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‘Tickling the Palate’

Gastronomy in Irish Literature and Culture


Edited By Máirtin Mac Con Iomaire and Eamon Maher

This volume of essays, which originated in the inaugural Dublin Gastronomy Symposium held in the Dublin Institute of Technology in June 2012, offers fascinating insights into the significant role played by gastronomy in Irish literature and culture.
The book opens with an exploration of food in literature, covering figures as varied as Maria Edgeworth, James Joyce, Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton, John McGahern and Sebastian Barry. Other chapters examine culinary practices among the Dublin working classes in the 1950s, offering a stark contrast to the haute cuisine served in the iconic Jammet’s Restaurant; new trends among Ireland’s ‘foodie’ generation; and the economic and tourism possibilities created by the development of a gastronomic nationalism. The volume concludes by looking at the sacramental aspects of the production and consumption of Guinness and examining the place where it is most often consumed: the Irish pub.
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There has been a gradual but noticeable growth in scholarship concerning food globally, particularly in the last decade. One of the longest running and most influential forces behind this phenomenon is the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery (1981–present) which was originally founded and co-chaired by Alan Davidson, pre-eminent food historian, diplomat, and author of The Oxford Companion to Food, and Dr Theodore Zeldin, the celebrated social historian of France. This spawned a dedicated publishing house, Prospect Books, which published the conference proceedings and also the journal Petits Propos Culinaires (PPC), now approaching its 100th issue. Prospect Books boast an impressive catalogue of monographs, translations, conference proceedings and collections of essays around the subject of food and cookery. Petits Propos Culinaires was joined by other journals interested in food and culture including Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture (University of California Press); Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (published on behalf of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS)); Food and Foodways (Taylor & Francis); Food and History (biannual scientific review of the Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation/European Institute for the History and Culture of Food (IEHCA)); Journal of Culinary Science & Technology (Taylor & Francis); and, most recently, the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science (AZTI-Tecnalia/Elsevier).

A number of the University Presses (Oxford, Columbia, Chicago, California) have added food collections to their catalogues, and other publishing houses such as Bloomsbury, Berg,...

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