One of the things I enjoyed in being a foodie is getting to eat different cuisines from around the world. (Also, as a wine lover too!) Food TV Shows are very popular on television these days. I have watched a lot of them. Some have been great like the Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown or Chef David Chang’s Ugly Delicious. Others have not been so great. I won’t give names. However, I believe these shows serve a purpose and Taste The Nation with Padma Lakshmi brings home the main point that food is essential to culture.
I have watched all ten episodes of Taste The Nation twice and it seems to me that Padma is trying to find out what is American Cuisine? However, she is coming to that question from an immigrant’s perspective. Whether it’s from the Latino Perspective on the border in El Paso, TX or the German American perspective in Milwaukee (I wished that Padma would have come to the Texas Hill Country and visit towns like Fredericksburg and New Braunfels to get a German-Texan viewpoint) or the Peruvian American perspective in Patterson, New Jersey or the African American perspective from the Gullah Geechee people in Low Country South Carolina. Padma is showing the diversity of American Cuisine and how many people have shaped it in our history.
My favorite Taste of Nation episodes are the aforementioned Gullah Geechee people of Low Country South Carolina, Don’t Mind If I Dosa where she explores her own Indian Food Heritage and has the legendary Madhur Jeffrey on that episode, The Original Americans episode where Padma travels to Arizona to spend tine with Native Americans and explore the food they eat, and another aforementioned episode from El Paso where she learns about the burrito. Even though, those are my favorite episodes, I will write that all ten episodes are worth watching.
Food is one of the best entry points into learning about culture and there is something about having a meal with another human being that creates connection. Taste The Nation is one of the best Food TV shows I have watched in the past several years. If you have Hulu, I highly recommend that you watch Taste The Nation. Well done, Padma Lakshmi!