Bastardization of Food

11 02 2009

Many people find pleasure in watching the Food Network. I find this a fascinating phenomenon. Food is a large part of any culture, inevitably because food or sharing thereof, is central to most meaningful of social interaction. But what happens when people move away from their home or you are a daughter or son of an immigrant, or as Leslie Kaufman touches on in “For Dinner (and Fast), the Taste of Home“, what happens when the availability of time to conjure up traditional cuisines diminishes and the fast paced nature of America (or the 21st century) influences the dinner table? Well, using Kaufman’s words: bastardization of food. Kaufman even includes American cuisine as not safeguarded from this process:

“Most families had been forced by necessity to come up with short versions of their cuisine. Many had settled on bastardizations of American classics. A popular dish, for example, is spaghetti and meatballs, but Koreans served it with kimchi on the side, while some Kenyans cut hot red peppers into theirs.”


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3 responses

11 02 2009
DK

Hmm. Never thought of food as children, much less, illegitimate, but makes sense.

I think the obsession over the food channel is a yuppy phenomenon. Your take?

12 02 2009
Paul Park

I agree. Maybe our (the yuppies) fast paced individualistic lifestyle has bereft us of satisfaction in our meals and left us to fantasizing on the Food Network. But at least it does teach us bachelors how to cook…

12 02 2009
joe kim

but then again, if we are the one’s who are fantasizing over the food channel, then we have to ask the question…is it really the food that is the bastard here?!

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