Food is one of the world’s only ways of universal communication. It is what all people think about during their day, but some think different about food than others. Our culture and location on the Earth really does play a part on how you view food and how important food is to your life. As a boy who lives in a Lebanese household, food is the centre of my day and it’s interesting to see how different people in my life think about food and culture.
The four countries I have picked are Mexico, Lebanon, France, and China. These four countries symbolise four different regions around the world; Central America, The Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
In the book, Voices by the Kitchen, by Meredith E. Abarca, she explains that food is an art form and a way to express yourself. Like in many other countries, the woman in the family is one who prepares the food. The Mexican culture emphasises that eating a meal together, strengthens a family.
The preparation of food really brings the women of Mexico closer, which causes the women to have a stronger relationship. It gives them an opportunity to share ideas and stories through the self expression of food. Mexico is full of life and food is one of the ways the country is united as one.
This very small country on the west side of the Middle East uses food as a major form of communication. Food is once again prepared by the women and the teenage daughters. In Lebanon, having a big meal is an essential part of your day.
Citizens generally have a big sit down breakfast and a big sit down dinner. Their meals consists of one main dish and many other side dishes that are laid out across a table and everyone serves themselves, which allows the family to connect through the act of sharing. Lebanon’s culture is filled with many great things, and food is a strong aspect of their lives.
One of the most populated and cultural countries in Europe is France. The country is filled with culture and food is one of the most well-known parts about France.
Meals are long and take up a good amount of time, which allows them to connect with each other and really bond as a family. Usually a lunch or dinner consists of a three-four course meal, which is prepared with the freshest ingredients.
The French see that food is important and only the freshest vegetables and spices should be used. The French culture is full of fresh and vibrant foods that is a centre of communication.
China is one of the biggest countries in the world and has many different styles of cooking. The people might cook differently, but the way they perceive and use food is the same.
In China, a main meal consists of a starch and many side dishes, which are usually spread out across the table and shared. This communal way of eating allows them to communicate better and have better relationships.
Eating in China is an art, and this art is done with the help of chop sticks, which is bamboo utensils that cause people to eat longer due to the fact they can only pick up little bites, which allows them to spend more time socialising and communicating as a family. The Chinese way of life is heavily influenced by food and the use of food as communication.
All four countries use food as a big part of their culture and the way they interact with each other. Reading the different descriptions of each country, you could have realised that the way you perceive food is completely different. This just shows that each country has their own set of traditions and different standards of food. Even though the details are different, ever country has one thing in common—they all love food.
By William Khabbaz