Friday, July 31, 2009

Michael Pollan on Class, Glamour, Food TV & Lots of Other Stuff

DC Jason just sent me a link to Michael Pollan's NYT manifesto that hits just about every big point that relates to Americans current relationship with food and cooking. It's a brilliant article, really, starting with Pollan's childhood memories (from Julia to Swanson and back, without missing a beat) and closing with the most simple, yet unlikely to materialize, solution to America's obesity problem.

It's long, but well worth a full read. But in the meantime, a few quotes:
Cooking for her was so much more than a means to a meal. It was a gratifying, even ennobling sort of work, engaging both the mind and the muscles. You didn’t do it to please a husband or impress guests; you did it to please yourself. No one cooking on television today gives the impression that they enjoy the actual work quite as much as Julia Child did. In this, she strikes me as a more liberated figure than many of the women who have followed her on television.

So-called fancy food has always served as a form of cultural capital, and cooking programs help you acquire it, now without so much as lifting a spatula.

Even the most ordinary dish follows a similar arc of transformation, magically becoming something greater than the sum of its parts. Every dish contains not just culinary ingredients but also the ingredients of narrative: a beginning, a middle and an end. Bring in the element of fire — cooking’s deus ex machina — and you’ve got a tasty little drama right there...


Anonymous said...

we want the lake stories

Kit Pollard said...

I'm working on them! I've picked the photos and have them in a draft post. I'll have it up this weekend!

Everybody's so impatient...


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