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Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi: Season 1 (2020)
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One of the most fascinating food series to emerge in recent years: a ruthless indictment of how a nation's cultural heritage has been constructed out of the people and traditions that it has consistently and brutally rejected.
By focusing specifically on the immigrant groups that have seen their native dishes appropriated, as well as the ways in which they seek to preserve those original traditions, it inches toward an answer more complex than "fast food."
It is a joy to watch Lakshmi flirt and joke, a delight to see her turn serious and listen intently, tenderly even, as someone shares their coming-to-America story.
This idea lies at the core of Taste the Nation's message: By sifting through the pain of assimilation, the show reveals how immigrants have kept their cultures alive. However, it sometimes fails to go beyond that optimism.
The result is delicious, and makes for genuinely good television - producers greenlighting vapid, celebrity-filled food shows should take note.
Every episode of Taste the Nation is an elegant infusion of the complex histories of our people and the state of our national culture today...
While every episode of Taste the Nation offered similar information and education, it's neither turning painful stories into light entertainment nor lecturing. The show finds a perfect balance of facts and feeling, of cooking and compassion.
Taste the Nation wants us all to resist that compartmentalization, to embrace the way food can be a gateway towards better understanding one another, while also showing us how much harder that is to put into practice.
Lakshmi links her personal experience with the areas that she visits, which makes "Taste the Nation" feel both personal and universal.
Taste The Nation with Padma Lakshmi season 1 is a delightful entry to the streaming platform, bringing food and culture while bringing a genuine attempt to educate.
The show does a lovely job portraying the humanity and individuality of immigrant life and how what we think of as "American" cuisine has been shaped by the very different people who make up our population.
Neither prescriptive nor particularly instructive, but it does come off as a little preachy at times. Each culture highlighted is part of immigrant culture, but Lakshmi's natural charisma carries each episode, which makes the show watchable enough.
Audience Reviews for Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi: Season 1
Sep 27, 2020Love this show, I learned a lot about different communities in the U.S. and the traditional food they eat! I hope the show will have a second season and, if it does continue, that she'll highlight immigrant communities that come from Africa (west, east, north and south), the Caribbean and Europe!
Sep 08, 2020Amazing job Padma. This show was so touching and beautifully done. A MUST see (with your white parents!!)
Aug 28, 2020Pure propaganda. Normally love cooking/food shows. Goebbels would be proud. Almost unbelievably stereotypical and with a strong political slant. Producers must think the American public is comprised of imbeciles.
Aug 25, 2020Nothing new to say. She's just trying to fill the void of Anthony Bourdain. Pretty lame unfortunately. Stick to reality TV I guess...
Jul 25, 2020Come for the food, stay for the stories. This show is deep, dense, and sensitive! Refreshingly comprehensive.
Jul 13, 2020Terrible food show. Less about food and more about reasons why America is terrible in their opinion. Preachy nonsense.
Jul 03, 2020The show is not about food. That is a minor aspect. It is about diversity, inclusion, appropriation, racism, bashing politicians, etc. C'mon! I get that on the news every day. I had hoped for a show that showed the regional cuisines of the US. I see that it is herein billed as a documentary. OK then, don't call it Taste the Nation. Judging by the title, I erroneously thought is was going to be a cooking show.
Jun 27, 2020The combination of learning about the food and culture of all the different immigrant groups here is fascinating. Most of us eat all of the food that is discussed as a "common day" thing in our "American" lives, but we don't realize the story behind it and how people have worked so hard to be where they are in this country. Like a great meal, we cannot get enough of this show.
Jun 19, 2020She is very monotone and boring and I could not stay awake for the whole episode . We tried another episode And again - it never gets better - is she on Tylenol PM? ....her whiny voice is like a lullaby for sleep and boredom. The show is great , guests' seem interesting - storyline interesting - but both fall short . They are not really talking about food and making it - but showing people who like to make it ....and the story ain't deep enough to connect to the characters . So it's a boring let down. The first episode had a lot of promise - but her political twist never went anywhere , nor did the cooking . This show isn't boring , I was wrong - it's BLAND. Like a dish with no salt or seasonings . Like plain white rice - or hominy or boiled fish .