I’ve spent enough time in places like Germany, Japan, Romania, Vietnam, Turkey, and Peru, to understand how different we are when it comes to food, and to see how little it matters to us, culturally speaking, compared to almost everyone else.

Same. American food culture is appalling. It’s just incredibly bad.

If you’ve lived outside of the US you don’t need data to tell you Americans eat quickly, and mechanically. We gulp our food down like starving beasts intent on moving onto the next thing, while everyone else takes their time, savoring the experience.

Not sure there is any one reason for this. Part is the Puritan work ethic-infected culture, part is that food is just considered meaningless fuel here. And part is a whole lot of Americans have never traveled or lived overseas, and when they do travel they only eat at McDonald’s still.

The article made me miss Eli’s church barbecue I used to get in Bradenton, Florida. Damn that was good. Not quite the best I ever had, but until you’ve had barbecue made by someone who really cares about it being great, you don’t know how amazing it can be.

Note that “Eli’s” wasn’t a restaurant. It was a literal 900-year-old-looking dude named Eli who made barbecue at a church down the street from where I worked. I smelled it one day and then went and found it on foot. I was the only white person there as it was a black church (no one cared). Then every time I got a whiff of that glorious scent, I went to get Eli’s barbecue.

Because that’s how you find the best barbecue: by scent.