[Sca-cooks] Food and personality
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Mar 4 07:32:39 PST 2008
On Mar 4, 2008, at 9:36 AM, Suey wrote:
> Cuisine has been and is based on scratching the earth for legumes or
> beans to begin with. How did that legume or bean affect one's
> personality and one's heritage? How did food eaten by our ancestors
> contribute to making us different, regionally, nationally and
It seems pretty clear there has been, at various times, a certain
resistance to change in the foodways of various cultures: for example,
the Elizabethan aversion to German and Flemish beers and preference
for ales, some aversion to foods imported from the New World (say, the
white potato in France among the common people), some of the foods
eaten as appropriate for a Roman patrician of an ancient gens in
emulation of people like Cato the Elder, or even the recent avoidance
of imported rice in Japan on an allegedly spiritual/cultural basis (my
suggestion was that they be told that Americans hold their automobiles
to be a part of their religious observances, and could not, in good
conscience, buy them from Japan, which the Japanese would surely
understand was not a matter of stifling competition).
Conversely, some cultures have, at various times, actively embraced
the new almost immediately when it represented an obvious upgrade
(haricot beans from the New World, for example).
I think the dynamic give-and-take relationship between culture and
food moves in both directions: sometimes what we eat defines who we
are, and at other times who we are defines what we eat.
This could get quite a bit longer, but this is pretty much a
philosophy question, so I hope we all have decent beverages and comfy
chairs before going further.
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