Gastronomic Study

Topics: Food, Cooking, Nutrition Pages: 4 (1202 words) Published: May 21, 2012
Gastronomy is the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine. Modern gastronomy has its roots in several French texts published in the 1800s, but the idea of relating food, science, society, and the arts has been around much longer. True gastronomy is a demanding multidisciplinary art examining food itself along with its context, presentation, freshness, and history. While commonly associated with gourmets and gluttony, gastronomy is actually its own discipline, although some gourmets are certainly gastronomes, as are some gluttons.

The principle of gastronomy is that food is a science, in addition to an art form. By understanding how all of the senses contribute to an experience, a gastronome can more completely understand what is happening when a consumer claims to dislike or enjoy a particular food item. Gastronomy also examines the sociological implications of food, along with integrating other social science disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. The role of food in the fine arts such as performance art, painting, and sculpture is also examined, as part of a closer look at the role of food in society in general.

At the foundation of gastronomy is, of course, food. A gastronome looks at how fresh the food is, how it is prepared, which flavors are used, how it is presented, if the colors of the food blend on the plate, and what the overall message of the food appears to be. However, the gastronome also looks more deeply at the food, examining the cultural influences which contributed to that particular plate of food, the science behind it, and the history. The highly scientific study of food, sometimes called molecular gastronomy, also plays a role. For example, a molecular gastronome can explain the physical and chemical interactions which occur in a deep fryer, potentially leading to deep fried dishes which are lighter and less oily, since the precise mechanism is understood, allowing pitfalls to be...
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