In his 1996 book Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom, the great food anthropologist Sidney Mintz concluded that the United States had no cuisine. Interestingly, Mintz's definition of cuisine came down to conversation. For Mintz, Americans just didn't engage in passionate talk about food. Unlike the southwest French and their cassoulet, most Americans don't obsess and quarrel about what comprises, say, an authentic veggie burger. But if cuisine comes down to talk, things are looking up a decade after Mintz cast his judgment. Now, more and more people are buzzing about food: not only about what's good to eat, but also …
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