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Food Studies


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From gastronomic heritage to food studies
By Jean-Pierre Poulain

Published in: Education, Technology, Business

Food Studies

  1. 1. From gastronomic heritage to food studies <ul><ul><li>Jean-Pierre Poulain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-anthropologist, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Université de Toulouse Le Mirail </li></ul></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Plan <ul><li>Tourism and the valorization of heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Gastronomy versus food cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Forward “food studies” </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage and creativity </li></ul>
  3. 3. Tourism: the meeting of two food cultures <ul><li>Eating is at the same time a daily obligation and a way of entry in the culture of the visited country, as well as It puts in contact its sense of hedonism </li></ul><ul><li>The meal changes the tourist from spectator into an actor, it is a “formidable machine to travel” (E. Morin) </li></ul><ul><li>The tourist meal is the meeting of two food models. By doing this, it learns as much from one as from the other. </li></ul>
  4. 4. General problematic <ul><li>In the tourist activity, the contacts with the food culture(s) of the visited area take place through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The material elements , such as the dishes, the drinks, the ingredients, the utensils, the objects of the table, are most easily identifiable at the restaurant or on the markets, but also </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immaterial dimensions of the food models, like the table manners, the forms of conviviality, the beliefs, although not as easy to access, can interest the visitors . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distinction made by Unesco between Material and immaterial heritage </li></ul>
  5. 5. Socio-economic impacts <ul><li>The tourism activities could develop all forms of local food chain: </li></ul><ul><li>Tourists eat several times a day, that constitutes a theoretical increase of local food demand, </li></ul><ul><li>Tourists buy souvenirs among which the foodstuffs and the drinks can have an important place, </li></ul><ul><li>The production, or the transformation of certain foodstuffs can give place to a setting in tourism in various forms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visits of production areas and factories, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Museography valorization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tourism increase the fame of regional products and stimulate the sales within tourist living area </li></ul>
  6. 7. How to move from a comparative advantage to an absolute advantage? <ul><li>The traditional point of view (First step): </li></ul><ul><li>To relocate a part of the food purchase of hotel industry you must have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flow consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And… better price </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From an informal organization to an organized market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Master word quality (ISO, HACCP, certification…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up a competitive scenario with international food market operators in which the comparative economic advantage is only the difference of labor cost for all product categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a way of development, but the developing countries are dependant of the know-how of developed countries </li></ul></ul>
  7. 9. From an organized market to high cultural value products <ul><li>To develop cultural value of the products to get absolute advantages </li></ul><ul><li>A “high identity” product like Champagne can be imitated, but not equalized! The more it is copied the more the value of the original is higher </li></ul><ul><li>High cultural value products is a way to delocalize the benefits of tourism to diffuse it among farmers, caterer, food artisan and on the area concerned  </li></ul>
  8. 10. Cultural aspects Agronomic aspects Technical aspects FOOD Engineering Quality processing High cooking Protected food appellation scheme
  9. 11. Plan <ul><li>Tourism and the valorization of heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Gastronomy versus food cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Forward “food studies” </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage and creativity </li></ul>
  10. 12. Historical perspective of culinary creativity <ul><li>The difference between the notion of « food culture » and gastronomy, is that the first one is stable and the second follow trends and tends to be more complex </li></ul><ul><li>“ Culture” versus “civilization” </li></ul>
  11. 13. 1 Spice Trade 2 Discovery of America 3 Recentering on Europe
  12. 14. The social organisation of the Ancient Regime <ul><ul><li>Spiritual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Clergy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Craftsmanship and agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic and commercial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The « Bourgeois » </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political, military and at the court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Aristocrats </li></ul></ul>Functions Social Categories
  13. 15. The social differentiation <ul><li>During the Middle Age </li></ul><ul><li>Spices symbolize a high social position </li></ul><ul><li>Because they are : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Come from the Orient </li></ul></ul><ul><li>After the Renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Spices become less rare and less expensive, therefore more accessible to the “bourgeois” </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘true’ taste of a product becomes the aim of French Gastronomy </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>&quot;Cabbage soup must taste of cabbage, leek soup of leek, turnip soup of turnip, and so on … And what I say about soup, I intend that to become a common precept, applicable to all food.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Nicolas de Bonnefonds, Les délices de la campagne, 1654. </li></ul><ul><li>The alchemist model, the essence and the flavour of food, the sauces ‘liquid gold’. Upon consumption of these sublime sauces, this ‘drinkable gold’, Mankind itself will be transformed. </li></ul>Taste as an axis of development of the French gastronomy
  15. 17. Birth of fashion : the distinction process ( Elias, 1939 ) <ul><li>The “bourgeois” begins to emulate aristocratic way of life </li></ul><ul><li>Aristocrats ask their tailors, perfumers and chefs new practices to maintain the difference </li></ul><ul><li>But the “bourgeois” imitates again, and so on… </li></ul><ul><li>The fashion system emerges from this imitating/distinction process </li></ul>
  16. 18. Centralisation of the state <ul><li>During the Middle Age France was a mosaic with more or less large geographic regions </li></ul><ul><li>Henri IV (1589-1624) began state centralisation </li></ul><ul><li>Louis XIV (1643-1715) followed and settled the court in Versailles </li></ul>
  17. 19. The impact of the French Revolution <ul><li>The French Revolution starts from a mass revolt but it is the « bourgeoisie » that takes over the power. </li></ul><ul><li>The « bourgeois » dreamt about that since almost a century. They perceive through tables manners, a means to legitimate their new social position </li></ul>
  18. 20. The Critic: a link between 2 social backgrounds <ul><li>Grimod de la Reynière and Brillat-Savarin are 2 persons who contributed in bringing together the aristocrats and the “ bourgeois” </li></ul><ul><li>The “ Bourgeois” attains power and attempts to find in good food habits a form of legitimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of guides and “labels” </li></ul>
  19. 21. Is enjoying life's pleasures a sin?
