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Culinary Tourism

Series: Material Worlds
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Culinary Tourism
    Book Description:

    ""From Kosher Oreos to the gentrification of Mexican cusine, from the charismatic cook of Basque communities in Spain and the United States to the mainstreaming of southwestern foodways, Culinary Tourism maps a lively cultural and intellectual terrain."" -- from the foreword by Barbara Kirshenblatt-GimblettCulinary Tourism is the first book to consider food as both a destination and a means for tourism. The book's contributors examine the many intersections of food, culture and tourism in public and commercial contexts, in private and domestic settings, and around the world. The contributors argue that the sensory experience of eating provides people with a unique means of communication. Editor Lucy Long contends that although the interest in experiencing ""otherness"" is strong within American society, total immersion into the unfamiliar is not always welcome. Thus spicy flavors of Latin Aermcia and the exotic ingredients of Asia have been mainstreamed for everyday consumption. Culinary Tourism explains how and why interest in foreign food is expanding tastes and leading to commercial profit in America, but the book also show how tourism combines personal experiences with cultural and social attitudes toward food and the circumstances for adventurous eating.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4377-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

    Culinary tourism, an exploratory relationship with the edible world, is the subject of this beautifully conceived book. Whether you go to food or food comes to you, the nature of the encounter is what defines a food experience as culinary tourism.

    Where food is the focus of travel, as in gastronomic tourism, itineraries are organized around cooking schools, wineries, restaurants, and food festivals—in the case of Sardinia, this includes festivals celebrating the sea urchin, mullet, wild boar, chestnuts, or torrone, among others. Food magazines and epicurean guidebooks, which have long celebrated the gastronomic opportunities afforded the mobile eater, orient...

  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-19)
    Lucy M. Long

    One of my favorite activities when I travel is eating. I am not alone. The tourism industry thrives on providing food experiences—of new and exotic foods, of foods authentic to a particular culture, of foods familiar and safe to a traveler. Food is central to traveling, and it is a vivid entryway into another culture, but we do not have to literally leave home to “travel.” Movies, books, postcards, memories all take us, emotionally if not physically, to other places. Food as well can carry us into other realms of experience, allowing us to be tourists while staying at...

  6. CHAPTER 1 Culinary Tourism: A Folkloristic Perspective on Eating and Otherness
    (pp. 20-50)
    Lucy M. Long

    Culinary tourism is about food as a subject and medium, destination and vehicle, for tourism. It is about individuals exploring foods new to them as well as using food to explore new cultures and ways of being. It is about groups using food to “sell” their histories and to construct marketable and publicly attractive identities, and it is about individuals satisfying curiosity. Finally, it is about the experiencing of food in a mode that is out of the ordinary, that steps outside the normal routine to notice difference and the power of food to represent and negotiate that difference.


  7. Part 1. Culinary Tourism in Public and Commercial Contexts

    • CHAPTER 2 Tasting an Imagined Thailand: Authenticity and Culinary Tourism in Thai Restaurants
      (pp. 53-75)
      Jennie Germann Molz

      Food and tourism have long been linked in the popular mindset. Lifestyle magazines such asGourmetandTravel & Leisure,for example, reveal the connection between food and tourism. The former rarely excludes a travel section, while the latter is never without its food reviews. At the other end of the budget, backpacker guides likeLonely Planetalways include sections on local foods and where to eat while traveling. As these magazines and travel guides demonstrate, eating and tourism go hand in hand. But when eatingistourism, a whole new theoretical framework arises. Culinary tourism, the exploration of foreign...

    • CHAPTER 3 From “Montezuma’s Revenge” to “Mexican Truffles”: Culinary Tourism across the Rio Grande
      (pp. 76-96)
      Jeffrey M. Pilcher

      President Jimmy Carter arrived in Mexico City for a state visit on February 14, 1979, and proceeded to recall for his hosts a previous encounter with Mexican culture, decades earlier as a naval officer, in which he had contracted what he described as “Montezuma’s revenge.” This indelicate reference to tourist’s diarrhea became something of an international incident; Mexican President José López Portillo insisted that his country be treated with respect, while the local press denounced the remark as a “typical Yankee slur.”¹ Culinary tourism thus transcended a private experience to become an important facet of inter-American relations. By inspiring such...

    • CHAPTER 4 Flavors of Memory: Jewish Food as Culinary Tourism in Poland
      (pp. 97-113)
      Eve Jochnowitz

      Every year since achieving independence, Poland has hosted greater and greater numbers of tourists from abroad, and in so doing has taken on the negotiation of the numerous issues in Poland’s construction of its own heritage and the conflicting ideas about Polish history that visitors bring along. For non-Jewish Poles, Jewish tourists are both welcome signs of prosperity and unwelcome reminders of the past. For Jewish visitors, Poland is at once a site of abjection, both degraded and degrading, and a surrogate Holy Land.

      Jewish settlement in Poland dates from the tenth century (Roth 1989:265); by the thirteenth century, Poland...

    • CHAPTER 5 Incorporating the Local Tourist at the Big Island Poke Festival
      (pp. 114-128)
      Kristin McAndrews

      Sunny weather, white sand beaches, warm blue seas, friendly local people, and visions of paradise (Lofgren 1999:216) have typically attracted tourists to Hawai’i—not the local haute cuisine. Restaurant fare has changed for the better in the past fifteen years due to the creativity and marketing efforts of many of Hawai’i’s top chefs who have brought ethnic diversity and cultural traditions into their recipes. But even the best chefs have difficulty incorporating some popular local foods into mainstream tourist food culture. For example, consider the luau. While fire twirlers, hula dancers, and Hawaiian musicians entertain, visitors can experience the cultural...

