In Mintz two, the reading argues the difference between Grande cuisine and Haute Cuisine. Mintz argues that Grande cuisine is food that connects people and links people’s feelings into food while haute cuisine is about the shifts in attitude about food and involves ingredients, consumers, and cooks free from region or ritual. Meanwhile, in Minz three, Mintz states that the United States of America does not have a cuisine, most believe there is cuisine since most Americans are sociologically alike and eat food that is associated with society’s expectations. This food that is commonly known in the states is not considered a cuisine due to the food in America being more commercialized than natural localized taste. This further supports Mintz’s argument of American cuisine not existing, since Americans do not care where their food comes from then in total Americans lack cuisine, and that lack is causing the creation of ever having cuisine. In reading three , Ray talks about restaurants in American newspapers from its first appearance around 1830 up to the present, so as to reach some conclusions on claims about American cuisine and creates a counterargument to Mintz reading about American cuisine not existing . Ray Arguments that there is a American cuisine that comes from the American imagination.
The reading discusses the topic of cuisine, its role in society and culture, and the idea of an American cuisine. Mintz discuses the topic of haute cuisine which is described as the idea of cuisine as a sort of social construct. Haute cuisine is at its core based on class and society it involves borrowing food and different dishes from elsewhere. its a collection of regions. Mintz also discuses the question of whether or not there is such a thing as American cuisine. Mintz suggest that there is no such thing as an American cuisine. This is many US citizens have such vastly different diets and relationships with food. Many people’s diets are reliant on their culture, they way they grew up, or the beliefs they hold.Its also important to take into account the amount of processed and “unhealthy” food that is consumed in the U.S. among its citizens. Mintz states that many Americans dont care or pay much mind to what they eat and how i came to be on their plate whether it was made from scratch or came from a pre made package.
Mintz #2 explores the term “cuisine” and what people usually associate the word with versus what it really is. Mintz says that the term “cuisine” means both “kitchen” and “cooking.” She talks about how in the United States the term is used to describe ethnic foods like French, Chinese, or Thai. She questions if it even makes sense to have national cuisines because some people like Jean-Francois Revel think that the only real cuisines are regional due to distinctiveness of the local ingredients. Mintz agrees, saying that a chef can make a menu that reflects that of a nation, but the foods of a country do not make a cuisine on their own. When described from the perspective of someone who cares about food, cuisines do not reflect a country, but instead the foods of a place. She also talks about how food tends to vary within social classes in may places, and how especially in America this seems to be true. You can tell what class someone is in based off of the types of foods they eat and ingredients they use. Here she points out haute cuisine and grande cuisine as being used as an attribute to class. According to Mintz, haute cuisine is a sort of “refinement of the aggregate foods, styles, and dishes of a collection of regions, and represents more than one region.
In Mintz #3, she discusses how a comment she made during a class lecture about Americans having no cuisine was not received well by the students. This led into the question of why having a cuisine is important to people. Though America is extremely diverse, and has a wide variety of foods, Mintz says this does not equal to having a cuisine. The process of Americanization of immigrants also means people were and are encouraged to blend in and change their ways of life, including their foodways. Mintz says that pressure to be the same, especially toward children, may feed into the increase of homogeneity in American food habits. Another factor in the States is the commercialization of regional foods that will continuously get less and less close to the original food. Mintz suspects that commercialization like this has been so effective in America due to the lack of a standard cuisine. In turn, the distinctiveness of regional cuisines becomes diluted and “nationalized.” American food habits are also regulated by class, region, and ethnic differences. Another big point in this reading is what habits of Americans and what they consume compared to other places. Americans tend to eat out or at fast food more, eat prepacked or frozen meals that require little to no effort, and consume a lot of sugar and fats. American consumption of things like this have steadily rose and also correlate with the increase in body weight of American men and women. Another prevalent characteristic of American eating habits is the tendency to snack, and therefore disrupt “normal” eating times. The convenience of certain foods and the appearance that people do not have enough time to properly eat, and Mintz asserts that convenience food would not be as successful if Americans cared more about how and what they eat daily. She says this fact is very important, as it implies that Americans lack a cuisine and will probably never have one.
The third reading describes the use of the word “restaurant,” which there is now an abundance of. Ray writes that by the nineteenth century, there is a large interest in cooking and gastronomy. This interest, Ray says, has to do with two things. The first is literature, which, according to the author, goes hand in hand with the history of public eateries. Discussions in literature about restaurants were seen as part of the general discussion surrounding culture. Ray also talks about what set apart restaurants from coffee places and taverns. It has to do with the increase in segregation by wealth, with wealthy New Yorkers beginning to move their homes away from places associated with work, such as coffeehouses. The advertisement of restaurants was not commonplace, and their popularity continued to increase with the concept of “fine dining.” Though even today many families cannot afford to eat out at restaurants, going out to eat is not uncommon, and there are people who do it many times a week or more.
