A few years ago I would, like many of us, have laughed at the naievete of such a question, and said: ”well, europeans, of course!” But now, having lived in the low countries for several years, both holland and belgium, and also having lived earlier in england and spain, and spent time in italy and germany, I am getting a pretty good sense of how people in various western european regions eat.
And I can state with confidence that until the early 1990s, europeans ate better than americans, or at least, many europeans did. American food was fairly monolithic: hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, spaghetti, and a bit of chinese food and some mexican thrown in to boot.
But then, the urban food revolution came to north america (both the u.s., and canada, that is), and by the mid-1990s, there was no cuisine that you couldn’t get ahold of in any urban centre or college town. Thai was cool for a while but quickly became old hat. Ethiopian, Kazakh, Indonesian, Yemeni, you name it, you could find a restaurant selling it. And then, people started wanting to do this at home.
First came the garlic and spice revolution. By the early 90s, people were using whole buds of garlic (i.e., 12 cloves) in their meals. Through the mid 80s, all the recipies in your mom’s cookbook had the following spices:
-pinch of salt
-pinch of pre-ground pepper, 3 years old.
-1 bay leaf or 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 5 years old minimum.
Remember those days? Vegetables were boiled until they fell apart under their own weight, (more…)