Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Certainly, The Cooking Gene is not just a straight cookbook - it's barely a cookbook at all. Instead, it's a history book more than anything, using the evolution of a cuisine to trace the cultural history of the African diaspora in America, and its broader impact on American culture. The appearance of certain foods, of ingredients and techniques, is a map of history. Fascinating stuff! (I got it on recommendation of a friend in the State Department, who called it the best book she read in 2017.)

As for learning to cook... yeah, the more I see "recipe" books completely decontextualized, the more bizarre they seem to me. Cooking is cultural, and arises from available ingredients, available tools, and known techniques. The idea that you can just make dishes completely in isolation from their cultural context is weirdly postmodernist.

So I'm making weird, postmodernist curries, pho, and tacos? Fun!

One could argue that the ready global availability of ingredients, plus YouTube and blog recipes, has itself created a new cuisine. But without a coherent form, it's hard to say what that actually is. So yeah, postmodernism...

I wonder how this ties in with the observations about Green Revolution agriculture and its impact on obesity and other modern dietary diseases? Like Michael Pollam's research?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact