Two bites, two eras

Food is both survival and experience, depending on situation. It also reflects our attitudes in general.

The hotdog is definitely a child of its era, industrialism and modernism. Easy to grab and eat on the go, rational, practical and functional. Perfect for its context, where people would no more gather in families for the daily lunch but rather eat while travelling or even while working. You can easily distinguish its parts; the bread, the sausage and the mustard. These things can be produced by different companies; they do not need to collaborate very much. The actual, perceived product experience is produced and delivered on the street.

You may see the mustard as an optional extra, but actually I think that many people would hesitate to bite a sausage like this if there wasn’t any mustard on it. As the other two parts, it’s essential and obvious.

The branded hamburger of today is something else. Don’t you think it’s hard to even see this as a sandwich? It has the components of a sandwich but it is clearly something else. It’s complex. People have good and bad feelings about it. It contains many parts and their size and proportions must be coordinated. Thick manuals describe all aspects of serving it. And when you bite it you are actually having taste of the American dream, the American experience.

A good representation of the postmodern, experience society!

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