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. . .National Gastronomy


National Gastronomy

The main pages in this series are Cuisine & Culture 1 here with Overview Contents here
                                                       Cuisine & Culture 2
                                                       Gastrotourism 1 here Go to textual context via To Gastrotourism 1
                                                       Gastrotourism 2 here

Ancillary pages, Updates and Aims  here.



Gastronomy of a nation - 1986

Since 1986


The family


Body types


National cuisine definition


The up-dated model


Nutrition education

Body types

More on nutrition education

Health education and food


Determining what a nation eats and drinks is a combination of collecting the data and looking at the shape of the data. This page looks at the influences on how, rather than what people, consume en masse.  Mass is of interest when looking at the shape of people.

National cuisine operates within the principle outlined

In the context of why we eat what we eat, here is my model of national gastronomy created in 1986:


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Since 1986, the white space has been filled with more on human physiology and national cuisine. Revisions were made to it in 2011 and It is updated to better fit the wider context. The 2011 model is shown

Now that a new call on the website has been made (February 2012), it has not been possible to retype the model. Partly due to the legibility of the version seen later, we address components before looking at it. We begin with cultural factors as seen in 1986. Blue text shows additions since 1986 It is not possible within my website-skill level just now, to put that on the external page here. which probably spins between Mars and Jupiter.


Traditions & taboos
Knowledge of food
Nutrition education (click ***)

Legal requirements
Provision of school meals
milk …?

Restrictions on:
The sale of liquor
The types of liquor
Age of consumption
The lack of restriction
on the price of liquor
encourages binge-

Distribution of the popu-
lation over the class
system. Work patterns.
Entertainment. Values
Facts such as the decline in
the family as the basic
unit in Western society.

Distribution of the popul-
ation according to origin

Work-leisure ratios.
Food as entertainment.
*** See below later re nutrition education

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Under "Economic Considerations" is "The Family":

The money available for the purchase of food. The proportion of income spent on food. The food chosen.
The increase in UK foreign travel during the last three decades has widened the range of foreign
dishes which
appear on household and restaurant tables. Read reports which update this.

Little religious influence on UK gastronomy except within ethnic groups.

Body types and metabolism

This topic is not crucial to the present context. See note later or now if it's a matter of legibility.

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This is a new component to the 1986 model. "National Cuisine" is introduced in the context of:

The cultural factors above

The national cuisine is the sum of ethnic, regional, fashionistic etc cuisines. "fashionistic" includes “Nouvelle Cuisine” in its day and “Molecular

Gastronomy” more

Wiki defines cuisine as

“ … a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture.
It is often named after the region or place where its underlining culture is present. A cuisine is
primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious
laws can also exercise a strong influence on cuisine.”

To derive a working definition of national cuisine is easy:

National cuisine is a specific set of cooking traditions and practices associated with a specific nation. A national cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws can also exercise a strong influence on national cuisine.

Additions to the 1986 model are shown in blue text. The darker shade of blue text is a quotation.

All blue text you read now is on the revised model in space if you want it again
here before looking at it on this page.


Gastronomy moves on from this type of coverage in the present context. Although gastronomes are peripheral to national cuisine, they are nevertheless in the model. This is a rare reason:

Being a gastron­ome in the 21st century means first and foremost only eating and drinking enough to satisfy your hunger and thirst. ..”

The quotation is from The Chaine des Rotisseurs Magazine, December 2010, p 130. You could see if it is justified by sampling from

The matter of health education and food is taken up here.

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The updated model


see here near Jupiter

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Nutrition education

The reason for including body-type in the national model concerns the proportion of overweight people in a specific nation. Readers can say that the nation next door is fatter than theirs. Stereotyping demands careful attention if you study pages such as
this. However, more than fifty percent of adults are overweight. Is it the national cuisine or national gastronomy at fault? Does the national cuisine create the demand for fattening foods or do fat folk create a national cuisine which suits them? Discuss.

In the UK context, at least, too many Brits are devoted to plain food and plain plates and would eat everything if stacked
to the ceilling.

Because it is an English gastro-lietmotif, this picture is typical of what you see in average restaurants, and, in this case, probably pubs in the summer.

Comment cannot be passed on the average domestic plateful but if restaurateurs etc are market-aware, they
certainly fulfil demand. There would be no point in decorated plates. The only thing missing on this plate is five
slices of gravy. They may be in a jug which is not shown but is served to satisfy the UK craving for thick gravy.

It is a chicken-and-egg situation in relation to two ignorance conditions. The customers don't know what they
need but consider that plenty should be sufficient. The restaurateur cannot see that there is no real need to provide
such a plateful, in particular, the portion of meat note. There is more opportunity to change matters by providers
being in control. By gradually reducing the meat portion, at least, their consciences become more clear and their
profit could rise. Profit could rise initially as less meat is served, and later, because customers either realise what
is going on for their benefit or they become acclimatised and maintain their patronage.

The exception, of course, is the hot buffet where there is no carver in charge of the meat.

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Body types and metabolism

More legibility for what you see in the updated model:

If your metabolic rate is low, depending on your exercise level, the higher the tendency
to carry extra weight.

Sheldon (1898-1977) identified three people/body types:

1 The Endomorph has the tendency towards. plumpness
2 The Mesophorph has the tendency towards muscularity
3 The Ectomorph has the tendency towards slightness.

The lover of food is No. 1, No. 2 is assertive and No. 3 has a large brain. (Just one characteristic
among many for each type.)
Since, but not from 1977, [ie around when Sheldon wrote this]
the main dietary (therefore gastronomic) problem in Western society is

The Sheldon material is from here.

The light-blue text is not from the Sheldon site.

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Another note on nutrition education

Look at the situation since 1986.

"It is now well established that diet contributes to the probability of developing cardiovascular disease and
some cancers. In the UK, 17% of men and 20% of women are obese and over half the adult population is
overweight. Obesity is associated with increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes."

That governmental quotation is from "Getting to grips with grub"concerning 14 - 16 Year olds. There will be more of that type of discussion according to interest.


The food purchases of a dozen or so nations point to their national cuisines

herebut don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Data included there is not verified.

Health education and food

For background information, look at  " .. .. Implications for the National Diet" via the Chapter 8 link here.  More via the Chapter 1 link here.
The UK nation's health has been looked at as follows:

Educational Catering's Failure

        . . Food Education and School Meals . . 

There is overlap.

One county in the UK which is definitely ahead of others is Gloucestershire.  Go to its Food Hall here. A lot of work has been done so please give feedback and say you saw the site on this website.

More on health education and food can be supplied according to interest via the Contact page.


 If you happen to find your way to this picture on the website, the page needs a lot of updating.
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The doggy-bag syndrome: fat cats, dogs and people

Research assistants required. Must like dogs and dog food. Report to your nearest kennels.

Read the text.

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