Claims of American Cuisine; Mintz (2+3), Ray.

Mintz talking about how the ‘Grande’ cuisines and ‘Haute’ cuisines arise out of political and social change reflects how people interact with food differently via region even within a country. “Never the foods of a country, but the foods of a place,” is highly indicative of the rest of the argument in chapter seven. The features are the ingredients, consumers and cooks, and the attitude towards the food. Haute cuisine is catered towards “privileged” people adding expensive substitutions and international status. This privileged society is always subject to change through social and political change, an interesting aspect of National Cuisine to me is the fact that they cite a rather obscure marxist thinker: Habermas who’s work on the public sphere sprung to mind throughout the readigns. The public sphere is seen as a domain of social life where public opinion can be formed, which really enhances the idea of cultural cuisine being defined by public opinion. In many ways, the dialogue between both Mintz and Ray is about what it means for a society to eat in the ways it does; like Mintz brought up on chapter eight, most food consumption is still backed by seasonal tradition. Ray brings up France as the garden of Europe and the stigma of their better foods is the way their soil is. A geographic look at foodgoods is very interesting. I hate to force Marxist views into the world; but this is a great reflection of the class struggle and how poorer people are resigned to worse places geographically. These readings really opened my eyes to an interesting debate.

1 Comment

  1. Make sure that you have a handle on what Mintz is arguing. He has a very grassroots vision of cuisine as opposed to the other authors that Ray mentions.

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