Contemporary meditations on the relational structure between man and food

Claude Levi-Strauss writes in “The Culinary Triangle”:   “In any cuisine, nothing is simply cooked, but must be cooked in one fashion or another.”   As we meditate on structures in culture and how they influence the human and the relationship that human has to his/her world, I can’t help but think that this recent … Continue reading



I found the beginning of Robinson Crusoe very interesting so far; it definitely speaks to our talk so far in class about food in the 18th century and how it can be important in different ways for various cultures and situations. The narrative describes food as a survival as well as a comfort tool: Crusoe … Continue reading

Eighteenth Century / Food and Culture

Accessing Subjects, Accessing Subjectivity

The twofold vision of food  as materially conspicuous display of status and symbolic residue of experience are nicely articulated in Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer. As Mr. Hardcastle prepares his table for the arrival of Marlow and his companion, Hastings, the importance of food as status marker is apparent: Hardcastle: You, Diggory, whom I … Continue reading

Eighteenth Century / Food and Culture / Robinson Crusoe

Foreign versus Familiar: Does Food Signify the World?

I am interested in considering  what Roland Barthes claimed food to do: “food sums up and transmits a situation: it constitute[s] an information: it signifies….One could say that an entire world…is present in and signified by food” (21).  Yet, in signifying the world, food, it seems, must first be familiar.  Upon first arriving, shipwrecked, in … Continue reading