Two models of food writing?

Previously, I thought that most food writings could be placed within a continuum, which would have two extremes: on the one side, taste and gourmet experience; on the other side, critique of existing (structural) system.

Now, I’m thinking of another model, such as Oishinbo that I mentioned in the previous post.

What model do you prefer? Or, do you have other models of food writing? (please let me know)



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  1. Not to be glib, but what about just good writing. Writing that engages your senses, tells a good story, explains something well?

  2. kloknyc

     /  April 18, 2012

    I’m with you on that..when it comes to food I want the writer to paint me a sensory picture that I can see, taste, smell, touch..and really just experience.

  3. I looked at the diagram again, and I’m not sure I totally understand it. Any help?

  4. Previously, I thought that food writing was either taste-oriented or critique-oriented (critique of system). By the second diagram, I wanted to say that food writing could be both taste- and critique-oriented. Here, I used taste in a larger sense in order to include sensual experiences of food: shape, smell, touch, taste. (In this light, I guess food-oriented can be better than taste-oriented)

    I referred to Oishinbo (master of taste) because it approached social, political, economic, cultural issues–such as discrimination of South Asian people in Japan, school violence, crisis in Japanese traditional values, and environmental issues–through the search of “real” taste. Oishinbo cannnot be placed anywhere in the first diagram. It can be placed at up-and-right side of the second diagram, and this type of food writing is my favorite. Of course, there can be more variables, but I thought that taste and critique would be one of the most important and frequent themes in food writing.


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