The Flavors of Home: The Art of Comfort Food

by Dwight Furrow When we eat, if we pay attention at all, we focus on the pleasures of flavor and texture. But some meals have a larger significance that provokes memory and imagination. So it is with comfort food–the filling, uncomplicated, soft, and digestible comestibles that haunt our consciousness with thoughts of security, calm, nourishment,…

Palettes, Palates, and Authenticity: The Winemaker’s Art

by Dwight Furrow In many traditional wine regions of the world wine, like food, has been a marker of identity. Wine, when properly made, expresses the character of the soil and climate in which grapes are grown, and the sensibilities of the people who make and consume it. Thus, it is a form of cultural…

Food and Romance: The Tissue of Little Things

by Dwight Furrow Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass 1965 My first intimation that food and romance were related The connection between food and romance has become a cliché, especially around Valentine's Day when even the most desultory couple manages to build a castle with a box of chocolate. But the connection is in fact…

When Is a Meal Like a Van Gogh? When the Chef is Telling Secrets

by Dwight Furrow Atelier Crenn A Creation of Chef Dominique Crenn In the humdrum course of daily life, we tend to ignore most of the objects we encounter. We focus only on what will break down or threaten us if we aren’t paying attention and neglect anything that is in its proper place benignly performing…

Why Kant Was Wrong about Food

by Dwight Furrow from the San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn Among philosophers who think about art and aesthetics, the position of food and wine is tenuous at best. Food and wine receive little discussion compared to painting or music, and when they are discussed, most philosophers are skeptical that food and wine belong in the…

Why the Philosophy of Food is Important

by Dwight Furrow Photo by Todd Lapin Creative Commons License There are lots of hard problems that require our thoughtful attention—poverty, climate change, quantum entanglement, or how to make a living, just for starters. But food? Worthy of thought? Most philosophers have ignored food as a proper topic of philosophical inquiry. On the surface, it…

Must We Have Fascism With Our Petits Fours

by Dwight Furrow Vive La France by Pirika at Deviant Art Creative Commons License A few weeks ago in the pages of 3 Quarks Daily we were treated to the proclamation of a new doctrine called “Anti-Gopnikism“. The reference in the title is to Adam Gopnik, essayist for the New Yorker, who writes frequently in…

Habits and Heresies: Authenticity, Food Rules, and the People Who Break Them

by Dwight Furrow Chicken Tikka Masala Dishes are a representation of the food tradition from which they emerge. But what counts as an authentic representation of a tradition and who decides? All of us come to the table with a history of eating experiences that have left behind a sediment of preferences, a map of…

Food Fights: Are They about Mouth Taste or Moral Taste?

by Dwight Furrow Human beings fight about a lot of things—territory, ideology, religion. Food fights play a special role in this fisticuff economy—they fill the time when we are between wars. Beans or meat alone in a proper chili? Fish or fowl in a proper paella? Vegetarians vs. carnivores. Locavores vs. factory farms. These are…