"Gastronomy is the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine. Modern gastronomy has its roots in several French texts published in the 1800s, but the idea of relating food, science, society, and the arts has been around much longer. True gastronomy is a demanding multidisciplinary art examining food itself along with its context, presentation, freshness, and history. While commonly associated with gourmets and gluttony, gastronomy is actually its own discipline, although some gourmets are certainly gastronomes, as are some gluttons.
The principle of gastronomy is that food is a science, in addition to an art form. By understanding how all of the senses contribute to an experience, a gastronome can more completely understand what is happening when a consumer claims to dislike or enjoy a particular food item. Gastronomy also examines the sociological implications of food, along with integrating other social science disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. The role of food in the fine arts such as performance art, painting, and sculpture is also examined, as part of a closer look at the role of food in society in general." source
This is not the place to discuss whether being a glutton prevents one from being a gourmet.
"A gastronome looks are how fresh the food is, how it is prepared, which flavors are used, how it is presented, if the colors of the food blend on the plate and what the overall message of the food appears to be. However, the gastronome also looks more deeply at the food, examining the cultural influences which contributed to that particular plate of food, the science behind it, and the history."
Click here to view the gastronome quotation in context. When did you last enjoy bourbon ravioli? What would you do with it? Answer here.
The in-depth reader will find more on gastronomy here. Hospitality professionals are addressed. Brush-up your gastronomy free here. Visit UNESCO City of Gastronomy here. Universities. On air.
This theoretical framework, which I’ll briefly illustrate, puts gastronomy - what and how we eat - as “the starting place of trades, the target of the marketplace, the object of philosophy”,to mention Australian writer Michael Symons. (more on him later) Within this perspective, gastronomy is the pursuit of the best reflective possible eating and drinking in a mood and it implies “a paramount work towards how communities can evolve socially and economically, keeping an econutritional commitment to environmental sustainability and community’s members optimal health”. In this context, both general and gastronomic tourism, and their impact on the life of communities represent a challenging issue for Gastronomy Studies. This is certainly an unconventional approach because until now gastronomy has been seen as a topic of tourism research and not vice versa. .....
It’s conventionally accepted that gastronomy tourism has been generated by the so called post modernity, an era in which tourism has increasingly moved away from the “four S” (sea, sun, sand and sex). It has been in postmodern times that the “gastrotourism” has rapidly developed and reached a sort of defined identity within special interests and cultural tourism. This has happened in coincidence with the evolution, in the last two decades, of a part of the gastronomy sector (quality independent restaurants and culinary establishments), towards the parameters of cultural industries. For instance, there is a number of staggering similarities between a publishing house and an independent restaurant, .... .
Depending on interest expressed, the topic can be developed before the lecture.
National gastronomy -go to the series external page here.
Gastro-identifers or, perhaps sounding more professional, "gastro-lietmotif"s
One aspect of the meal is symphony. A meal is a composition with, perhaps, more than one movement. The courses on the menu are culinary movements within which the (poetry) stanza is " typically referred to as a verse ". Various cuisines can be used or the meal can be set within one cuisine. If sauerkraut is accepted as the national gastro-identifier for Germany, we can use music to help with an appropriate term. In-depth readers, even listeners, more here.
You may have completed a questionnaire here. We can consider the gastro-lietmotif (s) of each country represented at the lecture.
People thinking about going abroad or elsewhere in their own country who are interested in "foreign food" may well start with dishes and drinks which identify their likes and dislikes. Every profession has its specialised language and jargon. Readers are likely to go into the hospitality professions and hospitality includes tourism. "Gastro-identifiers", "national dishes" and "national drinks" are less romantic as terms than gastro-lietmotif and it can be combined into the one word. The intention is not so much to launch the term within the public domain as use a term with interesting connotations. In time, it might be shortened to lietmotif. Time will tell.
As we progress though the exercise, it is more and more apparent that photos of national dishes, in many cases, need "prompters" as to origin. Restaurateurs ensure that their theme events are augmented with the appropriate music.
When we research the drink aspects, the right glasses help us to see what is apparent.
Need a drink? Click here, otherwise, proceed to here.
