Taste, Art, and the Cultural Revolution
By (author) Dwight Furrow
Publication date:14 January 2016
Length of book:188 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
As nutrition, food is essential, but in today’s world of excess, a good portion of the world has taken food beyond its functional definition to fine art status. From celebrity chefs to amateur food bloggers, individuals take ownership of the food they eat as a creative expression of personality, heritage, and ingenuity. Dwight Furrow examines the contemporary fascination with food and culinary arts not only as global spectacle, but also as an expression of control, authenticity, and playful creation for individuals in a homogenized, and increasingly public, world.
You don’t have to be a fan of sophisticated food to enjoy this often entertaining illuminating lecture on America’s current taste revolution. Furrow, a professor of philosophy at San Diego Mesa College, digs up the roots of Yankee cuisine, blaming the Puritans—for whom pleasure was restricted by dogma, and all cooking was dictated by the seasons of planting and reaping—for the dullness of most traditional American food. He declares that food is far more than fuel and nutrition: meals accompany all social life, and food can be so compelling that well-off foodies travel just to savor local cuisines. There’s style and substance in Furrow’s theories of cooking and composition on the plate. He casts a wide net to include middle-class consumers with a yen for organics, celebrity chefs, amateur food bloggers, Julia Child, TV dinners, specialty bistros, food trucks, and family-run farms. In chapters about reading a meal, the beauty of a tuna casserole, and the future of taste, Furrow argues that the foodie craze is in revolt against ‘a life that has become bureaucratic and digitized.’ In the end, Furrow makes a case for the taste revolution in a text.