Michael Pollan on Julia Child
- billieboy Jul 30, 2009 12:34 PM
Long article....8 pages
Great "food for thought" - literally. The idea that cooking freed early humans to spend more time thinking is one I'd never before come across. Thanks!
I never would have seen this if you hadn't posted it and I want to thank you. So much of what Pollen writes is right on the mark. Quotes like:
"How much do you learn about playing basketball by watching the N.B.A.?" when discussing learning to cook by watching the Food Network.
"The Food Network has helped to transform cooking from something you do into something you watch ..."
"Buying, not making, is what cooking shows are mostly about now - ....." sums it up pretty well especially when one takes a long, hard look at Food Network sponsors.
The influence of Julia Child on today's home cooking is discussed in detail and Pollen relates several examples of how it affected him personally.
Michael Pollen has written an excellent article and I'm certain that we will hear more about it. Again, billieboy, thank you for posting it.
My quibble is the distinction Pollan makes between consumption and production. While one can eat without cooking, it's pretty hard to cook without eating: tasting is an important part of most cooking, except perhaps some baking. Becoming a better taster can dramatically improve cooking skill.
In Top Chef, for instance, one of the judges' most frequent criticisms (across numerous seasons) is the lack of acidity to balance fat or richness. That inspired me to think more about citrus and vinegar to balance flavors in my own cooking.
I see his point that shows celebrating food consumption probably won't make someone start cooking from zero, but people who already cook even a bit can learn plenty from consumption-oriented shows.