In Making Sense of Taste: Food & Philosophy, Carolyn Korsmeyer discusses and compares the meaning and metaphors associated with the terms Taste and taste. Korsmeyer uses shorthand where Taste refers to aesthetic taste and taste refers to the mere sense of taste or gustatory taste and I will do the same.

Korsmeyer closely associates Taste and taste, basically stating that taste and Taste bring about very similar things in terms of evaluating object. Both terms require individual experiences with the object in order to allow for the process of evaluating it. Essentially, you must taste whatever food, before you can decide whether or not you like it personally. And you must hear a piece of music before you can decide whether or not you enjoy it. Both of these terms also come with a negative attribute. Either your experience is positive or negative, it brings pleasure or pain. (p. 43)

Krosmeyer goes on, in a confusing way to explain how taste is not Taste. She states that taste has some qualities that can be defined with Taste. Tastes for objects can also described with labels originally associated with taste. But for the most part, there is definitely line between the two meanings. (p 51)

Honestly, it is hard for me to directly relate this book to American Culture. During the decade this book was written, the 1990s, America was experiencing what is referred to today as the emergence of the Culture Wars. Essentially, politicians were fighting over what should be supported and considered morally correct in the US. Republicans’ “Taste” were strictly guided by religious beliefs. Their Taste was molded to be that way according to what they experienced throughout their lives. They were raised in religious homes, towns which led them to believe that their religious beliefs were the only right way to life. This sustained the Culture Wars. As far as popular foods of the 1990s, the popular literal tastes of Americans definitely reflected American culture of the time. Foods such as hot pockets, lunchables, and pizza bagels scream fast, efficient, and convenient. This was definitely the way to be and the Taste associated with pleasurable life in the 1990s America.


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