The pleasure of eating and degusting is intrinsic to human nature, I believe, while the resulting foods and beverages grown, studied, imported, modified, mixed are a cultural product. Food has a familial side, a festivity side, a diplomatic or friend-related side, it inspires security and wellbeing, it determines the rhythms of the day. It is central to human cultures. I believe that food has become a product since fire has been discovered, or even before: the moment when some ancient person has put together on the same sea-shell: an apple, a honeycomb and some wild berries and to season it, some leaves of mint.
That is how food became a creation and undoubtedly a passion, an artifact, as well as merchandise. Gastronomy is now an acknowledged form of culture. Also, generally we can describe a nation or an ethnicity by its typical drinks and foods: Russian borsch and vodka, French cheese and wines, Mexican chilly and tequila, Chinese: rice and sake, American hamburgers and Coca Cola. Though caricatured, it is a way of distinguishing the identity of a group in contrast to others. And when we start traveling, we see that food preferences are culturally determined.
Curious on how food differences are perceived, I have found this quote of Mark Twain: Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, I suppose, any more than we can enjoy theirs. It is not strange; for tastes are made, not born . I like this quote because it understands all tastes and their origin. I also consider that the predominant food of the U. S. is speaking of a typically American life-style. For example the fast food concept is characteristic of a dynamic and, as you have said, informal, practical and efficient way of eating, convenient both for short breaks and long lazy meals.
The fast-food restaurants, the diners, the cafeterias are a very open and familiar way of grabbing a bite, a very friendly atmosphere where everybody feels at home, has a pretty good variety of choice and is served very quickly. Maybe it lacks some refinement and mannerism, but for the better. This is the American style, and it is yummy. Comment 2 I do agree that food is inherently interwoven with all the cultures, but nowadays the place where we are is not important as the text mentions.
Due to intense transportation systems, products are imported and exported and then even adopted, if we are to see the example of McDonald which maintains its policy independent of the country it colonizes and, on the other hand, that of the Turkish Kebabs or the Chinese food. Due to globalization, it is becoming more and more difficult to state that there are nationally typical drinks and foods, for example Russian borsch and vodka, French cheese and wine.
First, it t is very reductive of all the other dishes and second, it oversees the leveling up caused by consumerism. We can now find a great variety of ethnical restaurants and products everywhere, accessibly. If we are not in a third-world country, where food is again something natural, scarce and chaotic as it is to find it. Finally, the American style of fast food is predominant is the U. S. , despite the melting-pot of cooking styles, but in my view, it is not good at all. The deep fried food is hardy healthy, while it is over-nutritious.
It may be practical and honest, but on the long run, it is not optimistic. It may be said that cannibalism is not, either, but it is cultural. It is, surely, great to eat all you can for little money and it is a sign of prosperity and Egalitarianism since everybody can afford it and has fun doing it, but I disagree to this culture of cholesterol, eat-all-you-can and waste. I am for personal values and personal choice to food, which in my case should be an ally to the mind and body, not an enemy of the heart.