Sunday, January 27, 2013

Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000

I stopped in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History today and saw, completely unbeknownst to me, a new ongoing exhibit surrounding Julia Child's kitchen (a most permanent set of artifacts on the first floor).  The new exhibit, Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000, examines the massive changes in the American food and wine landscape since 1950.  Key sections on display include, among others: the influence of immigrants in the American food landscape (from Italian, Mexican and Chinese to Middle Eastern, Indian, Jamaican and Thai), an examination of food co-ops, fast food technology, the influence of agribusiness on how food (and how much of that food) gets to our table, soul food, the local food movement and cookout culture in suburban America.  Grills, place mats from In-N-Out, cookbooks by James A Beard and Steve Raichlen, wine making equipment from California and a donut making machine from Krispy Kreme are just some of the exhibits on display.  And yes, the entire Julia Child exhibit is part of this new exhibit.  Also fascinating is the lengthy dining room table in the middle of the exhibit with various food pyramids and maps embedded into them in turntables that several kids really enjoyed turning.  It's very cool.  Go see it, and then get some food in DC while you're at it.

Anyone else remember these mugs from McDonald's?