Mintz’s text highlights how many people in American don’t think deeply about food, and how cuisine and culture are interwoven and inseparable. It’s more than a style or method of cooking, but a product of food availability and regional tastes. Cuisine has less to do with the country it’s in, and more about the areas it’s adapted to and ingrained itself in. Genuine cuisine has common social roots, where as haute cuisine is an evolution of common cuisine, spurred on by wealth and food availability. In the second reading, Mintz discusses the lack of cuisine in America. He cites the country’s large geographical size, as well as its origins as to why we lack a definitive cuisine. America’s roots in colonialization give it a diverse spread of different foods that the colonizers introduced to the natives, rather than having a centralized food/cultural presence. In the modern day, commercialization, industrialization, and the negative effects of capitalism have impacted “American cuisine,” turning it from a cultural pillar into a fad or convenience item.
I agree with Mintz that we don’t have American cuisine. After all, it is based on regional and not national factors, and our population is so diverse. In the reading, it mentions in the United States, people rarely talk about “American Cuisine.” I agree that it is easier to imagine how French cuisine, Indian cuisine, Thai cuisine, and Chinese cuisine might exist, but according to Mintz, those are not actually cuisine either. Author Sidney Mintz agrees with Jean Francois Revel, a French writer who wrote on French culture and cuisine, that there is no such thing as genuine national cuisine for any other country. I think the article mentions that there are foods of places, not countries.
Secondly, in the reading, I believe if we had to pick what American cuisine is, the term would be fast food or junk food. The article mentions that cuisine can be associated with a person’s class or social standing. No one talks about American cuisine in general, but there is a greater emphasis on regional cuisine like Creole from New Orleans in the United States. Overall, I enjoyed reading about American cuisine and how we would or would not define it.
Mintz 2&3: When people think about cuisine they jump to French and what the french eat like bread for example but when someone says what’s American cuisine people say stereotypical foods like hamburgers, hotdogs, and apple pie but just like what Mintz wrote about. Having a “national cuisine” in it of itself is a contradiction because a country can have a regional cuisine but a national cuisine just doesn’t make sense. Because America is such a large country it makes sense why it doesn’t have a cuisine like France does because the country itself is made of immigrants from Europe, Asia, and other countries each region has it’s own style of food like southern food and Pennsylvanian Dutch style. That’s what makes up America’s lack of a cuisine it’s the different styles of food immigrants from long ago brought over with them and has taught their children how to make them and then down the entire bloodline which then emerged to have the current regions foods we have today.
Restaurant newspaper ads: The concept of what a “restaurant” is a modern term because it wasn’t really a thing people did back then until the 1850s when they slowly started popping up and what the french did by wearing black and white tuxedos and having lavish meals out translated into what we now know is fine dining in today’s terms. The idea of advertising a restaurant back then wasn’t a thing they did, even when restaurants were advertised it was also grouped into any crime that was committed in said restaurant. Delmonico’s was first mentioned in the New York Times when they reported a robbery that occurred in it which was caused by an employee that was working there. The second time it was mentioned was because the Swiss Benevolent society met on Saturday night to select new officers.
The first thing I took note of in the reading is being aware of how we react to food. This is more than just noticing whether it is “good or bad” and picking up on small details. This directly translates into the idea of food as thought. Food as thought means not just thinking about the food on our plates, but the feelings we associate with the food, as well as the way the foods make us feel. Next, it got into the similarities between food and music. Stating that like music, “food evokes a wide range of responses among different people.” In simpler terms, everyone reacts to food as well as types of food, very differently. Like music, some may enjoy certain cuisine, or genres, more than others… or just not care about it much at all. The next big point was the importance of cuisine within cultures. Each culture has its own unique set of food that is all brought together to form their identity. In addition to cultures, food can be linked to a region, which is a part of its identity. It is important to link foods to regions, an not countries or places with physical boundaries, because what differentiates cuisine is not a line on a map, but the geography and environment. This is the distinguishing factor because the environment plays a role in the use of ingredients, as well as animals that are used in different regions. In order to have a cuisine the food must be produced over a long period of time or have some sort of consistency. During the rise of new places came the rise of new cuisine and diets. This was because of the natural environment and the habits of migrating groups. People eat what they feel they want and buy foods to make them feel less guilty. Many think they don’t have enough time to eat or cook, but if they cut down on television and other things would have more than enough. In order for cuisine to exist, there must be a community of people who both cook and eat it. Since there is a national literature, could there also be a national cuisine? Personally, I do not think there is a national cuisine because foods are different within different regions because of the places different ingredients grow. Not only ingredients, but water as well. You see this on a small scale with bread… for example the bread in New Jersey is different than the bread in Virginia because of the water used to make it having slightly different contents. The comparison between origin stories and recipe’s was interesting, how both cannot be the same as the original creator when passed down generation to generation… small things will change.
