I caught myself thinking about the history of food the other day. About what food tells us about ourselves. Not so much nutritionally, but sociologically.
While I’m just guessing, it wouldn’t surprise me, for example, to learn that the ability to serve imported coffee or tea to your house guests in 18th-century Kentucky, my homeland, said a lot about your status way back then. Out on the western frontier, you did whatever you could do to demonstrate your hegemony over the wilderness — whether it was by putting a Georgian mantle over your fireplace, Pekoe in your teacup, silk around your neck or some pepper on your taters. (more…)