Tag Archives: American food

The decline of American civilization, cont’d

Apparently the English don’t think too highly of American cuisine. Stop and think about that for a minute. The English — culinary perpetrators of Toad In A Hole, jellied eels, and meals smothered in cooking grease — are making jokes about American food on the BBC. As Matt Yglesias notes, this is not good.

It does, however, give me a chance to trot out one of my favorite old jokes. In heaven, the police are all English, the cooks are all French, the mechanics are all German, the lovers are all Italian, and everything is organized by the Swiss. In hell, the cooks are all English, the police are all German, the mechanics are all French, the lovers are all Swiss, and everything is organized by the Italians.

On the other hand, I should note that when I visited England a few years ago I was impressed by how mainstream Indian food had become — the colony had conquered the empire. I suspect that kind of thing will be the salvation of American food as well. Just south of me here in Villa Villekulla, New Brunswick has a small paradise of great Mexican joints, and to the north one must drive past excellent Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants before reaching a McDonald’s outpost. You can eat as badly as you like, but you have to work at it.

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