Blog Post 1 by Avianna Hoffman
Prior to this reading, one’s knowledge behind food studies might be quite limited. However, very early on in this article you, as the reader, realize that food studies is simply the umbrella term for a multi-field area of exploring. From the “beginning” of a food’s life to the consumption, there is a wide range of research and study of how one’s food is processed and consumed. This also applies to how one interacts with food or the meaning of food in one’s life. Considering we are all human, we all have different and unique ideas and associations with the food we eat (or don’t eat). We can also use history as a tool in this field, whether that’s following an evolution of a food or the historical importance of the first “printed” menu. With all this being said, we as human, understand that food allows us to feel motivated and generates the majority of our energy in one day. Though, what you, as the consumer, eats determines your overall emotions for the day depending on the type of food you eat or lean towards. Food is so diverse not only in the types of food but also in its preparation and range of consumers that enjoy it. Food is meant to bring people together in many different ways so by creating certain research methods we cast a wide net of data that details the enjoyment of said foods. Whether it be a five star restaurants, six course meal or simply your mom’s homemade mac n’ cheese, food is a universal concept of creating memories and enjoying the time we have together.
Blog Post 1
What is food studies? In the reading the author emphasizes that food studies are not the study of food itself but how the relationship of food affects the human experience. The term food studies is broad and multidisciplinary, there is not one defined meaning. Different geographic locations show how that specific place affects what they eat, how they prepare it, how they collect it, and how it is produced. It is becoming more prominent in the media, which is beneficial to many, which helps educate those who are unaware of what food studies is and how it affects our everyday lives. Food studies entails almost an anthropological approach by examining the complexity of human interactivity with food. Understanding food studies will give us a better understanding of migration, changes over time, and personal/group identity. Food is something nobody can live without, which is why it is so important to understand what food studies is and how it shapes our perspective on food.
Food studies is an interesting concept within the larger scheme of international information that can be gathered from book, articles, cultures, communities, and the various locations to purchase. As some larger locations that sell food and merchandise report their numbers back to manufactures, this can help companies from a marketing standpoint, although from a food studies perspective this gives great insight.
As contradictory as it may seem, food studies is not the direct study of food but a “study of production” within more niche fields of agriculture sciences, meat and poultry sciences and aquaculture. There are larger components at play such as chemical, physical, and biological properties that relate to food science and biochemistry. To digest into the field further; nutrition is based upon the consumed products while the culinary arts is focused on the preparation. This is eye opening because these are all areas of expertise that we do on a daily bases and all of these are subjective as we all perceive information differently and of course, we all have different taste buds. For example: cilantro…
To break down the fields more thoroughly, Krishnendu Ray in 2008 did extensive field study in ethnic restaurants in their work on theories and methods from sociology, business and history. The social science perspectives are a revelation on the consumer bases. While vehicle traffic may be over 500 a day but why does a restaurant only get possibly 100 transactions a day with takeout orders and large parties? Why is this restaurant better or worse? What makes us different? I see all of these factors and more but the main question that comes to my mind; what can we do to make more money? That is from a business side of things as there are only maybe 2 answers at most.
- Our food needs to be better, atmosphere, customer service, ect.
- Give our consumers something that they cannot get anywhere else.
Which brings me to the next part of the article! The TPB components and tests ran on the women make sense because they will gravitate towards their culture as that is what their norm looks like. Their daily meals will be what they grew up with not what you or I know as Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Eggs and bacon, cold cut sandwich, salmon and asparagus. They will shop where they know is is the same or similar product from their home country. How do I know? Because my parents are immigrants and that is how I grew up. Ethnic backgrounds will always be the underlying factor to how we prepare food (culinary arts) and what we consume (nutrition). My parents never knew foods as carbs, fats, protein or a balanced meal, they grew up as food = survival. The largest change comes from preparation, the cooking utensils and upgraded appliances.