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Typicality in History / La typicité dans l’histoire

Tradition, Innovation, and Terroir / Tradition, innovation et terroir


Edited By Giovanni Ceccarelli, Alberto Grandi and Stefano Magagnoli

Typical food is an in-vogue topic, embodying issues such as current trends in food globalization and European Union policies on agriculture and trade. It is, however, striking how little is known about its history. This book, inspired by the conference La tipicità nella storia: tradizione, innovazione, territorio, held in Parma and Langhirano in 2010, is an attempt to fill this gap. It includes essays by historians, sociologists, economists and experts in the food industry, who cover a wide range of products (wine, cheese, chocolate, cider), across a broad geographic scope (from France to Costa Rica and Norway) and time frame (from the Middle Ages to the present day). Besides the crucial issue of when and why the link between food and place of origin emerged, the contributors look at interactions between physical terroir and human savoir- faire and also between industrial innovation and traditional skills. Typicality is usually considered as a bottom-up process but the role of institutional protection is also examined. Designation of origin can be seen as a qualitative safeguard for food production, yet its influence on consumers’ choices is emphasized as well. In its approach, this multi-faceted book questions the oversimplified idea of typicality arising from a vaguely defined traditional food heritage. In 2010, the editors of this book founded the Food Lab, a research laboratory on food history based in the Department of Economics at the University of Parma.

This book contains articles in English and French.


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PART III TYPICAL PRODUCTS, TERROIR AND TOURISM TROISIÈME PARTIE PRODUITS TYPIQUES, TERROIR ET TOURISME 285 The Strategic Building of Typicality Learning from the Comparative History of Three French Sparkling Vineyards Christian BARRÈRE OMI, Université de Reims The very unique sound that a Harley Davidson makes comes from the design of the 45-degree “V-Twin” cylinder engine. It is what creates this unique “potato potato” sound. Honda also made a 45-degree “V- Twin” that was more powerful, but as “it didn’t sound like a Harley” its sales were bad; so Honda regressed and made a similar single crank-pin design sounding more like a Harley. The bike was called the Shadow American Classic Edition (ACE). Thus Honda sought to profit by the identification of the Harley sound with the Harley myth and to convince consumers that a Honda bike also carries a free spirit, a counterculture and a camaraderie image. It borrowed from typicality, the Harley typicality. The case was so serious that Honda and Harley went to court, with Harley seeking a trademark on the sound. In the nineties a food manufacturer (the International Food Company) put on the market products under the brand Principauté de Seborga. The packaging had been made to make consumers believe that the products were linked to an old historical and typical heritage. Seborga is a little old Italian city that belonged to the French Republic, to the Sardinian Kingdom, to Italy, throughout a disturbed history, and in 1963 declared its independence as the micro-nation...

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