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Food tastes better in Italy.

There, I’ve said it. It just tastes better. The tomatoes are more tomatoey, the beans are more tender, the lettuces and vegetables are fresher and more flavorful, the dried mushrooms are more pungent. California cuisine comes close but for all the praise we heap on ourselves about the food in America, it’s just not as tasty. It’s like that joke from the Jewish resorts area of the Catskills. “The food here is terrible.” “Yes, and the portions are so large”.

This video showed up in my YouTube recommendations. It’s from an American Ex-Pat who is back in the states for the pandemic. Let’s just acknowledge now that this is not the best time to be evaluating the food here. But the rest of this video is soooo worth watching. Those of us who have traveled outside the US for business or pleasure know what she’s talking about. Or if we have worked with foreigners and have listened to stories about how they live back home, we have some insight.

But the people who really need to watch this video are the people who have never traveled outside of the US or have limited their excursions to all inclusive Caribbean resorts or cruises where the idea is to isolate you behind the viewing window that the tourism industry has constructed between you and the other, unAmerican world.

This video is so so good. The speaker is not criticizing the US for being the powerhouse that it is. She is trying to say that Americans tend to go through life with blinders on and there is more to life than getting your amazon order in a 24 hour turnaround period or the petty, easily offended, gossipy social sphere we surround ourselves with.


2 Responses

  1. I watched this. It is good to have different perspectives, as the woman who made the video is able to present, from having lived 15 years abroad. I think that this “American exceptionalism” term which I first heard twenty years or more ago, sounds like a propaganda slogan for Republicans, or a belief system. Obviously, America is not the best in everything, not even close.

    I remember reading an interview with Penelope Houston, one of my favorite musical talents, who did a lot of playing in Europe in the ’90’s, saying that the bar is definitely lower over there, meaning that people were not as obsessed with wealth, and that there were actually not that many very rich people, but that basic needs were met, and there was not this competition which we have here. There is something appealing about the idea of people not always comparing themselves to everybody else in terms of possessions or status, but just the ability to appreciate the natural world. Of course, we did fight totalitarianism at one time, and many of the people of these other countries succumbed to it, or even welcomed it. So comparisons are complex, of course. The America of today is not the America of the 1960’s, which had its flaws, but was undoubtedly better overall.

  2. Somewhat off topic:

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