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Presentation
Food as Intangible Cultural Heritage
Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), Informing Possibilities for the Future of Food and Agriculture
  • Lucy Long, Bowling Green State University
  • Ken Albala, University of the Pacific
  • Fabio Parasecoli, New York University
  • Richard Wilk, Indiana University
  • Lisa Heldke, Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Jane Kauer, University of Pennsylvania
  • Krishnendu Ray, New York University
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Department
History
Location
Penn State College, University Park, PA
Conference Dates
May 28-31, 2009
Date of Presentation
5-15-2009
Disciplines
Abstract
In Jan. 2009, a news report of the Tuscan town of Lucca banishing “ethnic” foods from its town center raised numerous responses among food enthusiasts and scholars. Suggested as a way to “safeguard culinary traditions and...authenticity...,” the ban seemed to reflect racism and xenophobia, and an attempt to canonize a particular definition of the town’s identity and heritage. The ban, however, can also be interpreted as an attempt to establish coherent city planning or thematic tourism utilizing a specific view of local history and culture. This roundtable explores the implications of such attempts to preserve and promote culinary traditions. Food is an integral part of cultural heritage, carrying beliefs, ethos, history and memory. It is both material, having physical presence in the foodstuff itself as well as in farming and cooking implements and architecture, clothing, artistic renderings, books, and so on connected to it; and intangible, consisting of knowledge, skills, performances, attitudes and beliefs. It can be argued then that food traditions from the past should be preserved and protected as part of Intangible Cultural Heritage, a phrase used by UNESCO. Participants will discuss the issues surrounding such preservation, possibly posing more questions than answers.
Citation Information
Lucy Long, Ken Albala, Fabio Parasecoli, Richard Wilk, et al.. "Food as Intangible Cultural Heritage" Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), Informing Possibilities for the Future of Food and Agriculture (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ken-albala/50/