Is French Cuisine a Gateway Food to White Dominance?

In recent years, there has been an explosion of academic work declaring everything from meritocracy to math to be racist or vehicles of white dominance. Offering statistical analysis to support such claims is itself problematic since statistics have also been declared racist. Now however Law professor Mathilde Cohen of the University of Connecticut has found an untapped area of white dominance.  In a talk at Sciences Po Paris and the University of Nanterre, Cohen explained how “French eating habits reinforced the ‘dominance’ of white people over ethnic minorities.”Presumably, the French themselves are allowed to continue to eat their own food without violating the Civil Rights Act. However, Cohen explained that the cuisine is used “to reinforce whiteness as a dominant racial identity.” The reason is the white people value it and thereby force minorities to “act white” by eating it:“The French meal is often presented as the national ritual to which every citizen can participate equally. But French food ways are shaped by white middle- and upper-class norms … and the boundaries of whiteness are policed through daily food encounters.”

The remarks are based on Cohen’s paper “The Whiteness of French Food Law, Race, and Eating Culture in France,” which explores the “neglected area” of “food studies, critical race theory, and critical Whiteness studies.” Cohen works “to identify and critique a form of French food Whiteness (blanchité alimentaire), that is, the use of food and eating practices to reify and reinforce Whiteness as the dominant racial identity.” It also allows you to go to France to present such theories like going to Medellín, Colombia to discuss the scourge of the drug trade.

As an Italian, I am happy to note that our cuisine is not viewed as a vehicle for white dominance.

However, I must confess that I am skeptical. Indeed, it would suggest that President Joe Biden and the First Lady were coopting Vice President Kamala Harris and the second gentleman by recently taking them to Le Diplomate. If the Bidens were “policing” the “boundaries of whiteness . . . through daily food encounters” there were cheaper ways to do it. Having eaten at the restaurant, it is a lot less expensive to do your policing with a baguette at Le Pain Quotidien.

It would also make Julia Child the Bull Connor of cooking.

Then again maybe people of all races just enjoy good cooking. The rest is . . .  well . . . just tripe.

 

 

45 thoughts on “Is French Cuisine a Gateway Food to White Dominance?”

  1. One of the tried and true methods of discrediting your opponent is to gently coerce them into taking ridiculous positions. Mathilde, consider yourself gently discredited.

  2. Okay, now we have hit peak stupidity.

    I am mostly Mexican.
    I have a book case full of cook books from all over the world. A good number of them are French. But I also have Chinese, Japanese, German, Nordic, Italian, Moroccan, Shuk, Indian, and likely half a dozen more from different countries or regions. Then I have some that are food specific, e.g. Dumplings of the World, BBQ.
    I am not guilty of cultural appropriation. I enjoy different food, from all over the world. I am also proud of my heritage and cook Mexican too.
    The French, those whom have French ancestry, are proud of their French heritage and their food.
    Like most major metropolitan areas, if you dont like the “local” fare, I am sure you can find an alternative.
    Or better yet, cook at home from scratch. And try something different.

    Side note, most French food is a updated version of peasant food. These updates became more pronounced with technological advances in metal work (pots and pans), heating, and sauces (source: Sauces : Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, Fourth Edition).

  3. “As an Italian, I am happy to note that our cuisine is not viewed as a vehicle for white dominance.”

    Prof. Turley, just give it time. According to some of my clients, the wokeness mania is spreading throughout the peninsula.

    1. Just wait … As Senator Kennedy (LA) said of Critical Race CRAP teaching: every non-“black” American is a racist. So too, we will learn that any style of cooking that is not based on “black” cooking is racist through and through.

      1. Only white people will not be permitted to cook such food, because cultural appropriation, So, it appears that what’s desired is the mass starvation of white people. If Asians starve, too, so much the better (wrong sort of minority, dontcha know?)

  4. Enter your comment here…I’ma have me sun-a-dat freyed cheekinz! Datall teech dim!

  5. There is no question this Cohen blob of excrement is dumber than IQ challenged Joe, but what does that make those who hired her in the first place. Pissants in my book.

  6. This is so funny because if white people attempt to eat ‘ethnic foods or emulate other nationalities they are accused of appropriation! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

  7. I’ve seen this before. I was at one time acquainted with an insufferable fool that taught for a very prestigious university in Virginia. Some of the gems he bestowed upon his students were along the lines of, ‘White people eating tacos is gastronomical colonialization.’ Literally. Really.

    This was six years ago, and the students gave him such negative feedback he was let go, in effect, he was laughed out of the room. Ponder that, though: six years. This has all come to a head so fast it makes the head spin, though granted, back then no one cared to take any of this seriously, just as no one cared to heed warnings regarding Silicon Valley. And here we are.

