Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the influence of food

One of the many books in my current reading cycle is The United States of Arugula: The Sund-Dried, Cold-Pressed, Dark-Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution. Author David Kamp charts the development of the modern gourmet food market, beginning with the rise of James Beard and Juilia Child.

On page 40, he writes:
But [World War II] unleashed a tide of pro-French sentiment well beyond the provinces of the wealthy and the well-traveled. Though it was this very war, and the collaborationaist Vichy regime specifically, that later engendered the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" epithet popular among twenty-first-century American Francophobes, the truth is that World War II and the decade that followed it represented a high-water mark in Franco-American goodwill. The GIs who fought in France became besotted with the country they were liberating: the French reciprocated, expressed their love of America.

Ah, the far-reaching effects of cuisine! Will food bring America and France back together this time, or will something else have to do it?

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