Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Give My Head a Shake

True, I do not consider myself a gourmet. I love lots of flavors, lots of cuisines and ...horror of horrors, I often combine them in less than traditional ways. But please.... this NYTimes article about French chefs wanting to French cuisine named a World Heritage Treasure.

Am I the only one who thinks this is the ultimate snobbery? And am I the only one who loves to explore different cultures, through awesome meals and find wonderful French influence on Vietnamese and North African dishes or Old World traditions brought to the New World hundreds of years ago ... and married to local foods and customs to create all kinds of unique dishes.

Perhaps it's because I'm Jewish and Jews for thousands of years have moved from country to country, continent to continent...not always by choice... For that long a periood, Jews have kept their traditions but within the framework of local food and food customs. Jews from the Mediterranean and North Africa, India & China are called Sephardi, while Jews from Europe and the old Soviet Union are called Ashkenazai. The spices and staples are unique to each region and one of my personal joys this time of year especially ( Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah is around the corner) is to try and have many different Jewish regional foods represented.

Anyway...enough ranting, but does making French cuisine a world heritage treasure mean other cuisines are less wonderful? less valid? less worthy of note??????

What's your take on the article...or am I over reacting?


melissa said...

I agree with you. I think so many cuisines have so much to be said for them that this is rather arrogant of them.

And if you're talking influence, how is French cooking less influential than Italian cooking? I know an argument can be made, but I mean, come on.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks Melissa, I'm still shaking my head!

Anonymous said...

I am of French heritage and I love French cuisine but to declare it better than all others is an adolescent need. My ### is bigger than yours.

SOoooooUP said...

So cocky. How about Chinese cuisine with its 5000 years history behind. Every country there is a Chinatown with thousands of Chinese immigrants. How the French to compare with Chinese?

Johanna said...

I haven't read the article (yet) but my knee jerk reaction - once I picked myself up off the floor - is astonishment - I agree that there are many other cuisines which are worthy of such accolades. But French cuisine has always been very low down my list because it seems so meaty and rich - give me meditteranean or middle eastern any day!

Ruth Daniels said...

Anon, I love French food too, but not enough to enshrine it!

Sooooooup, I's crazy. This is why there are wars...everyone should just enjoy the differences around us and not have to do the "mine is better/bigger/older/...than yours" thing.

Just enjoy them all, people!!!!

Johanna, while I do enjoy the rich factor of French food occasionally, I'm with you...Mediteranean and Middle Eastern are much say nothing of quicker to put spectacular on the table.

Thanks all for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Why not give awards to all the different cuisines of the world? No one has a corner on excellence, let's face it!

Ruth Daniels said...

I love the idea of every week celebrating a different cuisine. Thanks