. The culinary intricacies of a particular ethnic group, society, or even small enclave of individuals breathe life into a particular culture.

The Cupboard Mouse Gets Philosophical
The Cupboard Mouse Los Angeles restaurants
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