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How Steak Became Manly and Salads Became Feminine – The Conversation

I just ran across this item in The Conversation and had to share it.

When was it decided that women prefer some types of food – yogurt with fruit, salads and white wine – while men are supposed to gravitate to chili, steak and bacon?

asparagus barbecue cuisine delicious

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In my new book, “American Cuisine: And How It Got This Way,” I show how the idea that women don’t want red meat and prefer salads and sweets didn’t just spring up spontaneously.

Beginning in the late 19th century, a steady stream of dietary advice, corporate advertising and magazine articles created a division between male and female tastes that, for more than a century, has shaped everything from dinner plans to menu designs.

A separate market for women surfaces

Before the Civil War, the whole family ate the same things together. The era’s best-selling household manuals and cookbooks never indicated that husbands had special tastes that women should indulge.

Even though “women’s restaurants” – spaces set apart for ladies to dine unaccompanied by men – were commonplace, they nonetheless served the same dishes as the men’s dining room: offal, calf’s heads, turtles and roast meat. Continue reading

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