In the UK we have cookery programmes like Delia and Two Fat Ladies. Look at the DVD cover for the latter and smile at the eccentric old dears’ roly-poly faces peering over the jolly saturated colours of a flood of fruit and veg. The subtitle “full throttle”—in a non-threatening all-lowercase serif—hints that the eponymous heroines took their vintage motorbike and sidecar a mile or two over the speed limit along an open, straight stretch of ‘A’ road somewhere in the home counties. Their faces say: “If we came round to your house we might offer your children a sip of the cooking wine and slap your wrist theatrically should you sample any of the food before it was ready, but everyone would be sorry to see us go when the meal was over.”
In the USA they have IRON CHEF AMERICA: BATTLE OF THE MASTERS. Gaze in fear at three macho multi-ethnic cooks glowering at us over sci-fi blockbuster caps and angled blades, photographed in grainy monochrome. The middle one looks like Metallica lead singer James Hetfield. His face says: “Fear me for I shall COOK THE FLESH OF MY RIVALS and prosecute you for sharing my recipes with your friends. When my restaurant franchise opens in Baghdad the Feyadeen will BURN ON MY GRIDDLE.”
There’s one thing the World should be grateful that the UK and the USA have in common, though: our taste for democracy.