This is probably the first prompt (that I am actually attempting) that I am struggling with how to relate back to media analysis and appreciation. So, it took awhile, but I think I may have found a way…
I am both baffled and genuinely amazed at how food has become an entire genre of entertainment. Now, to some degree, this was always somewhat true. Every morning show across the world has a cooking segment. There are entire network and cable channels devoted to food from teaching how to cook to finding unique restaurants to competitions based on food and food preparation. Chefs can and have become celebrities, activists, and made generational wealth from cooking food. Hell, it’s not even a thing of the past as food content as a genre is one of the biggest money makers for social media from YouTube to TikTok to Instagram to whichever will be the next big thing.
So, yeah food is a pretty big deal, but why?
Obviously, humans need to eat regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, or any other classifying demographic. Thus, food is a big deal, but how did it become such a large entertainment force in the industry across the globe?
Well, part of the answer is the last bit of the question: “across the globe.” Food is universal. And not in the bullshit adage way that says Death and Taxes are the great equalizer because we have seen how utterly untrue that statement is. The rich have found various ways to avoid the grim specters of Death and Taxes for time immemorial. As well, the experience tends to be far different for them when they eventually succumb to either. No, I mean food is truly universal.
Regardless of background, needs, or nation of origin, people have to eat, and they will try to make the food as good and tasty and nutritious as possible. Which is probably one of many reasons why even the richest, most well off people still enjoy simple foods like pizza, hamburgers, sushi, etc. There is just something about simple, comfort foods that call to us. Even when you have more resources than many countries, they still have great appeal. Admittedly, the range of the ingredients and technique might be costlier, but still the same essential thing.
So, the reason why cookbooks, cooking shows, and food content is still such a significant portion of entertainment media is because it is universal. We all enjoy many facets of food from learning how to cook it to knowing where to find it to seeing extreme versions of it. Thus, the question of what a favorite or beloved food is a bit tricky. After all, how can you choose when most of us now have access to such a rich variety of ingredients and foods in our modern world that our grandparents couldn’t imagine.
Accordingly, I am not sure I have a favorite food or meal so much as a food that was part of a beloved memory or time or activity. Watching a baseball game without a hotdog is virtually a sin. Same with popcorn and a movie. Game nights without pizza and beer is not one worth having. Mexican food, in all its varieties, always reminds me of home and my mom’s cooking though it usually fails in comparison.
I suppose I cannot say I have a favorite food; instead, I will say I enjoy food and always look forward to the memories made over broken bread and a shared meal.