  8. French cuisine is used “to reinforce whiteness as a dominant racial identity.”

    Wait a minute. If they try to avoid the scourge of “whiteness” by serving non-French/ethnic food, they’ll be guilty of “cultural appropriation.”

    So what today is a non-triggering cuisine?

  9. We’ve seen this before. When unessential and bored academics are thrown a theoretical bone, they waste no time in sucking every bit of marrow out of it. They’ll twist CRT everyway they can, because if they don’t come up with something “new” every few years, they risk being exposed as the intellectual frauds they are. The French are particularly good at this, having given us “postmodernism,” “poststructuralism,” and “postfeminism.” Now if they can only start working on “post-CRT-ism”!

    1. But, isn’t chocolate ice cream definitively racist?

      I think white people invented ice cream. Black people shouldn’t be allowed any of it.

  10. So voluntarily submitting yourself to abuse by snooty pretentious waiters while paying userous amounts for ridiculously small portions is acting White?

    1. Fight back I say! Attend Popeye’s Fried Chicken….Soulman’s BBQ….chow down on Chitlins…Collard Greens…..real Soul Food…..and you will never look twice at “French Cooking” unless it is the style done down in Louisiana.

      My “French” Cook is Justin Wilson…..that effete stuff mentioned with pompous waiters, and portions designed to starve you to death where tomato’s are cooked and green beans are not…..just is not worth ti.

      Forget putting on airs….put on pounds!

      I invite the Good Professor to get out of DC….and its make believe World and go visit real America and enjoy real down home cooking….the kind done around a campfire…or at a hunting camp….or fish camp….in people’s back yards….and back porch kitchens.

      I have done that from Alaska to the Keys with points in-between….on sailboats and fishing boats…..in bush camps to great family. restaurants….to buffets and cafeterias…..truck stops….and bbq stands with dirt floors.

      Forget the big city venues….go local….go where the folks go….of all Races and backgrounds.

      Food is not racist….in fact Food brings us together where we say a Blessing before we join together in a meal….and fellowship.

      You don’t get that in a fancy French Restaurant……and never shall.

      Roll up your sleeves…remove that necktie…put on your Jeans and Tee Shirt….wear your Flip Flops or boots….get your fingers greasy.

      Above all….get yourself some Lexington BBQ and Carolina Style Cheeseburgers before you miss the opportunity before you head off to your particular Heaven.

      I have found mine in this World….from Kabob places in Iran….Curry Houses in the UK…Pasta places in Italy….Gepetto’s in Philly…..El’s in Morehead City….Soul Man BBQ in Texas…the yellow Steak House in Amarillo….Cal’s Country Cooking in Oklahoma….Nanner Nanner Pudding in Tennessee….Lexington BBQ in North Carolina…..and fresh caught fish at my neighbors.

      1. Justin Wilson was Cajun, and their cuisine is unique, often combining elements of French, Creole, Caribbbean, Spanish and other cultures. I miss him. I assume he has passed?

  11. Off topic. The eviction ban ends in a month. If your tenant is behind on rent then evict now.

  12. The truly amazing thing is that anyone still entrusts their progeny to the formerly hallowed halls of academia. I happened to have a chat the other day with an ironworker. He’s raking it in hand over fist. If you have an IQ of 120 you go to Harvard. If you have an IQ of 140 or above you go into the trades. Since Professor Turley mentions Italianness and tripe, he should be aware of the Roman proverb coined, I believe, during the last world war: “Non c’e’ trippa per i gatti.” It was a sign put in butcher shops to indicate they wouldn’t be giving out free tripe for cats (Roman ladies are notorious cat lovers) because in the time of lack, tripe was being sold for human consumption and not thrown away. It sort of translates as something like “Ain’t nobody got time for this.” Which seems rather apt given today’s topic. Interestingly, Southern Italians often complain of “razzismo” from Northern Italians and Northern Europeans, so perhaps this is what is saving them from an accusation of too much whiteness. Or maybe the crazies just haven’t gotten to them yet.

    1. My grandfather was Tuscan, my grandmother Calabrese. It made for entertaining arguments around the Sunday table.

    2. I was told that if you live north of the Po River you are German….and if you live south of the Po….you are Arab.

      That came from friends who lived in Milano but who spent Summers at Lago Majjorie.

  13. The French people eat frogs.

    I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Missouri and Louisiana, guard their frog ponds with armed patrols, while never locking their front doors. So the French are not unique in their love of frogs.

  14. Damn!! And I just cooked French Toast for breakfast. Now I have to eat a bagel. Oh wait. That would be too Jewish centric.

  15. This has to be a joke.

    Not even die hard Lefties are that stupid.

    Acid test. Let’s see if MollyG and Natacha have a hissy fit about Turley’s support of racist cooking.

Leave a Reply