Cooking and Language and Music

Although some deny it, the structure of a dish or a meal follows a set of biological rules which are universal and specific to each species. Humans must have in their diet a certain set of nutrients which corresponds to their evolution.

Cuisine is a dialogue created in response to these needs. Each culture has it’s own version of this, and thus its own cuisine. The American ‘Cuisine’ is every bit as true to our culture as any other. Only, we don’t have Terroir, we have TV. We model our cuisine on the fantasies of our TV performers, and the manipulations of our food extruders.

The structure which we accept in a word, a sentence or a book is similar to the biological structures which we encounter in foods. When we compose a dish, we can think of it as having a verb, a noun, and modifiers. There can be dependent clauses and dangling participles. But there is a grammar to the thing which corresponds to the nature of the ingredients, and what the intention of the dish might be. The subject of a dish is most often a protein r a carbohydrate, the bulk of it. The Verb may be the counterpoint, the thing which animates it and drives it. Seasonings are obviously the modifiers. But of course it’s absurd to carry this metaphor too far. The point is that there is logic, structure, and even meaning, on a biological level to the foods we eat.

Remember that real change, change worth having, may not happen in your lifetime. That’s what true sacrifice means.

Our tastes are formed in the imagination and not on the palate, and are therefore closer to an artistic experience than the natural tastes which develop in response to biological need.

To dominate something, our tastes included, it helps to reduce it to simple components.

Diversity and originality are the enemies of control.
What passes for choice, Coke or Pepsi, is just enough to provide the illusion of choice without the annoyance of actually having to provide any. Choice is the enemy of Economy of scale, and all of the mechanisms of the passive conspiracy. The mere existence of diversity in our tastes would pose problems for any of our Food Sovereigns, just as it does for Political ones.

Theories Of Tastes

Taste associations and retained taste ‘images’ ‘shadows’, and memory.

Triads: Analogies: Sex, (body), Language (mind), Music, (spirit, heart),

I’m going to employ three sets of analogies to help express the ideas. The analogy of sex to food is the most common. Both of these acts are acts of creation. Sex creates another person, while eating creates more of the same person. Many of the same organs are used and many metaphorical expressions are used to describe the experience of each. The connection is natural. The act of eating to support life nearly always involves killing. Procreation is also an indirect act of suicide, another form of killing. We will not normally outlive our children. The natural course is to procreate and then to die. Without death, procreation would be unnecessary.

Music is useful to help understand the cultural applications of taste theories. Cultures differ in subtle ways which are often analogous with musical tastes. Music isn’t purely cultural, but it is innate in humans and is not found in other primates. The most subtle expressions of esthetic taste are found in music and are useful in examining the different ways that culture can manifest itself.

Language, like cooking, is unique to the human species. In its development and its biological origins, it’s analogous to our experience of taste in varied and profound ways.


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