Has Our Interest in Food Gotten Out of Hand?

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Has Our Interest in Food Gotten Out of Hand?

By Phil Lempert - 08/29/2017
The New York Post points out how cooking shows on the Food Network seem to highlight the power of food to bring people together. “Cook all the time!” the shows say. “Invite people over!” “Take care in the preparation!” “This isn’t that hard!”

On the other hand, it says, there is the “foodie” culture, which is less about sharing food with other people, and more about finding the “best” of something, and only the best — and the fewer people who know about it, the better.

Are these the food haves and have-nots?

Here are some examples:

Dev, the main character of Netflix’s "Master of None," played by Aziz Ansari, goes on an all-out search for New York City’s best tacos. It’s a manic and exhaustive search. He asks friends for recommendations and goes through all the “best of” lists.  By the time he finds the best taco food truck, however, it has run out of food. His response is to yell that there's no way the he's going to eat the second-best taco that normal folks eat.

The acclaimed New York columnist David Brooks came under criticism when he wrote about taking a friend with only a high school education to lunch, who was confused and embarrassed when they went to a restaurant, and didn’t know many of the foods listed on the menu.

Karol Markowitz, the New York Post columnist, said: “Many times, friends and I have been out at a restaurant and had the waiter stand by to explain incomprehensible words on the menu, because that’s the strange place our culture has gone — the more exotic and confusing a menu item sounds, the better. We have several graduate-school degrees between us, but none of them featured a course in elaborate food names.”

Enjoying and celebrating our food is a good thing. Being a food snob and putting down others because they may not know the latest food trend or how to pronounce the name of an ingredients is not.

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