  20. 22. The catholic morale and the spirit of gastronomy <ul><li>Greediness is one of the seven sins </li></ul><ul><li>But the catholic religion have several means to get rid of this guilt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>repentance theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>purgatory theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to go to confess </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>indulgences </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Emergence of a breach between sacred and non-sacred foods <ul><li>Debates on transubstantiation theory </li></ul><ul><li>Cannibalistic metaphors and de-substantiation of Eucharist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From leavened bread to host </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From red wine to white wine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Denial of the alcoholic nature of wine and drunkenness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transformation of an interdiction </li></ul>
  22. 25. &quot;Why is gastronomy French?&quot; <ul><li>The emergence of gastronomy in the 17th century can be seen as the outcome of a social context resulting from the fact that gastronomic theories and literature became an independent branch of knowledge, from the social impact of the need to be different, from the quest for the ‘true’ taste as a vector of development of the culinary arts and, lastly, from the Catholic ethic. </li></ul><ul><li>All of these social factors were individually necessary preconditions but not enough alone. For gastronomy to emerge they also had to be linked together, thus forming a specific social context. France was the place where these various factors were combined. </li></ul>
  23. 26. 1974 The &quot;nouvelle cuisine“ and the compelling of creativity <ul><li>Before nouvelle cuisine </li></ul><ul><li>The ambition of a chef was to be a good interpreter of the master’s works of the 19th century ; the golden age of gastronomy </li></ul><ul><li>The idea behind the &quot;nouvelle cuisine“ was that there was a dual gastronomic heritage: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the haute cuisine and table manners of the elite and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the local, regional food cultures founded on popular tradition. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>After « nouvelle cuisine </li></ul><ul><li>Cooks must be creative </li></ul><ul><li>But how to go about it ? </li></ul>
  24. 27. How to be creative ? <ul><li>Going beyond gastronomy and dietetics </li></ul><ul><li>To rehabilitate gourmet status </li></ul><ul><li>La grande cuisine minceur </li></ul><ul><li>La grande cuisine gourmande </li></ul><ul><li>Go back in time, before golden age </li></ul><ul><li>“ Culinary archeology” </li></ul>
  25. 28. From nouvelle cuisine to local gastronomies <ul><li>The homeland terroir </li></ul><ul><li>Faraway terroirs : exotism </li></ul><ul><li>(territory) </li></ul><ul><li>We then shift from French inspired international cuisine to truly local gastronomies </li></ul>
  26. 29. Consequences of the encounters with other food cultures <ul><li>The development of local forms of &quot;new cuisines&quot; in Quebec, Japan, Australia, California, Germany, Spain, Norway… in which many young chefs are now revealing their talents. </li></ul><ul><li>In return, these cuisines influence French cooking itself. Dish presentation, broader range of spices, diversity of cooking techniques... </li></ul><ul><li>The outcome is a new fusion cuisine, enriched by the use of exotic products and techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>In a context of growing international travel, tourism industry now treats gastronomic traditions as a cultural heritage. This heritage may be used as a promotion tool for local development </li></ul>
  27. 30. <ul><li>In the 1980s it was with this concept of gastronomy that the great French Chefs travelled across </li></ul><ul><li>the world to promote French cuisine </li></ul><ul><li>The leading European, North-American and Asian catering colleagues were visited by the flagship French chefs and its rediscovery of French cooking's regional roots. </li></ul><ul><li>What distinguishes contemporary French chefs from their predecessors is that they have ceased to regard other culinary traditions as &quot;sub-cultures&quot; that needs civilising and now find new sources of inspiration in them. </li></ul>A reciprocal influence
  28. 31. Welcome to the world cuisines <ul><li>The emergence of leading chefs all over the world is a positive consequence of &quot;nouvelle cuisine&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>The focus of “ nouvelle cuisine ” on local food cultures has engendered conducive conditions for gastronomic decolonisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome Misters Ferran Adria, Juan Mari Arzak, Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal ! </li></ul>
  29. 32. Plan <ul><li>Tourism and the valorization of heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Gastronomy versus food cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Forward “food studies” </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage and creativity </li></ul>
  30. 33. What is a food model? <ul><li>A particular configuration of food social space </li></ul><ul><li>A body of knowledge accumulated from generation to generation, allowing to select resources in natural space, to prepare them to make food of them, then dishes and to consume them. </li></ul><ul><li>A system of symbols which put in place the values of a human group and take part in the construction of the identities of human-being and permit internal and external processes of differentiation. </li></ul><ul><li>Models change according to time </li></ul>
