‘The fish caught the mn’: Celebrating food and place

‘The fish caught the mn’: Celebrating food and place

ARTICLE IN PRESS Abstracts / Appetite 47 (2006) 384–401 Let them eat gelatin and horsemeat! science, philanthropy, state, and the redefinition of good...

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ARTICLE IN PRESS Abstracts / Appetite 47 (2006) 384–401

Let them eat gelatin and horsemeat! science, philanthropy, state, and the redefinition of good nutrition in nineteenth-century France. ALAN KRINSKY. Program in Public Health, Brown


children’s hearts, minds and tastebuds were the objects of many taste socialization efforts. 10.1016/j.appet.2006.08.033

University, Providence, RI 02912, USA. [email protected] A conviction emerged in 19th-century France that science could help secure adequate nutrition. Indeed, the very idea that individuals could meet their basic nutritional requirements as determined by science and that this act constituted nutritious eating was something novel. The application of chemical and physiological knowledge to diet came about by means of government-supported but primarily private-philanthropic projects to feed the poor, the sick, and workers. Instead of merely trying to prevent starvation and hunger by feeding people enough food—long the central object of food relief—reformers now sought to provide food of sufficient nutritive value as well. These reformers, many of them scientists and doctors themselves, expended much effort in identifying simultaneously nutritious and economical food sources for their projects. In France, most of these relief efforts focused on nitrogen-rich products, including gelatin, horsemeat, and beef, the meat par excellence. Scientists and philanthropists throughout the 19th century agreed that nitrogen, protein and meat served as the fundamental indicators of good nutrition. Originally implemented in philanthropic and institutional contexts, these scientifically guided notions of good nutrition were in turn applied to individual dietary practices by the end of the 19th century. A more generalized dietary knowledge thus developed out of the initial application of science to diet in the philanthropic context. The examples of gelatin and horsemeat illustrate the interaction of science, philanthropy and the state in the redefining of good nutrition. 10.1016/j.appet.2006.08.032

Learning to taste: Child socialization and food habits in France.

WENDY LEYNSE. Department of Anthropology and Institute of French Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA. [email protected] Learning to appreciate food in France means learning to make distinctions. It means acquiring a specialized vocabulary to talk about food and enough practical, sensory experiences with different types of food to be able to compare and judge foods. Data from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a Loire Valley town have been used analyze the ways in which a group of French children were expected to broaden their palates, begin to obtain different types of practical culinary knowledge, and gain mastery of ‘‘taste’’-related talk. There were three different but inter-related aspects of what in France is known as ‘‘l’apprentissage du gouˆt,’’ which one could translate as ‘‘learning about taste’’ or, simply, ‘‘taste mastery’’, where the word ‘‘taste’’ (‘‘le gouˆt’’) relates to cultural and class-based meanings in France. Specific examples were found of how children acquired such concepts through participation in food-related experiences in the school lunchroom, in the home kitchen, and around the family dinner table. From the school lunch producer’s intent to educate young palates by creating special ‘‘taste week’’ menus and flipping creˆpes with Grandma, to impassioned appeals by parents to eat ‘‘good’’ food,

‘The fish caught the mn’: Celebrating food and place.

YVONNE R. LOCKWOOD. Michigan Traditional Arts Program, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. [email protected] In a small town in the Thumb of Michigan ‘‘the fish caught the man’’. The town is Bay Port, Michigan, once an important commercial fishing port from which fish was shipped all over the Midwest. The man was Henry Engelhard. Communities develop attachments with their local food and not uncommonly use it as a focal point to attract visitors. In the 1970s the Chamber of Commerce wanted to make Bay Port a tourist destination, and rather than using the proposed idea of an Alpine Village theme as the attraction, Henry suggested using the town’s local resource: fish. The resulting development of the Fish Sandwich Festival, the connection of food to place, the relevance to the fish sandwich to the community and its meaning and significance to Henry’s family provide a case study of the invention of a foodways tradition, the institutionalization of tourism, and heritage politics. 10.1016/j.appet.2006.08.034

Food pilgrimages: Seeking the sacred and the authentic in food.

LUCY M. LONG. Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA. [email protected] People often travel specifically to partake of a particular food. This travel may involve a range of distances—from local (trying a new restaurant in town) to far away (going to another country). It can also involve a variety of experiences connected to food— touring wineries, observing chefs, assisting farmers or fishermen, attending food-themed festivals, experimenting with new cooking techniques or equipment, and, obviously, tasting and consuming foods. Such traveling can be seen as a form of culinary tourism (‘‘eating out of curiosity’’) and perceived as a recreational or educational activity, but it also frequently takes on the character of a ritualistic quest to fully experience a food or cuisine in its ‘‘authentic’’ and original cultural context. Similar to a religious pilgrimage in which individuals visit a shrine, often seeking a spiritual experience, food pilgrimages offer a different experiencing of a food. Such pilgrimages frequently result in individuals feeling a deeper and more personal understanding of that food along with a sense of an ‘‘authentic’’ experience of it. While such journeying has occurred throughout history, it has recently become a fashionable and profitable component of the modern tourist industry. Data from fieldwork in Spain, Ireland, the American Midwest and South, as well as analyses of current advertising and marketing, provide an exploration of the phenomena of food pilgrimages and their cultural, political and personal ramifications. 10.1016/j.appet.2006.08.035