Matters of Taste: Cultural Value and Class

In this essay, I will particularly focus on the manner in which food and drink transcend their physical forms representing nourishment and necessity, and become meaningful symbolic entities which represent cultural values that both challenge and reproduce class divisions. Firstly, it will be established that food and drink maintain cultural value through constructed symbolism. I will then assess the arguments for and against the position that the cultural value of food and drink has an inextricable relationship with class.

Advertisements

What a Honed Palate Really Signifies

But where does language fit into this picture? I believe that having a good palate is ultimately a matter of language, for it allows a championship over supposedly ineffable sense experiences. It is only language, and totally up to one’s prowess and accuracy of language, that enables our experiences through tasting to enter a public arena. For in a languageless existence, verification cannot be possible. Private intrinsic experiences are sentenced to confinement - they cannot be liberated and released into the external world without language.

Champagne as Luxury

I came to the realisation that Champagne is one of the most affordable everyday luxuries in wine consumption. But beyond the idea that Champagne is an exercise in celebration of some meritorious action, I think it’s not a matter of whether or not a person will purchase Champagne. Rather, it is a question of what brand of Champagne will be purchased. Champagne houses, through marketing, force a deeper connection with the consumer.