There are jokes amongst colored people about White people's cuisine. That White people don't know how to really cook, that they are the consumers of all that packaged food filling grocery store shelves. But of course they're just jokes, or so I thought.
I recently picked a copy ofShauna James Ahern's delicious memoir, Gluten-free Girl and came across this passage about the food she ate growing up in the 70s and 80s:
"We ate what [my mother] thought the rest of the country did. ...She cooked breaded and fried food. We ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on bleached white bread. Day-Glo orange macaroni and cheese out of a box. Green beans from a can, clotted with cream of mushroom soup and crusted with fried onions."
Did you eat like that? Is that a cultural thing, because Ahern seems to imply that everyone (and though she doesn't say so specifically, 'everyone' means White Americans) in America was eating like that. From personal experience, I can only say that I never ate a piece of Wonder Bread in my life, even before the whole grain revolution took hold. And my mom made the macaroni and cheese from scratch. I remember the first time I tasted Kraft Mac & Cheese from a box at a friend's house (yes, she was White) and almost cried knowing I had to eat it or risk being rude. But that's just me. Maybe we were the odd ones out.
It's hard to say if White-American cuisine truly exists because in every region of the country people eat different things, like White people in Wisconsin (and Black people too, let's be honest) hanker for good bratwurst and kringle. But there is probably some common denominator, right? Or maybe not? Ahern seems to think so though.
So can anybody define White-American cuisine, without making jokes? Next up for discussion, Black-American cuisine: tastes beyond Big Mama's table.