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Food, Space, and Place in a Global Society

Edited By Carlnita P. Greene

Foodscapes explores the nexus of food, drink, space, and place, both locally and globally. Multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary in scope, scholars consider the manifold experiences that we have when engaging with food, drink, space, and place. They offer a wide array of theories, methods, and perspectives, which can be used as lenses for analyzing these interconnections, throughout each chapter. Scholars interrogate our practices and behaviors with food within spaces and places, analyze the meanings that we create about these entities, and demonstrate their wider cultural, political, social, economic, and material implications.

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13. Touring Taste and Place: A Performance of Tongues, Terroir, and Taters (David Szanto)


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13.  Touring Taste and Place: A Performance of Tongues, Terroir, and Taters


An uncountable set of elements contributes to our experience of food and food systems, making the study and description of such things a process that continually evades completion. One response is to try to stabilize our knowledge about those elements, or to converge on definitions and meanings. Yet as in all ecologies, the components of food systems are interactive, and therefore produce effects and transformations within each other. As the anthropologist James Clifford has said of world cultures, the things that comprise food systems “do not hold still for their portraits.”1 When we try to capture and then define them, it contradicts their dynamic nature, leading to “simplification and exclusion, selection of a temporal focus, the construction of a particular self-other relationship, and the imposition or negotiation of a power relationship.”2 Instead, if we were to interact with our food concepts, it might let us understand them in more relational ways and then, perhaps, depict them with less “imposition” of scholarly authority.

This chapter explores such relationality when it comes to taste and place. It is specifically aimed at, if not answering, then responding to certain questions that underpin other, broader discourses within food: When and where does taste occur? How does place come to be, and what does it comprise? What do taste and place exclude, and can they be measured...

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