Food and culture are the two sides of the same coin. Preparing and eating food may appear very alien to culture, but nations and communities are defined by what they eat and drink over time. A person eating Chowmein will immediately be associated with South East Asia, where a person who has a Big Mac will instantly be conjectured to be an American. We choose our food habits from our family and culture, and then our food defines us.
With the world transforming into a global village, different communities and nations are becoming more homogenized, and the differences in their habits are erasing. Food is on the move continuously, and what people like in Norway may equally be enjoyed by people living in Australia.
Some food cultures have become more dominant on the global stage, while others are still unknown and waiting to be discovered. Italian origin Pizza and Pasta are becoming the standard meals in homes all over the globe. The globe is “McDonaldized” by American fast-food. Japanese sushi is a must-have on any restaurant order, while other foods are struggling to globalize, such as crabs and snails.
With the foods getting globalized, each culture introduces its unique taste to the “imported” food. The Italians may like their pasta “bland,” but the South Asians will make it spicy. Japanese have introduced “teriyaki burgers” to make fast food more appropriate to their taste buds. So, with foods going global, it is obvious that each culture will introduce unique features to it, and one will not get the same taste of the same food in various parts of the world.
Getty Images/Moment/Flavio Coelho
The role of food in the context of food is often overlooked. Food is not only a meal we eat three times a day, but it also represents culture, values, and living patterns. With the indigenous food cultures getting erased, food is a great tool to study globalization across the globe.