Mintz 2, Mintz 3, and National Cuisine

Mintz 2 discusses what could truly make a cuisine and how one could be defined. He argues that nations themselves do not have a cuisine, but instead the regions within them. In places like France, while the food may be the same (like bread), but the ways in which it is prepared are different. He also speaks on what Haute Cuisine which, unlike regional cuisine, is a genre of food that is defined by its nation. Chefs are trained in “French Cuisine” and from there spread it into other areas to the consumers interested in trying it. Haute cuisine also tends to aim towards the upper classes in countries like America as more expensive options are presented in this style.

Mintz 3 argued that there is no “American” cuisine. American diets are completely different from other nations because there is are heavy divisions between class and ethnicity. He also argues that Americans have an inground philosophy that “life is too short” and in turn do not believe that there is “enough” time to cook. This article genuinely made me consider what it truly means to be American food. When comparing the unique cuisines of other cultures, I almost feel ashamed of the common American diet. Mintz also notes about a possible shift in American diets and this concept would have worried me before; however, I see it now as an opportunity to expand American culture.

National Cuisine is an extension of Mintz’s argument against there being an American Cuisine. America is a nation of immigrants and immigration and due to this, no unique cuisine could form. America’s vast connection and push to be the same has led to a homogeneity of food that not many even consider a cuisine. The article also looks at the use of terms like “restaurant” in American newspapers and it is not until the 1850’s that American cuisine is even considered. America is simply too large to have a “national” Haute cusisine.

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