While I was reading Barthes’ paper it struck me as interesting that one could relate sugar to wealth or social class. The further I read into his paper the more I realized social class isn’t only linked to the consumption of sugar but to the consumption of most foods. He talks about the traditions of French cooking and how they never really go outside of their comfort zone, they just rediscover lost foods. I don’t see this as being the case in American cuisine, is there such a thing as purely American food? I feel like because we were settled so much later than other countries we are a cultural melting pot. This is a contrast to the German foods my grandmother used to make. This contrast can also be seen in other cultures spread across the US, from Asian American to Indian, each distinction brings to mind a certain taste, we know these because of experience. Does this mean that each cultural food is the way it is because of the people and their experiences? I think so. But then, as time goes by the US should create this truly American cuisine with the history equal to the other countries. Can a new style of cooking become a mainstay in today’s world? Anything is possible with a little time.
My other thought was the question that will we as Americans ever be able to enjoy food like the rest of the world? For them it’s a luxury but for a lot of us It’s a chore, a necessity. As I’m writing this I just finished lunch at work. Did I eat to enjoy it? Not really, I ate because I need to be able to finish the work day without passing out from lack of calories. It’s odd to think that food can take on so much socially and economically but it can also just be this thing that as animals we have to do, it’s a very basic process but is something vital to every day activities, social or otherwise. Its something that is different from everyone’s perspective and that brings back one of the ideas in the paper, that the out look on food varies from,country to country and then person to person. It can become a bad habit, eating while stressed or bored is a big thing in the US. But does this make us a more privileged culture because we have the means to do so? Or does it mean we are a spoiled culture, one that takes what we want when we want because we can?