“The Ideology of Japanese Cuisine,” my article on the cultural significance of food and agricultural methods, will be out in April in a publication by the University of California: Gastronomica.
It got me to thinking about food, in general.
It’s wearisome, isn’t it, to read about food without dwelling upon how it is grown, produced, and served. Sort of like the Lily Allen lyric:
I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them
So little irony in American prose.
But let’s face facts: The great, celebrated food of Japan is a remarkably recent phenomenon, as late as the early 1980’s, which coincides with the betterment of food in the U.S. and U.K., and can be tied to excess capital flowing out of the hands of old money and into the hands of younger, private equity.
The private equity folks, unlike the old money people, wanted to show off their money, not hide it, and by having others see and envy their celebration, it felt more real to them. So that foie gras and farm-to-table and seasonality? It has significance.
It’s not about the food, never is.