Culinary Encounters

Michael Dietler

in Archaeologies of Colonialism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520265516
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947948 | DOI:
Culinary Encounters

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Food is a domain of social life that presents what should be an obvious target for investigation in seeking to understand the operation of colonialism. It is not simply a convenient index of change in colonial situations; it is an agent of change as well. And the changes produced are not confined to the semiotics of consumption: they have had a major impact on the political economy of all the societies engaged in these encounters, creating a web of profound entanglements. In ancient Mediterranean France, the possibilities for major transfers of basic food ingredients were limited. That is because well before the colonial encounter the basic global repertoires of cereal crops and domestic animals were already quite similar for indigenous societies and Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans. This chapter explores culinary encounters in Mediterranean France. First, it discusses cross-cultural consumption and the indigenization of exotic foods. It then considers the social aspects of alcohol, focusing on wine, entanglement, and the colonial political economy. Finally, it looks at other foods and foodways, cooking techniques, and dining practices in ancient Mediterranean France.

Keywords: Mediterranean France; colonial encounter; food; colonialism; political economy; social life; culinary encounters; consumption; exotic foods; wine

Chapter.  32440 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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