Dining Out and the End of Western Hegemony

I know, I’m reading your mind, right?  You woke up this morning and before tossing off the covers thought: What does it mean to dine in a world in which France no longer defines how food should look, taste, and be cooked?

Living in a town where Julia Child set the stage for decades of dreadful, unctuous, ill prepared food, where France still defines the snootsville tastes of the upper classes and those seeking affiliation with them, where gourmands know more about cheese than they do about how to roast a chicken, where…now where was I?

Ah, the good news!

I was about to tell you the good news.

In the past few months, a number of restaurants and markets have opened in Boston and Cambridge that showcase wonderful ramen and yakitori from Japan and good Italian food.  (Italian food is a poke in the eye of the French chefs and their Escoffier deluded followers who believe that you have to play with food to know it’s there.  In contrast to that delusion, Italian food is based on exacting principles that emphasize the seasonality, regionality, and freshness of fish, pasta, legumes, mushrooms, and vegetables, which, summed up, mean: Do as little to possible to the ingredient.)  Tomorrow night I’m off to Roslindale to try Nigerian food.

In NYC?  The lead story in today’s Food section is on dumplings.

Face it: Food is a way for culture to assert itself.

So as the West continues to have its authority added to or perhaps eroded by the big world, the flavors associated with great palates will continue to come into question.

Pass the edamame, please.



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