This book examines the history, archaeology, and anthropology of Mexican taste. Contributors analyze how the contemporary identity of Mexican food has been created and formed through concepts of taste, and how this national identity is adapted and moulded through change and migration.
Drawing on case studies with a focus on Mexico, but also including Israel and the United States, the contributors examine how local and national identities, the global market of gastronomic tourism, and historic transformations in trade,
production, the kitchen space and appliances shape the taste of Mexican food and drink.
Chapters include an exploration of the popularity of Mexican beer in the United States by Jeffrey M. Pilcher, an examination of the experience of eating chapulines in Oaxaca by
Paulette Schuster and Jeffrey H. Cohen, an investigation into transformations of contemporary Yucatecan gastronomy by
Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz, and an afterword from Richard Wilk.
Together, the contributors demonstrate how taste itself is shaped through a history of social and cultural practices.
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About the Author
Steffen Igor Ayora-Diaz is Professor of Anthropology at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Mexico. He was formerly President of the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. He is author of Foodscapes, Foodfields and Idenitities in Yucatan (2012), and editor of Cooking Technology (2016).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vii
Notes on Contributors viii
Introduction: Matters of Taste: The Politics of Food and Identity in Mexican Cuisines Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán 1
Part 1 Tasting the Past in Mexican Foods
1 A Touch of Pre-Columbian Maya Flavor Lilia Fernández Souza, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán 21
2 Gastronomy and the Origins of Republicanism in Mexico Sarah Bak-Geller Corona, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México 37
3 Alcohol Consumption Patterns among Different Social Groups during Yucatáns Gilded Age Héctor Hernández Alvarez Guadalupe Cámara Gutiérrez, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán 51
4 The Flavors of Corn: A Unique Combination of Tradition and Nature Mario Fernández-Zarza, Universidad de Sevilla Ignacio López-Moreno, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana 67
Part 2 The Identity and Politics of Mexican Foods- and the Politics of Identity
5 A Taste for Agave: The Emerging Practices and Politics of Mezcal Connoisseurship Ronda L. Brulotte, University of New Mexico 83
6 Making and Changing Yucatecan Taste in Yucatán: Innovation and Persistence in Yucatecan Gastronomy Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán 101
7 The Life Delicious: Taste and Politics in Mérida, Yucatáan Gabriela Vargas-Cetina, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán 115
8 To Eat Chapulines in Oaxaca, Mexico: One Food, Many Flavors Jeffrey H Cohen, The Ohio State University, and Paulette Kershenovich Schuster; AMILAT, Open University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 131
Part 3 Taste and Displacement: Mexican Food in the World of Consumption
9 The Taste of Oaxaca: It's to Die For! Ramona L. Pérez, San Diego State University 147
10 Dos Equis and Five Rabbit: Beer and Taste in Greater Mexico Jeffrey M. Pilcher, University of Toronto 161
11 Diffused Palates: The Evolution of Culinary Tastes of Jewish Mexicans Living in Israel Paulette Kershenovich Schuster, AMILAT, Open University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 175
12 Defining Sanitized Taste and Culinary Tourism in Cozumel, Mexico Christine Vassallo-Oby, State University of New York-Albany 191
Postface: Is there Mexican Food? Taste and the Politics of Cultural Identity Richard Wilk, Indiana University 207