  31. 34. Food Social Space (Condominas, 1980, Poulain, 1997 et 2002) Cultures Freedom space Social dimensions of food Physiological and biological constraints Ecological constraints The edible products The food production The culinary aspect The food habits The temporality Social differentiation
  32. 35. Socialisation <ul><li>Process by which an individual becomes a member of a society </li></ul><ul><li>It assumes that the individual integrates rules, norms and values </li></ul><ul><li>One can distinguish : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A primary level within the family circle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A secondary level at school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A tertiary level at work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>An ongoing process : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social codes existed before Mankind. But, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the socialisation process occurs with different social interactions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 36. The social dimensions of food <ul><li>Food is a social phenomenon : </li></ul><ul><li>What constitutes food and, therefore, what can be eaten; how it is to be prepared, presented, and consumed; with whom you eat and so forth express complex relationships to class, ethnicity and gender. </li></ul><ul><li>Food studies uncover the complexity behind an everyday life material that affects and effects multiple social networks, wherein food is both the material and symbol by which class, race/ethnicity, sex/gender are socially constructed. </li></ul>
  34. 37. 1. The edible products <ul><li>Within a wide range of natural products, containing required nutritive values, societies have selected a limited </li></ul><ul><li>range of products that are considered as edible food. </li></ul><ul><li>If this choice always presents qualities of adaptation , it is largely determined by cultural reasons </li></ul>
  35. 38. 2. The food production <ul><li>Different forms of social organisations determine the conditions for production, transformation and distribution of foodstuffs </li></ul>
  36. 39. 3 The culinary aspect <ul><li>Cooking implies at the same time, technical and symbolic procedures applied to food </li></ul><ul><li>It participates in the social construction of food stuffs </li></ul>
  37. 40. 4. The food habits
  38. 41. Table manners <ul><li>Eating with fingers : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indian method </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>African method </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creole method </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Eating with covers : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knife, spoons and forks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spoons and forks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spoons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Eating with chopsticks : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Individual chopsticks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Re-utilized chopsticks </li></ul></ul></ul>
  39. 42. Forms of meals
  40. 43. Put on display the Values <ul><li>The cuisine and table manners represent concretely the values of a society </li></ul>
  41. 44. A Chinese table
  42. 45. A table of the « French Grand Service » Main Course Middle Courses Appetisers
  43. 46. Organisation of the « French Grand Service » <ul><li>First service Second service Desserts </li></ul>
  44. 47. Plan <ul><li>Tourism and the valorization of heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Gastronomy versus food cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Forward “food studies” </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage and creativity </li></ul>
  45. 48. Forms of the food heritage <ul><li>Living heritage : </li></ul><ul><li>What we do in different parts of society or the different types of restaurants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The recording of traditional dishes and practices identified like such (books of receipts…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products, dishes, technical practices, food ways inventoried by the ethnographic investigation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sleeping heritage : </li></ul><ul><li>What we have done in the past, but we do not anymore </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written or oral history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forgotten products or practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex Pouls in the Limousin </li></ul></ul>
  46. 49. Forms of the food heritage <ul><li>Constructed heritage : </li></ul><ul><li>What is in the spirit of… a cuisine or a way of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The magret of duck in France </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The samoussa with cheese   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The duck with vanilla </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Give me only one tradition which will not begin one day… </li></ul>
  47. 50. The slow development of “terroir” <ul><li>&quot;Although one can dine in Paris, the real eating happens only in France's provinces. The delicious variety of dishes and wines .. the tasty recipes religiously passed on from one generation to the next constitute a treasure for each region of France, each one of an entirely unexpected, incredible diversity. ...&quot; (Brun, 1928). </li></ul>
  48. 51. The birth of terroir <ul><li>1790, impact de la départementalisation émergence de la littérature culinaire régionale (Le cuisinier Durand, Burlinger, l’Ailoli Mistral et le félibrige…) La cuisine comme résistance des identités régionales à la construction nationale </li></ul><ul><li>1920 L’inventaire du trésor gastronomique français Austin de Croze </li></ul><ul><li>1950 Le salons des arts ménagers </li></ul><ul><li>1980 La nouvelle cuisine de terroir </li></ul><ul><li>1984 Début des inventaires régionaux et </li></ul><ul><li>du CNAC </li></ul><ul><li>2006 Les cuisines européennes </li></ul>
