Had I not taken half a dozen years to complete this book, I would have pre-
vented names from slipping through the cracks in memory, and I will not
have to face the anxiety of ingratitude. Perhaps I needed to start an acknowl-
edgment section before starting the manuscript, as debts began to accumu-
late long before the manuscript took shape. Now I succumb to the cheap
trick of apologizing to those whose help, though scattered through the
pages ahead, remains unacknowledged.
Let me begin by thanking the MacArthur Foundation for funding field
research in India, including research assistance, equipment, and all other
expenses during 2004–5 (Grant No. 03–80081–000- gss). I also thank two
research assistants, Sabil Francis and Rosmin Matthew, who were graduate
students at Jawaharlal Nehru University at the time, and partners in research.
A couple of years later I was fortunate to receive a resident fellowship at the
School for Advanced Research (sar) in Santa Fe, allowing me to reflect back
on field research, analyze the material, read a lot, and write a bit. I felt deeply
supported by the sar’s president at the time, James Brooks, and his sociolo-
gist wife, Rebecca Allahyari, who made critical comments and suggestions on
early presentations and writing. I must also thank my colleagues at the sar—
Graham St. John, Barbara Rose Johnston, Eric Haanstad, Noenoe K. Silva,
Julie Velasquez—whose intellectual and gastronomical companionship was
crucial to that magical year of contemplation and New Mexican cuisine. Had I
concentrated less on eating out in Santa Fe, I would have probably completed
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