Auburn News

Culture and Cuisine

Yesterday Alex and I went to hear a guest lecturer Dr. Becky Brown from Purdue University present her research and outline her unique course– Discovering the world through gourmet cuisine. You mean, they give credit hours for this? A three-hour class on the same level with Calculus 2 or Conversational Spanish? It sounds like my cup of tea, literally. They spend the semester aligning culture and cuisine with a multitude of taste tests and a culminating study abroad trip to France over Spring Break.

Our only question was, when can we get this course at Auburn?

Brown’s first question to the crowd asked what culture came to mind when you thought of gourmet food. French, Italian, Thai, Japanese and a few others were shared by the audience.

Our answers perfectly exemplified her research.

Brown believes that while France used to be the main source and inspiration for gourmet cooking, that globalization has brought many other cultures to the forefront as well. As a country, France has always marketed it’s cooking as top-notch. In fact, they were the first to codify cookbooks in the 17th century, the first to open restaurants and give food critques in the 18th century, and the first to train chefs in the 19th century. But now, Asian is chic. And sushi is on the rise. Thai is seen as gourmet with it’s extensive ingredient list. There is a newfound shared status and shared prestige around the world for cultural cuisines.

Sounds interesting right?

So.. When is this course coming to Auburn, again? Alex and I are already on the waiting list.