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The Meaning of Food

Gonna Eat That?

Story: Marina Gordon and Brad Smith
Illustrations: Eben Dickinson

Is there anything that makes us more squeamish than unusual foods? When we were children, dishes others families ate were “weird.” As our tastebuds matured, we added more “gross” foods to our diets, but our culture tended to set the boundaries. Most Chinese find cheese repugnant, for example, and rare is the American who relishes the thought of devouring duck’s feet, a delicacy in China.

As the world gets smaller, regional favorites get nearer, less foreign, less “weird.” Some of these far-flung foodstuffs could even make their way to your neighborhood grocery store.