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Week 2: Thinking about Food

Free your mind and liberate your prejudices

Are there any profound implications in the following terms: Les Rosbifs, Mad Cow Disease, The Frogs, Krauts, Spanish tummy, Dutch Courage, Montezuma's revenge, English breakfast, French Restaurant, Australian wine, South African Grapes, Claret, Black Pudding, Vegetarian, Jellied eels, Chip-butty, Beluga, Gin-and-Tonic set, wine-snob, Port and Cigars, Port and Lemon, Balsamic Vinegar, Foodie, `Where's the Beef?', Quiche, T.V. Dinner, Chianti-shire, Champagne Charlie, Champagne Socialist, Babycham, Milk of human kindness, Beer-belly, ... a man's stomach..., Fat-head, Sherry, British sherry, Guinness, `A nice Chianti', `Have him for breakfast', Pound of Flesh, Piece of Meat, Lunch-box, Sauce, Cheesecake, Beefcake, Man-eater, Cream, Peach, Bananas, Banana republic, Fruitcake, Fruit, Old fruit, Fatcat, Gravy-train, Piece of cake?

Some food for thought

Think of how food is used in films, soap operas, television programmes, books, how the kitchen is used, what kind of things happen over meals at home or in restaurants in Comedy and Drama.

Content

Why do we consume some things and not others? In what sense are we what we eat (size, character, strength, gender, class, nationality, culture)? In what ways is food symbolic? How does the food they serve characterize the hosts of a dinner party? Do we have special foods for special times (of day, week, month, year)? What is their significance? Do we have different foods and drinks for different spaces (town, country, parts of the city, parts of the house, etc.)? What is their significance? Are sex and food connected at a deep level?

Context

Why do we have table-manners? What is peculiar about the way we eat in comparison with other cultures? What rules of behaviour do we apply when we go out to dinner in a restaurant or at someone's house? What rules of generosity are involved in paying for meals or drinks? How does consuming together define groups? How do we categorise food-types on a day-to-day basis? Are there rules about mixing certain types of food? What is their significance? Why do we drink out of glasses? What do we drink out of glasses?