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Thoughts on Lucy Long's "Culinary Tourism"

posted Feb 25, 2013, 2:38 PM by
Jade Parry is a UF student currently enrolled in Gender and Food Politics, a course that seeks to provide a historical context for contemporary environmental and anti-globalization activism within the European Union, in the European colonial encounters in North Africa and Asia, and in modern-day nations of South and Southeast Asia and North America.

    Lucy Long defines Culinary Tourism as the “intentional, exploratory participation in the foodways of another- participation including the consumption, preparation, and presentation of a food item, cuisine, meal system, or eating style considered to belong to culinary system not one’s own” (21). This could mean something as drastic and exciting as traveling to Italy and immersing yourself in the culture by slowing down and enjoying a two-hour long, eight-course meal with handmade pasta and never ending glasses of table wine, or finding a local café in your own town that offers only vegetarian items-some of which contain ingredients you’ve never heard of. Long introduces the idea of the “other” which could include variations in culture, region, time, ethos/religion and socioeconomic class. We as consumers, “intentionally consume an other because [we] are curious” or because we “want to authenticate an experience by relishing it” (45). Food provides for us a more intimate way of experiencing another culture. It involves smell, taste, feeling, emotion, and possibly a degree of discomfort. As slow foodies, we relish in the uncomfortable, and eventually the “other” because familiar and sometimes a new part of our culture. For many, the Slow Food movement and the culture behind it is an “other.” But we try and make the ideas and values behind it available and universal to our neighbors because as Lucy Long states, “the act of eating offers a way to share our basic humanity, while also acknowledging and negotiating our differential identities.”