America the Beautiful

March 13th, 2011

For food lovers, the United States offers up some of the world’s best cuisine. From New England’s seafaring cookery, to the spice and excitement of the Cajuns, to the Soul Food of the African Americans. Any vacation down south is remembered first and foremost for its food. And when people tell me about their trips, I hang on their every word, extracting whatever pleasures I can from their descriptions of the food—the aromas, the textures. And then, invariably, things turn ugly. Any talk about food in America turns into a talk about obesity in America. “But my god,” they’ll say, “you look around the restaurant, and there are so many fat people”. And they’ll describe these overweight patrons with the same vigour and relentlessness as they did the food, ruining whatever imaginary meal I was having in my head. Suddenly I am in the restaurant myself, trapped at a table with Eddie Murphy’s Klumps and listening to them chew, squish and sputter. Obesity is literally eclipsing the sunlight that is American cuisine, and it’s us, the people who listen to other people’s stories about their vacations to the United States, who are suffering the most.

*Required, will not be distributed.
*Will be displayed above the comments.