Research them to see the many variations in recipes and, sometimes, the more than one countries associated with specific dishes.
Also note that often, if you don't know a dish, a photo is not much help.
Would you like to relax and receive help? It is here.
More on cuisines - national and regional
Let's look at Lists A & B again and compare them with a much longer list.
aux mille senteurs bourgeoise
minceur moleculaire paysanne
parfumée réussie sans frontierès
Lists A & B are in smaller text, as you have seen them here. To explore the new list, find Alan Davidson's "Oxford Companion to Food" on your shelf (a beautiful and essential resource for food-devotees and food-professionals) or in the library. I refer to the Tom Jaine edition here, page xxv.
Other useful books include:
Cambridgeworldhistoryoffood, ed. Kenneth F. Kiple, 2 vols, 2000
Encyclopedia of food and culture, Solomon H. Katz, 3 vols, 2003
More on cuisines - breadcrumbs
"Breadcrumbs speak to your inner six-year-old who only wants to eat fish fingers".
If you haven't seen that before, read the left column here.
Veal esalopes in breadcrumbs were popular on UK menus within the context of haute cuisine until c 1970.
Can the use of breadcrumbs be used as a national gastro-identifier or lietmotif?
Batter makes the practical cuisine aspects more simple. Does social class make any difference to the use of either batter or breadrumbs? Why is batter prevalent in the UK? In France? How far north do you need to travel for this? How out-of-date is this?
"A basic rice diet can be seen in some form or other in India, China, Indonesia and Japan." W K Bode. "England and America are two countries separated by the same language." Bernard Shaw here.
"India, China, Indonesia and Japan are four countries separated by their versions of the same fried rice." Aunt Sally "England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are four countries united by the ubiquitous sameness of fish and chips." Aunt Sally.
Prepare for an interesting task. Paper and ruler or a Word document. Study the page and categorise the dishes according to use of batter, breadcrumbs. Record other characteristics. Here is your target. Then compare with other items such as Kiev and Kromeski.
More on cuisines - frogs
Most of us on the gastro-psychiatrist's couch during a word-association session, when given the word "frogs" would reply "France". They have been eaten by Americans since the 1880s and were eaten by humans 5000 years ago.
More when you use the search facility here. The piece focuses on frogs in Australia. Consider culture and cuisine. Move forward with Goody.
Chef Louis Saulnier reported in
War I, “epicures generally appreciate them” (Saulnier, 1982: 81). In the world of
gastronomy, the French language has long been useful in giving recipes a certain
cachet. The great Escoffier of the Carlton Hotel in London used the word
menus, because it was preferable to the ‘more vulgar’ term frog.
Nymphes a l’aurore
For various reasons, I thought it best, in the past, to substitute the mythological
name “Nymphs” for the more vulgar term “Frogs” on menus .....
... it would be more accurate to say that we,
the Royal and English ‘we’, normally don’t eat frogs at all. This preference (or lack of
it) is an old one. In 1542 English traveller and writer Andrew Boorde (1490–1549)
was horrified at the practice of Lombards, who ate frogs “guttes and all” (in
Davidson, 2006: 321).
In culinary terms, the frog sits ‘on the fence’. There is evidence in Europe that humans ate them more than 5000 years ago, in the Neolithic period .....
Consumers and providers
Diners looking for a meal out of their national range, explore cuisines. With providers in mind, it's not so simple.
Gastrotourism provider A is a one-chef band unlikely to advertise in the New York Times. The chef-patron knows his clientele and creates accordingly. Can a basic knowledge of gastronomy be put to good use?
Gastrotourism provider B is part of a large company likely to advertise in the New York Times. B could be a paid employee of an international hotel/restaurant chain being told what to put on the menu at what price. Worse still, there is a cuisine manual with precise instructions on the cooking of each dish. How can the chain put gastronomy to good use? Discuss.
Please let me know of any other culture in which any national gastronomical "beastie" is brought into the room to the wail of loud, strange music and slit open with a small knife carried in someone's sock. Before its demise, it is shouted at in language hardly anyone present understands. That over, it is returned to the kitchen to be dismembered for all to enjoy in the dining hall.
What is this?
This lietmotif might help. Slitting the haggis takes a wee while.
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