Food Snobbery/Prejudice

Food prejudice.  Yeah, there is such a thing.  Obviously not between foods themselves but how people perceive certain foods.  Sometimes they are positive and other times they are negative.  Take truffle for example.  People love them.  Well not really people, but gourmets do.  Part of the appeal is their price and rareness.  The flavor is incidental and subtle at best.  The cost is so much more so they have to be good.  Saffron is in a similar situation.  There is just that snob appeal factor.

Sometimes the names themselves are the problem.  Not many people would eat the fish called Slimehead.  How about Patagonian Toothfish?  Sounds gross, eh.  But the marketing folks step in and you get Orange Roughy and Chilean Sea Bass, respectively.  Yummy.

There is also a regional or international prejudice.  I am bi-lingual.  I speak both Northern and Southern American having lived an equal amount of my life in New York and Texas.  We often go to Charleston.  A must see for everyone.  Beautifully preserved historical architecture, warm, friendly people and a very lively culinary scene.  A signature dish of the region is Shrimp and Grits.  Just hearing the word “grits”, a typical New Yorker would cringe and gag.  Blame it on Flo from Alice who liked to tell people where to kiss them.  But place that same New Yorker in a fancy Italian restaurant and have Gamberetti e Polenta on the menu and they’d order it in a minute.  (I know Shrimp and Grits contains more than 2 ingredients but just play along for now).  It is basically the same dish. 

And that brings up another prejudice, the naming of Italian foods.  We Americans love Italian food.  We may go a bit overboard at times.  Pizza is supposed to have only 3 ingredients but we seem to want to increase that number exponentially and try to stuff cheese in many unnatural places.  But we love the food just the same and especially how food words sound.  Polenta is much more appealing than Grits.  Risotto sounds more exotic than Rice.  Penne con Pomodori tastes so much better than macaroni with tomatoes.  Another example of positive prejudice.

Eat up and enjoy no matter how it sounds.  Try not to be too biased.  Not a good way to go through life.


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