When I work on this blog, I'm often reminded that food and art occupy opposite poles of human experience. Food is a necessity. Art is the fruit of necessity met: born of time, reflection, and a full belly. Art is simulation, always at a remove—it responds, refracts, echoes. Food is absolute, concrete, corporeal. In a sense, it is life. But death—whether of a chicken, a clam, or a parsnip—is an inevitable part of the food equation. Perhaps for this reason, nothing is more infused with spiritual mystery for me than food, although honestly I find it almost impossible to contemplate this mystery with a plate of food in front of me. I can, however, begin to get my mind around it when looking at a painting, reading a book, watching a film, or listening to a song. On this blog, I look at food—through the lens of art—from as many angles as possible. Here, you'll find posts on pop songs, classic literature, fairy tales, kitch-y television ads, and Renaissance paintings. Some of the artwork I choose to post about brushes right up against the mysteries of life and death, some of it is simply amusing, beautiful, or odd.
I began Food Culture Index in 2010, and while the flow of posts has waxed and waned over that time, there are, as of this writing, nearly one hundred entries in this index. I encourage contributions of ideas and posts themselves from readers, and you'll find guest contributions like this throughout the site. Whether you're a regular subscriber or just visiting, I hope you have as much fun exploring Food Culture Index as I have in putting it together.
A few additional notes:
• The image in the header is from Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge by Jost Amman (1587).
• If you enjoy my writing, you can find more of it via links on my author site.
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• I welcome comments, questions, queries, and suggestions for posts—please feel free to contact me.