“Lets do Thai”: Exploring Thai culture through multi-sensory food experiences t
Thai cuisine is one of the most recognised cuisines in the world. Through successive campaigns, the Thai government has been highly successful in positioning its national cuisine internationally to create a strong culinary brand identity. Indeed, the world has been invited to “discover Thainess” through enjoying Thai cuisine. But eating Thai food is only one of many ways of experiencing Thainess through cuisine. Drawing on recent research on gastronomy tourism in Thailand, this presentation will consider other ways in which Thai culture can be experienced through food. In this presentation, the synergistic relationship between gastronomy as an expression of the culinary arts and creativity, innovation and design will be explored from an integrated cluster approach in which territorial assets, including cultural, heritage and historical traditions (food, crafts, folklore, visual arts, drama, literary references, and historical sites), and natural resources (landscapes, flora, fauna, physical, and social spheres of production), come together in a place-based approach that capitalises on the distinct local characteristics that define a particular place and imbue its food with cultural meaning and terroir. Particular consideration will be given to the aesthetics of rice in Thai cuisine and culture as a means of understanding Thainess. It will be argued that to utilise food as a means for understanding Thai culture through its cuisine, one needs to also understand (not just eat) rice in all its cultural manifestations.
Tracy Berno is an Associate Professor at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include the relationship between agriculture, tourism and cuisine, sustainable food systems and food politics. She has researched and published on agriculture, culture, cuisine and tourism in the South Pacific and Asia, and has co-authored two international award-winning books in this area, including one (Me’a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific) which won best cookbook in the world award in 2010.
be read and experienced through food? cultural traditions an
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my paper. I hope you are al enjoying the covidium!
Hi Tracy. Very interesting paper. Just curious. What are Wisansing and Vongvisitsin in Thai gastronomy tourism? Are they academics? Tourism people? This made me interested in how Thai tourism operates, as as you said, they have been successful in their promotion of Thai cuisine.
Sounds like an event I would have loved to be at - I am interested in the conjuncture of food and performance and would have loved to have seen the dance interpretations in particular and how they differ from - for want of a better word - folk dancing of Thai culture centered on food, as it is in so many other cultures, my own knowledge being of - again for want of a better word - village dances around the cycle of rice growing in Sri Lanka.
A "co-created journey" resonates with me, when it comes to gastronomic tourism... participation is key to truly experiencing another culture, it's cuisine and history.
Insightful. Well done, Tracy. Can't wait to listen to your keynote speech during the Philippine Research Conference on Tourism and Hospitality on 12 November 2020. Maraming salamat.
Hi Tracey, the 2nd pillar- story of food- is really hitting me as food (and its consumption) really contains stories and even anecdotes that has more significant meaning. I am a David Thompson fan and I appreciate that he was cited as it seems to me that Thai cuisine cannot be be discussed without his contribution. I look forward to "meeting" you or reading more of your work.
Someone should really have a word to the Australian Federal Govt. about the four pillars :-) Really enjoyable paper, and a thoughtful insight into what is possible in Gastronomic tourism...if you had a well-supported Arts sector of course...
Thank you Tracey. The notion of a 'journey' co-created by the tourist and the host community reminds me of other types of narrative eg children's picture books, where the interwoven story told through word and illustration is completed by the reader in their interpretation.