Culinary Tourism

Lucy M. Long, Editor University Press of Kentucky $40 (306p) ISBN 978-0-8131-2292-2
Folklorists and scholars should appreciate this collection of essays on the ways in which food and travel intersect. Casual readers, however, might find the tone of these 12 pieces rather tiresome. A professor of popular culture at Bowling Green University, Long defines""culinary tourism"" as""the intentional, exploratory participation in the foodways of an other."" Regular people experience culinary tourism when they visit different parts of the world, but also when they're closer to home: when they eat in ethnic restaurants; sponsor, plan or attend food festivals; discover unfamiliar ingredients; and try new recipes in their kitchens. For her anthology, Long has selected essays that deal with all these disparate activities. Jennie Germann Molz, for example, writes about foods in neighborhood Thai restaurants and introduces the fascinating concept of""staged authenticity."" On one hand, these restaurants offer foods whose""ingredients and cooking techniques adhere to traditional Thai recipes."" On the other hand, they devise their menus while keeping their customers' tastes in mind. Thus, their menus highlight certain dishes (e.g. Tom Yum soup and Pad Thai noodles) while omitting others; they claim authenticity while adapting to""Western parameters of culinary acceptability."" In another eye-opening piece, Kristin McAndrews discusses how Hawaii's Aloha Festival, a statewide celebration of Hawaiian heritage and cuisine, aims to teach tourists, and local residents, to appreciate traditional dishes like poke, a dish of raw fish, seaweed, oil and salt. Well-researched and original as these pieces are, though, this collection of essays--academic in their approach and stilted in their presentation--will appeal primarily to specialists for whom fluid or evocative prose is not a priority. Photos.
Reviewed on: 12/22/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-8131-2985-3
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-8131-4378-1
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-8131-4377-4
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