A Blog Mainly About Food

If by "mainly" you mean "sometimes"

Friday, May 13, 2005

Delinquent

Sorry, been delinquent about blogging. Busy as all get out. But life is good.

I've been thinking a bit about restaurant culture lately. Specifically how cuisines from societies that don't (more correctly, didn't) have a restaurant culture are traditionally cheaper "ethnic" cuisines, while foods whose origins are from restaurant-oriented societies are on the higher-end. Bear with me; these thoughts were formed drunkenly late last night.

From what I understand, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia (with the exception of Japan) had no indigenous restaurant culture prior to colonialism. I don't know about north Africa or western Asia, and can only assume that the native populations of the Americas (they were mostly non-mercantile prior to colonialism, right?) did not have restaurants either. The concept of a restaurant space -- a place where one exchanges money for food in a sit-down environment -- is more of a European thing, though there's some evidence of it in Japanese history.

Where the hell am I going with this? I don't know... but I think there's room in the market for a history of the restaurant as a concept, and its ties to colonial expansion and modern cuisine. A macro history, like the ones that have been written about cod and salt. This joins a list of food ideas of the non-critic variety I've been having of late.

Also: have come to the realization that I will never, ever be a professional food critic. Its a race thing -- I stick out of a crowd, am easily identified. Any aspiring food critics that aren't black, white, or in some parts of the country Hispanic probably have the same problem. Still wrestling with this thought. Mayhap I am wrong, but I don't think so.