  8. Part 2. Culinary Tourism in Private and Domestic Contexts

    • CHAPTER 6 “Of Course, in Guatemala, Bananas are Better”: Exotic and Familiar Eating Experiences of Mormon Missionaries
      (pp. 131-156)
      Jill Terry Rudy

      Studying culinary tourism invites a corollary exploration into the realms of experience that emerge during an extended stay in an unfamiliar country or region. Like incidents of culinary tourism, extended-stay eating experiences require the “intentional, exploratory participation in the foodways of an Other” (Long 1998:181). Unlike the touristic desire for “new [culinary] experiences for the sake of the experience itself” (Long 1998:182), however, the extended stay most likely creates compelling twin desires for newandfamiliar eating experiences. For, unlike the tourist, participants in a lengthy stay become more exposed to the “culinary system not one’s own” (Long 1998:181). Without...

    • CHAPTER 7 Kashering the Melting Pot: Oreos, Sushi Restaurants, “Kosher Treif,” and the Observant American Jew
      (pp. 157-185)
      Miryam Rotkovitz

      Historically, there has been enormous fluidity and variety to the way in which Jews have observedkashrutin America. More recently, as reflected in the above passage from Mirvis’s novel, there has also been a growing move to the “right” and a greater emphasis on technical stringency among observant Jews in general. Additionally, in recent years, the availability of foods certified as kosher has grown exponentially. As a result, observant American Jews have been increasingly able to keep the kosher dietary laws with more ease on the one hand and greater stringency on the other, while participating more fully in...

    • CHAPTER 8 Culinary Tourism among Basques and Basque Americans: Maintenance and Inventions
      (pp. 186-206)
      Jacqueline S. Thursby

      Lucy Long has defined culinary tourism as adventurous eating with consideration of contextual significanceandwith consideration of the perspective and motivations of the eater. (1998:181) This definition, and other discussions I have read about tourism and culture since reading Long’s work, have named and clarified to me some dimensions of my own decade-long research among the Basque Americans. Cecelia Jouglard, a Basque woman who immigrated to the United States from northern Spain in 1942, served an exquisite cod dinner(bacalao a la Vizcaina)in Rupert, Idaho; I was an honored guest at that meal. After dinner she remarked, “To...

  9. Part 3. Culinary Tourism in Constructed and Emerging Contexts

    • [PART 3 Introduction]
      (pp. 207-208)

      Part 3 addresses culinary tourism as a social phenomena that has supported both the interest in exploring particular others and the development of specific venues for experiencing that tourism. These authors explore otherness—ethnic, nostalgic, religious, ethical, and regional—as well as contexts—restaurants, resorts, grocery stores, and even the home.

      These contexts are newer ones with meanings that are neither historically bound nor preset but are actively being invented and negotiated. New social conditions require new relationships between people and food, and these contexts not only respond to those conditions but also emerge from them. In such venues, we...

    • CHAPTER 9 From Culinary Other to Mainstream America: Meanings and Uses of Southwestern Cuisine
      (pp. 209-225)
      Amy Bentley

      The United States is in the midst of a culinary love affair with what is generally known as Southwestern cuisine. From the elite echelons of haute cuisine, to party and recipe ideas in women’s magazines, to fast-food conglomerates, Americans can scarcely escape (nor would they want to) ingesting various combinations of tortillas, chiles, beans, cheese, tomatoes, and corn. Witness the following phenomena: for the last several years salsa has outsold ketchup in the United States; Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips are the second and third most popular-selling snack chips in the country (behind Lay’s Potato Chips); nachos are common, popular...

    • CHAPTER 10 Rites of Intensification: Eating and Ethnicity in the Catskills
      (pp. 226-244)
      Rachelle H. Saltzman

      The Catskills resort experience was and is about hospitality, comfort, and feeling at home. Unlike modern-day tourist attractions, the family-run resorts in the mountains of upstate New York were and are about recreating the familiar for their visitors. While second- and third-generation guests looked for innovation and modern improvements such as indoor heated swimming pools, movie theatres, and other entertainment, their parents and grandparents were looking for a place where they could just be in the fresh mountain air with others who spoke the same language, cooked and served familiar foods, and thought the same way. Going to the Catskills...

    • CHAPTER 11 Pass the Tofu, Please: Asian Food for Aging Baby Boomers
      (pp. 245-267)
      Liz Wilson

      We all know that you are what you eat. Grandmother said so. And now experts like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and others appear regularly on various media outlets offering evidence to support nutrition-based approaches to health. Weil even confirms the wisdom of our grandmothers’ cod-liver-oil fixation in discussing the nutritional benefits of the ingestion of certain fishes high in fatty acids.¹ Clearly nutrition-based approaches to health have well-established roots in the West. This essay suggests that more affluent segments of America’s postwar baby-boom generation have contributed to a revival of interest in diet as a means of self-care.² But baby...

    • CHAPTER 12 Ethnic Heritage Food in Lindsborg, Kansas, and New Glarus, Wisconsin
      (pp. 268-296)
      Barbara G. Shortridge

      The Midwest is dotted with small, European ethnic settlements, a legacy from the immigration streams of the nineteenth century. Several of these communities, including New Glarus, Wisconsin (a Swiss settlement established in 1845), and Lindsborg, Kansas (a Swedish settlement of 1869), have purposely reinvented themselves as heritage destinations for tourists. Architecture, signage, music, dance, costumes, and special events are all facets of the fabrication, but food is especially important. To the townspeople, selling ethnic food to tourists is a reliable source of income. To visitors, eating (or taking home a food product) is a major participatory component of their ethnic...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 297-300)
  11. Index
    (pp. 301-307)