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Article Response - Essay Example

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The article “Immigrant Identities, Preserved in Vinegar” by Jane Ziegelman explains how an immigrant becomes an American, and how certain food were once considered as foreign and therefore were eliminated. Ziegelman suggests that American authorities were not happy about the…
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Article Response The article “Immigrant Identities, Preserved in Vinegar” by Jane Ziegelman explains how an immigrant becomes an American, and how certain food were once considered as foreign and therefore were eliminated. Ziegelman suggests that American authorities were not happy about the preference of immigrants for seasoned food, suggesting that immigrants used too much onion, pepper and garlic on their food. These seasoned food led the immigrants to be nervous and unstable; hence making bad Americans. This suggests that to be an American you need to eat like an American. Ziegelman then provides a brief history about the introduction of pickle in America in 19th century by immigrants. She terms a pickle as pungent, toxic and morally suspect. The pickle became popular due to its cheap price. Pickles were also considered by charity and health workers to be a stimulant like coffee, whiskey and tobacco.
Children from poor families always had a strange fascination about pickles. Efforts were then made to transform immigrant food into American food. This began with the separation of children from their pickles. Cooking classes were established to teach immigrants about American way of cooking and homemakers were trained how to make simple American food including chowders and pies. In 1919 and 1920, New York City’s Board of Education started to feed immigrant children with American food in place of pickles. Pickles had not ceased by mid 1920s, so quotas were issued to stop immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. However, the pickle did not stop; Americans started to use it as diet reforms declined, and nowadays pickles are enjoyed as normal food.
This story shows that one can eat any kind of food and speak any language and still be an American. Therefore, what makes an American to be an American is citizenship and not food or culture. Immigrants can be assimilated to become American without necessarily forcing them to abandon their culture and food. American society is made up of diverse communities with different cultures and behaviours, but those differences never make them less or more American than others.
In my case, I eat pickles. The introduction of pickles to United States is a thrilling story that may make some people who are radical to the American culture to hate pickles. However, I think that the story just indicates how the society accepts diversities in form cultural values and ways of life. I can eat food from any community as long as they do not have any negative health effects. Pickles have been eaten for a long time and they do not show any unhealthy effects. The story by Ziegleman tends to show an acceptance of pickles by Americans after a short time of struggle to eradicate it. Another type of food that is considered “Un-American” at some point is Hamburger. This was introduced during industrialization as a fast food because people were busy during industrialization and did not have enough time to prepare food that take long. Due to that convenience, Americans accepted Hamburger. In a similar case, Pickles has been accepted due to its convenience and it is important as part of American food.
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Ziegelman, Jane. Immigrant Identities, Preserved in Vinegar?” Read More
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