We Are What We Eat

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Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, renowned gastronome once wrote in 1825, “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” This goes a long way in describing American culture as well as other cultures in the world. The kind of food we eat, the ingredients and their origin, how we prepare the ingredients to make a certain recipe, and ultimately how we consume and share it, is significant in showing our character, who we are, and where we are from. In America our food shows us the evolution of our society’s character. This can be seen throughout history in the United States and it continues today. In the beginning the food Americans consumed was based upon each immigrant’s nationality and its melding with other immigrant’s cooking. America was becoming more diverse and so was its food. American food sources were from all over the world. It also had its own unique foods native to the United States to choose from and use to invent American cuisine. In the early stages of the countries foundation the food exposed the future of American society. The diversity of our country can be seen in the food Americans eat. We can see food customs often correlate with particular religious and spiritual rituals; births, weddings, and funeral ceremonies. For instance, Germany it is believed that a piece of cooked apple must be put into a newly born baby’s mouth to sanctify the baby’s right to live. The thought of a piece of fruit having such an influence or that people would believe this tradition may seem unusual or even absurd to some and yet have great significance for others. IN the United States these traditions have been continued from many different cultures. For instance in Ireland it was common for a married couple to keep a tier from their wedding cake for the christening of their first born and this was to symbolize good fortune and a long life for their child. This Irish tradition altered slightly in the United States to include the eating of the cake during the...
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