French Women Part Deux

"World's Healthiest Diet?"

It was only a matter of time.  Look for French Women Don't Get Fat II: Neither Do Mediterranean Women coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Likewise, the NYT Dining section today has an article, "Instead of Eating to Diet, They're Eating to Enjoy."  Quoting Alice Waters, Rachael Ray, et. al, the article basically touches on the principles of French Women...: eating for pleasure, eating respectfully, eating mindfully.  The article was okay, but I felt like it was a weight loss article in disguise.  What interested me was a quote by Arlene Sparks, a professor at Hunter College: "But [eating less processed food] would mean people going back to cooking, and what we've lost is people's ability and knowledge of how to cook."  I want to read an article on that, on the intimidation people feel being in the kitchen at all, on the fact we've lost all our roots.  I'm often puzzled when I read cookbooks and articles where someone references a recipe "passed down from" their grandmother or mother.  Because I certainly don't have that.  And I would venture that a lot of people in America don't.  So where do we learn how to cook?

Eat, drink, and thank goodness that Food Network has brought cooking into American homes.


Nicole said...

Oh yeah! I read almost the whole French women book over the weekend while away. Just a couple pages left.

Don't you think you learn to cook from passion? My family didn't pass on recipes much but I started to just love cooking in college while experimenting with my friend.

Unknown said...

What an interesting point...

Yeah, I absolutely think we learn to cook from passion. My passion for food is what motivates me to get a good dinner on the table (almost) every night. I struggle to find time on weekdays, working full-time outside the home, to make a decent meal...but my excitement and passion is why I go out of my way to make it happen.

Which brings us to the challenge of America as a whole. The country (speaking in generalities, of course) lacks the passion and so many people don't think it's worth their time (or they believe they don't actually have the time) to make a simple, seasonal meal. There isn't joy in that for them. So lacking the inherited culture and the passion, we're a bit lost.

But I'm an optimist. And this food thing is catching on. We're on the brink of revolution! 8-)