By Dwight Furrow
Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. 179 pgs. Nonfiction
Is food a fine art? Can it evoke emotion and consideration the way music and art do? Furrow argues that yes, it is art, and it no longer serves as just a way to simply keep us alive. Food can be experienced as an expression of art from the way tastes play together, to the presentation, and the history and culture that influence a dish. From the transformation of the food industry that hailed ready-made and pre-packaged food as fine cuisine, to today’s fascination with celebrity chefs, food bloggers, and creativity in the kitchen, Furrow takes the reader on a culinary journey about how society’s view of food has changed, and why it should be considered a fine art.
This was a fascinating, though dense read. I’m not a foodie by any means. I appreciate food, but probably the same way a kid appreciates going through a fine art museum, “I like that painting, it’s pretty,” and done. “I like that food, it tastes good,” and done. This book has inspired me to consider my food a little more thoughtfully both when I make it, and when I eat out. Where is this food coming from? What cultural influences are present in this dish? How has this dish/recipe been modified over time? I would recommend this to those who, like the author, view food as an art form.