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January 11, 2014


Antti Nannimus

Hi Catherine,

Welcome back. Where have you been?

I'm having an MFK Fisher wolf recipe for dinner tonight as we speak.

Have a nice day,


I agree with you in that the American (or any other nationality) understanding of French (or any other culture for that matter) is a marriage between tourism and preconceptions molded from film, media and biased history books. It is a type of Disneyfication that, to some degree, is unavoidable barring longer exposure time such as living there for several years (even that will just be scratching the surface). The privileged few, I among them, understand acutely the tourist who comes to view what they already see versus the tourist who comes to see what the view is really like. Most people fall unfortunately into the first category.

Authenticity (terroir), in terms of elemental components of soil, water and craft in winemaking, should be easily translated to human beings. It should be enough that one was born and raised on a particular soil, co-creating with neighbors and countrymen the rights and communities they call home. But, alas, a certain segment of the population will never concede a preferred definition of authenticity as race and lineage regardless of the fantasies of tourists.

I cannot speak for Adam Gopnik, but I made the effort to live outside of the expat bubble. I noticed that those who did not, stayed within the fantasies of their preconceptions even while living among their hosts. Although I have not read Gopnik's book, I would argue that the relationship of food to family and nation is universally an economic one with rituals aligning themselves across class rather than culture.

George Gale

The Platonic Ideal of Gopnik Being Gopnik is http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/09/06/040906crat_atlarge?currentPage=all

The incredibly puerile last paragraphs reveal just how shallow he is.


Just throwing this out there (more for musing than a genuine Habermas-ian achievement of expressive exchange), how much does talk about locavorism and sustainable treatment of land bleed into volkisch danger zones in American discourse? As fun as it is to say Wendell Berry and David Duke are not so DIFFERENT, him and him, I'm not sure it hits with the same resonance. Maybe it's because all American terroir is stolen to begin with?

Magic Slim

thanks for your update



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