“Chapter 7 Cuisine: High, Low, and Not at all” focuses on the idea and definition of cuisine. The author points out that the definition of cuisine is very murky, and often very misconstrued. There is a distinction between national, regional, and haute cuisine. The author claims that cuisine in a rational sense is best understood as regional, stating that foods are never the food of a country, but the food of a place. In contrast, haute cuisine is centered around the availability of ingredients, and is a cuisine the author finds less authentic than regional cuisine. In all, the author takes these explanations to dive deeper into the complexity of so-called American cuisine.
Chapter 8 picks right up from chapter 7 and the conversation of cuisine except with the focus on the idea of American cuisine. To start, the author established the strong claim she once too that America did not have any cuisine. This conclusion is partially drawn on the sheer size of the United States, and the inability to establish regional cuisine do to the large and sharply varying areas. In addition, the process of Americanization pressure groups of people to conform and change their lifestyles including their food. This pressure towards sameness leads to homogeneity within these regions. Within regional diets in America class and ethnicity effect eating behaviors in addition to the larger societal eating elements such as time. Due to the obsession over access and time the author concludes that Americans do not have much care about how and what they eat, and there for they do not and probably will not have cuisine.
Nation and Cuisine is a research paper conducted to confront one of Mintz’ four reasons why Americans cannot have cuisine. The point in which the author tries to wrestle with is the idea that people rarely talk about American cuisine. The author does so by searching through decades of newspaper articles for any mentions of the words such as cuisine and restaurant. What is found is that there is some talk of American cuisine, and that the conversation around American cuisine increased over time with it being evenly talk about with French cuisine in 2001. From these measurements the author concludes that American cuisine does exist if cuisine is used in the narrow sense, and if French cuisine is believed to exist.