Friday, April 16, 2010

Food: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

The type of food that you find in different cities can vary greatly. These foods are a strong indicator of the attitudes of a culture. This photo essay will compare the food of Pittsburgh to that of Provo.

Sometimes restaurants start out as shanty shacks, but then with bustling business they are required to leave their shacks for a more stable building. Such is the case with the 'Chicken Latino' in Pittsburgh and 'JDawgs' in Provo. They both have their 'OPEN' signs on with an arrow pointing next door to their new establishment.

Chicken Latino, Pittsburgh

JDawgs, Provo

All Americans love their fries, whether on the East or the West Coast.
Primantio Bros. Chili Cheese Fries, Pittsburgh

In-N-Out Animal Style Fries, Provo

Different cultures appreciate some foods more than others, such as Mac N' Cheese. Mac N' Cheese is a specialty food in Pittsburgh, they offer it practically everywhere from your neighborhood diner to fancy restaurants in the Cultural District. Whereas, in Provo the thought of Mac N' Cheese reminds you of what you ate for lunch and dinner all last month.

Pamela's Diner, Pittsburgh

Lobster Mac ($24), Cultural District of Pittsburgh

Easy Mac, Vending Machine Provo

Some foods are unique to certain places because of the standard of living. Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh offers one sandwich, you simply choose the type of meat and cheese and 'All sandwiches come with Tomato, Potatoes & Coleslaw...onions by request'. It is a cheap, filling, blue collar meal. In Provo, JDawgs has just as simple of a menu...'Polish or Beef', a simple and filling meal for a college budget.

Primanti Bros., Pittsburgh

Pastrami & Cheese, Primanti Bros. Pittsburgh

JDawgs, Provo

2 Polish Dawgs, JDawgs Provo

Every college town has its ice cream specialty stores with lines going out the doors. Dave and Andy's in Pittsburgh is known in all of Pittsburgh for their homemade ice cream, the most popular being 'Birthday Cake'. Sammy's in Provo is well known for their Pie Shakes, where they actually put a slice of pie in the shake.

Dave and Andy's, Pittsburgh

2 Scoop homemade 'Birthday Cake' ice cream in a waffle cone, Dave and Andy's Pittsburgh

Sammy's, Provo

Candy Cane Peppermint Pie Shake, Sammy's Provo


  1. Yum! :) I made the mistake of looking at your project when my stomach was ready for dinner... :) great comparisons... just a random side note, there is this Awesome belgian waffle place across from Pioneer park in SLC... your project reminded me of the time me and two friends all got a waffle and split a large fries... ugh... don't do that if you go there.... :) but they were delicious...

  2. Man alive your pictures make Pittsburgh food look amazing! They look better in the pictures, which I can say with authority, having eaten half of that food. Even walking past the Chicken Latino, I never would have thought to compare it to J Dawgs.

    Goes to show that even looking at the same thing, even perhaps with camera IN HAND, two people will get two COMPLETELY different things out of it.

  3. One of my favorite subjects. =) You make the food look really good. You could do a recipe blog!

  4. It feels like there are a few types of photography combined but there's an overarching style that is present in each of these. Great concept and great execution! I'm glad to see you included some signs!

  5. this makes me hungry. Photos one and two are my favorites

  6. I love the photos of the food. Great idea. Cool to see the differences and similarities between east and west coast.

  7. I love your project! Food is such a great topic that interests everyone. Great job.

  8. I love the comparison. And since I saw a lot of this food in person, I have to say that you really did a great job of photographing it! The primanti brothers food DEFINITELY wasn't that appetizing in real life... It was kind of disgusting. Anyway, there's a great concept here of comparing two different cultures by specifically looking at their food, and you executed the photography well.