Food Writing Comparison

I’m making this up as we go and we’ll make adjustments as necessary.

Each day (probably not Mondays), 4 people will be selected at random to present the following day. Each will get a random number between 1 and 28 that denotes an essay in the Food Writing book.

The next day, you will present an informal summary and analysis to the class for 6-8 min. A brief question and answer period will follow. A chance for everyone to participate!

Main objectives

  • Briefly summarize the essay. This must be quick since the analysis is more important.
  • We’re reading a lot of food writing for the course; compare the writing style to other stuff we’ve read (in general). Do you interesting? Boring? Informative? Opinionated? Inspired? Uninformed?
  • To the extent you are able (since some people present early in the semester and some nearer the end), apply the readings and our discussion to your analysis
  • Describe what your essay tells us about American Culture/Food/Cuisine. Usually you need to read between the lines here, including thinking about what it means that your essay even exists and was selected as “best” food writing of 2018.

Questions to keep in mind

Here are some questions to bear in mind while reading and preparing your comments. You should not and/or cannot answer all of these well in 8 minutes. Pick those that are most relevant to your particular essays:

  • What kind of assumptions does the author(s) make about cooking/cuisine/food/food production?
  • Who is the intended audience? What should they know? What should they care about?
  • What kind of writing style does the author use?
  • What kind of larger themes does your essay appeal to (exotic, health, comfort, regional, national, hipster, classic, etc)?
  • How doe the ideas of “national” or “ethnic” or “authentic” appear?

Analyze more than summarize

  • REMEMBER You are being evaluated on the quality/depth of your ANALYSIS, NOT SUMMARY.