Culture is Built on a Plate

Beyond Zucchini

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Culture on a Plate

Rome was not built in a day. But it was probably built around an olive.

Since the dawn of time, culture started forming around food; in other words, the primary signs of civilization were built on someone’s dinner plate (or lunch, or breakfast, for all that matters). People would gather to share food, forming families, friendships, tribes, and ultimately, nations that adhere to the same menus and table manners. Food is actually a human being’s first language of bonding, when a baby snuggles closely to the mother’s heart for nursing. It is also a social symbol, for we invite people to ‘stop by for a coffee’, we discuss issues ‘over a drink’, and in the Middle East, people use the term ‘there is bread and salt between us’, meaning that a close tie has been established. In a way, food has always been…

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