Friday, December 15, 2006

The Culture of Food

It strikes me--not hard--that there are two types of cultures or people: those who talk about food (especially when eating) and those who fine this infra dig if not taboo. Samurai families, for example, not only don't talk about food, they don't even speak during a meal.

While the French are known both for their food obsession and conviction of supremacy and their feeling--belief--that conversation is not only the substance of life, the fanciest and snobbiest French do not discuss food during a meal.

I come from the other camp as do most of my friends. We not only talk about food while eating--not with our mouths full--but fairly constantly most of the time: what is this? how good is it compared to the one we had last week? where and what are for dinner tomorrow? etc. Of course, this is a sign of our times and the changes in America. Food was discussed as a problem when scarce; but Puritans did not dwell on pleasure. I dwell on pleasure as does our society--for good or bad.

I hope a few eaters may share my mania for the good to eat and the curiosities of food even the politics of food and will come along with me on an episodic voyage.

Please join in. It's meant to be a conversation.

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