  49. 52. The entry by the products <ul><li>New uses </li></ul><ul><li>New associations </li></ul><ul><li>Products or practices coming from one component of the culture and moved to another </li></ul><ul><li>Food of exception ( snake, dog… ) </li></ul><ul><li>Forgotten products </li></ul><ul><li>Game between the popular level and the gastronomical </li></ul>
  50. 53. The entry by the techniques <ul><li>Techniques of cooking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zambrokal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cari </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Samoussa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shopsue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Techniques of sauce </li></ul><ul><li>Le boucanage </li></ul>
  51. 54. The entry by the practices at the table <ul><li>Dressing and service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plates and/or dishes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of the containers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To the interbreeding and their evocation of table manners </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of conviviality </li></ul>
  52. 55. The entry by the culture <ul><li>A cultural speech on the products and the practices constitute in itself an innovation which installs the gastronomical experience in a new context of significances </li></ul><ul><li>Case of the training of the speech on the wine   </li></ul><ul><li>The reflexivity </li></ul><ul><li>Go Play with the code </li></ul><ul><li>Malaysian cuisines are like a window open to the Asian world </li></ul><ul><li>Malaysian cuisine like an entry in the history of the great discoveries </li></ul><ul><li>Malaysian cuisine like an entry in the history of colonization </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  53. 58. Objectives of research on food studies for tourism <ul><li>To look further into the knowledge of the local food cultures (work of historians, ethnologists, sociologists and cooks…) and to support their development </li></ul><ul><li>To take into account the food cultures of the tourists origins remaining in the zone (Erita for french Ministry of tourism) </li></ul><ul><li>To continue the development of products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dishes, context of consumption, historical card-indexes, (restaurant, table of host…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foodstuff souvenirs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products for export </li></ul></ul>
  54. 59. Reasons to study food cultures A good knowledge of food cultures Improves welcome Facilitates access to French Gastronomy Allows the exportation of French food stuffs In France Abroad By training By information Through trade
  55. 60. <ul><li>Ethnic restaurants in the country of origin </li></ul><ul><li>Store and super market «ethnic products  » </li></ul><ul><li>Internet sales (ex colis pays…) </li></ul><ul><li>Cooking at home dishes discovered in the visited country </li></ul>After <ul><li>Restaurants, hosts tables </li></ul><ul><li>Markets and store of food </li></ul><ul><li>Guides </li></ul><ul><li>Invitations at home </li></ul><ul><li>Food souvenirs </li></ul>During <ul><li>Tourist guides </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic restaurants in the country of origin </li></ul><ul><li>Television programs </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments through parents or friends </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments with the Diaspora </li></ul>Before spaces of valorization The number of trip
  56. 61. Conclusion <ul><li>The food studies can be useful: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To help the tourists to understand a culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To develop high identity products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To develop creativity in gastronomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To relocalize and diffuse the benefits of tourism activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To develop collective labels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To develop protected food appellation products </li></ul></ul>
  57. 62. <ul><li>Food particularities will change social status… To become a means to get into contact with the culture of others and , therefore, to become one of the sharpest interests of the desire to travel » Léo Moulin, L’Europe à Table, 1975 </li></ul>
  58. 63. More <ul><li>Guy Fontaine et Jean-Pierre Poulain, Dir., Le tourisme dans les départements d’Outre Mer , 2002, Lanore. </li></ul><ul><li>Jean-Pierre Poulain, Sociologies de l’alimentation , PUF, 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Jean-Pierre Poulain et Edmond Neirinck, Histoire de la cuisine et des cuisiniers, Lanore, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Jean-Pierre Poulain, « French gastronomie, french gastronomies », in Goldstein D. et Merkele K., 2005, Culinary cultures of Europe Identity, Diversity and dialogue , Éditions du Conseil de l’Europe, p. 157-170. </li></ul><ul><li>Laurence Tibère et Jean-Pierre Poulain, « Découverte des saveurs créoles : l’expérience Villages créoles à La Réunion » , Pour , sept. 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Laurence Tibère, 2005-2, « Nourritures créoles. Cuisines symboliques et identités à La Réunion », in Cuisines en partage , Diaspora n°6. </li></ul><ul><li>Philip McLaughlin, Jean-Pierre Poulain, Laurence Tibère, 2003, « Tourisme et altérité alimentaire », Espaces . N°202 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>