Tagged: Julia Child

Group-Thinking Your Palate

It’s been suggested that George W. Bush salted his language with an assortment of “Aw Shucks-isms” (‘nucular’, ‘y’all’, ) in an effort to bond with his audience.

Is that what Julia Child was thinking when she began her thirty year love affair with McDonald’s? Or Why Martha Stuart claims to love Spam, and Feran Adria to love Twinkies?

TV personalities are difficult to parse, because, as Oscar Levant observed about Hollywood: “Underneath all that phony tinsel…is real tinsel”. But few of us, even those who should know better, can ever really turn their backs on the nostalgia magnet of our childhood tastes. And, there’s no reason to, so long as we remember the Great Second Rule of taste:

Just because we like it, doesn’t mean it’s good. Continue reading


Grandmothers And Other Revolutionaries

Well. it turns out that the revolution was televised after all. The food revolution that is. (By the way, They won. More later)

But now that it’s about over and the real work begins, it’s time to think about what can replace the hype, help us satisfy the longing for meaning that we all share.  Are we going forward, or are we circling in a cul-de-sac of celebrity chefs and TV cooking shows? One thing we can be sure of: change won’t happen on the food network, or even in restaurants.

 Restaurants are the trophies of any culinary culture, the flower of the hard work which went before, but they’re not meaningful in themselves. Go to any country where the food culture is not dosed out between advertisements, or painted onto plates with squeeze bottles, and ask a citizen to describe a great meal. Most likely they’ll speak of a family meal, usually prepared by a Mother or Grandmother. That culture is integrated into the lives of the people, and across generations.

Why Grandmothers? Because Grandmothers, who are also Mothers of course, provided the most important meal of all, the one meal in nature, unique to mammals, which binds generations in a simultaneous embrace of physical and emotional nourishment: Mother’s Milk. Continue reading