Interethnic Dining and the Information Era

The Appadurai article about cookbooks and national cuisine addresses the fact that recipe exchange is one of the fastest ways to encourage interethnic dining, and facilitate culture sharing. This obviously makes intuitive sense, but why does it seem like the opposite is happening? We’ve discussed in class the loss of “food knowledge” and the inability of many people to create even the simplest of meals, much less prepare an advanced recipe from another culture. This doesn’t make any sense to me. At this point in history, we have unprecedented access to recipes, preparation techniques, and any possible information we could need. All you have to do is visit anywhere that has free access to a computer (which in the United States is ridiculously easy) or pull out a smartphone and you essentially have unlimited information at your fingertips. Shouldn’t the ease of information acquisition increase our amount of food knowledge and our cultural exposure? But it seems like we are just falling further and further into our own cultural niches, leading me to believe that it isn’t exposure that’s the issue, it’s a lack of desire to learn. online-cookbook-storefront-e1327672677317