The emergence of national food - Atsuko Ichijo



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The emergence of national food - the dynamics of food and nationalism
Atsuko Ichijo
Bloomsbury Academic
UK Publication Date

What do deep fried mars bars, cod, and Bulgarian yoghurt have in common? Each have become symbolic foods with specific connotations, located to a very specific place and country.This book explores the role of food in society as a means of interrogating the concept of the nation-state and its sub-units, and reveals how the nation-state in its various disguises has been and is changing in response to accelerated globalisation. The chapters investigate various stages of national food: its birth, emergence, and decline, and why sometimes no national food emerges. By collecting and analysing a wide range of case studies from countries including Portugal, Mexico, the USA, Bulgaria, Scotland, and Israel, the book illustrates ways in which various social forces work together to shape social and political realities concerning food.The contributors, hailing from anthropology, history, sociology and political science, investigate the significance of specific food cultures, cuisines, dishes, and ingredients, and their association with national identity. In so doing, it becomes clearer how these two things interact, and demonstrates the scope and direction of the current study of food and nationalism.

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Atsuko Ichijo is Associate Professor of Politics, Kingston University, UK.
Venetia Johannes is Postdoctoral Research Associate at Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK. Ronald Ranta is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Kingston University, UK.

This book might have been titled Invented Food Traditions, as it's redolent of the seminal volume edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger in 1983 that laid bare the labour that went into making national traditions.
Here we see a not dissimilar type of labour cooking up all manner of national foods and cuisines.
The present volume reminds us of the humble, utilitarian, and decidedly non-national origins of food before showing how layer upon layer of national meaning are ladled upon it to concoct new, and thereafter cherished, national cuisines.
At the same time, the book displays a refreshing sensitivity to the way the consumers of these national cuisines steadfastly testify to their supposedly intrinsic national origins.
Approaching their topic in different empirical and historical contexts, from multiple theoretical standpoints and disciplinary perspectives, and with an array of methodological tools (or perhaps utensils?), the contributors to this volume capture the symbolic struggles in the kitchen of the nation where food is made national.
Jon Fox, Professor of Sociology, University of Bristol, UK

This volume is a welcome addition to scholarship on the contested formation of national culinary identities. Its strength is its wide-ranging geographic coverage of contemporary case studies of national food, particularly from smaller or lesser-known culinary regions, including salt cod in Portugal, potica (leavened bread) in Slovenia, poutine (fries, cheese curds, and gravy) in Qubec, yoghurt in Bulgaria, haggis and deep-fried Mars Bars in Scotland, or pa amb tomquet (bread rubbed with tomato) in Catalonia. These studies of national food as a unifying force are balanced by equally compelling examinations of its marked absence, whether in Ecuador, Ghana, Costa Rica, Chile, Israel, or the United States. Wherever one goes, food and nation are always on the menu.
Michelle King, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

This book offers a wide variety of exciting case studies that will close a gap in research on nationalism and food.
Katharina Vester, American University, USA

Keyword Index
Food habits - Social aspects.|Food habits - Political aspects.|Nationalism.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
x, 207

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