authenticity, exoticism, and categories of recommendation"
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Abstract:In their study of gourmet food writing, Johnston and Baumann (2007) argue that for foodies, food is legitimised when it can be framed as authentic or exotic. They cite four attributes used to construct authenticity–geographic specificity, simplicity, personal connection and historicism (tradition)–and categorise as exotic foods which in some way fall outside the mainstream, challenge accepted norms or are difficult to obtain. This paper argues that underlying these frames of authenticity and exoticism are more fundamental values which food writers draw on to validate their choices and underpin their concept of legitimate taste. These are the eight ‘principles of recommendation’ which Warde (1997) identified from his study of the way recipes were promoted in women’s magazines and which he grouped into four pairs of antinomies–novelty/tradition, health/indulgence, economy/extravagance, and, care/convenience. Warde claims that these are the eight categories of judgement regularly used to guide practical conduct and aesthetic appreciation and demonstrated how the relative importance of these principles of recommendation varied over time. Authenticity and exoticism then can be read as the manifestation of the current tension between these opposites.
Alison Vincent has qualifications in science (BSc, Food Technology, UNSW) and history (BA, MLitt, UNE) and a PhD from Central Queensland University. She is a student of Australia’s food culture, with research interests including restaurant criticism and the role of restaurant criticism in establishing standards of good taste, the social history of dining out and the history of writing about food in Australia. Some of the results of her research have been published in Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, Proceedings of the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium, TEXT (Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs), Lilith: A Feminist History Journal and The Journal of Australian Studies.Contact email – firstname.lastname@example.org