A Preview of the Gastronomica/SOAS Distinguished Lecture “Changing Tastes: The Effects of Eating Out”

Since 2014, Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies has partnered with University of London’s SOAS Food Studies Centre to co-sponsor a Distinguished Lecture Series for leading scholars, students, journalists, practitioners and members of the public to engage in critical conversations about the nature of food, the interconnectivity of contemporary food systems, the role of food in daily life, and emerging trends in food studies.

In advance of the next event on March 21, Alan Warde, Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester and Professorial Fellow of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI), offers readers a sneak peak of his upcoming lecture, “Changing Tastes: The Effects of Eating Out” 


There continues to be some suspicion of the catering trade, that its products may be bad for health, may waste the money of the poorer sections of the population, and may erode the bonds of the family. In this, it is part of wider concerns about the over-extension of markets and market logic into the realm of everyday life. Repairing to restaurants may entrench poor quality mass culture, reduce capacities for self-provisioning by eliminating cooking skills, and replace mutually enriching social interdependencies with impersonal and instrumental economic exchange.

In this talk I examine, in the light of a range of empirical evidence, what are the effects increases over recent decades in the habit of eating out. I explore how eating out has been affected by, but also how it mediates, the impact of major social, cultural, and economic changes. The focus is on the forces of globalization, commodification and aestheticization and their counter tendencies. I illustrate the talk with detailed evidence from a re-study of eating out in three English cities. In 1995 a survey and some interviews were conducted. These were repeated in 2015, allowing for systematic assessment of change over a 20 year period.

By examining how eating out in restaurants and the homes of family and friends has changed—how manners, menus, companionship, and mobility have evolved—I assess the impact of fundamental cultural and structural shifts on taste and the practice of eating. The talk will also address issues of method and of explanation of taste.


Alan Warde is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, a Professorial Fellow of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI). Research interests include the sociology of consumption, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of food and eating. Current projects are concerned with applying theories of practice to eating, analyzing change in eating behavior in Britain, and conducting a re-study of an earlier investigation of eating out in Britain.

The SOAS Food Studies Centre is an interdisciplinary centre dedicated to the study of the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of food, historically and in the contemporary moment, from production, to exchange, to preparation, to consumption. The Centre’s primary purposes are to promote research and teaching in the field of food studies at SOAS and to facilitate links between SOAS and other individuals and institutions with an academic interest in food studies.


The lecture will be held on March 21 from 6:00-8:00 PM at the​ Wolfson Lecture Theater, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), SOAS, University of London. The event is free and open to the public. However, we encourage all guests to register to guarantee a place.

Spring 2018, Volume 18 Number 1

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Spring 2018, Volume 18 Number 1

FROM THE EDITOR
Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

RESEARCH ARTICLES
Grocery Auction Games: Distribution and Value in the Industrialized Food System | Micah Marie Trapp

The Julia Child of Chinese Cooking, or the Fu Pei-mei of French Food? Comparative Contexts of Female Culinary Celebrity | Michelle T. King

Exploring the Christmas Eve Menu in Lawrence Durrell’s
Avignon Quintet | Merrianne Timko

Anti-Intellectualism and Natural Food: The Shared Language of Industry
and Activists in America since 1830 | Michael S. Kideckel

Rebelling Woman: Culinary Crime in Pedro Almodóvar’s ¿Qué he hecho
yo para merecer esto!! | Rebeca Maseda

(Re)tasting places | Liselotte Hedegaard

CRITICAL REFLECTION
The Offal Truth | Jake Young

VISUAL ESSAY
Who Harvests Our Food? The Indigenous Roots of a Migrant Farmworker—The Story of Gervasio Peña Lopez | David Bacon

REVIEWS
Chow Chop Suey: Food and the Chinese American Journey
By Anne Mendelson, Reviewed by E. N. Anderson

The Routledge History of Food
Edited by Carol Helstosky, Reviewed by Jacqueline Grady Smith

The Architecture of Taste
By Pierre Hermé, Reviewed by Ellen M. Ireland

Packaged Pleasures: How Technology and Marketing Revolutionized Desire
By Gary S. Cross and Robert N. Proctor, Reviewed by Zenia Malmer

Le sacre du roquefort: L’émergence d’une industrie agroalimentaire—Fin XVIII
siècle–1925
By Sylvie Vabre, Reviewed by Rengenier C. Rittersma

Mincemeat: The Education of an Italian Chef
By Leonardo Luceralli, Reviewed by Younes Saramifar

BOOKS AND FILMS RECEIVED

Winter 2017, Volume 17 Number 4

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Winter 2017, Volume 17 Number 4

FROM THE EDITOR
Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

CULINARY REVOLUTIONS: FOOD, HISTORY, AND IDENTITY IN RUSSIA AND EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE
Introduction: From Revolution to Globalization: Foodways in Russia and East-Central Europe | Mary Neuburger and Keith Livers

The Ethics and Politics of Diet: Tolstoy, Pilnyak, and the Modern Slaughterhouse | Ronald D. LeBlanc

From Fecal Briquettes to Candy Kremlins: The Edible Ideal in Sorokin’s
Prose | Keith Livers

Variations on a Shchi Theme: Collective Dining and Politics in the
Early USSR | François-Xavier Nérard

Dining in Utopia: A Taste of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast under
Socialism | Mary Neuburger

Brewing Relations: Coffee, East Germany, and Laos | Andrew Kloiber

To Revive Delight: A Poet’s Restaurant Reviews in Early 1990s Prague |
Abigail Weil

Marketing Soviet Nostalgia: The Many Faces of Buratino | Laura Goering

Salo, the Ukrainian Pork Fat: Shrugs, Jokelore, and the “Six-Fingered” |
Katrina Kollegaeva

RESEARCH ARTICLES
Emancipation and Domesticity: Decoding Personal Manuscript Cookbooks
from the Soviet Union | Anastasia Lakhtikova

Border Wines: Terroir across Contested Territory | Daniel Monterescu

REVIEWS
The Ethnic Restaurateur
By Krishnendu Ray, Reviewed by Gary Alan Fine

Table Talk: Building Democracy One Meal at a Time
By Janet Flammang, Reviewed by Sam Chapple-Sokol

Food, Families and Work
By Rebecca O’Connell and Julia Brannen, Reviewed by
Andria D. Timmer

Black Labor, White Sugar: Caribbean Braceros and Their Struggle
for Power in the Cuban Sugar Industry
By Philip A. Howard, Reviewed by Marisa Wilson

Refrigeration Nation: A History of Ice, Appliances, and Enterprise in America
By Jonathan Rees, Reviewed by Cody Whetstone

Inventing the Pizzeria: A History of Pizza Making in Naples
By Antonio Mattozzi, Reviewed by Julian Linke

BOOKS AND FILMS RECEIVED

Fall 2017, Volume 17 Number 3

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Fall 2017, Volume 17 Number 3

FROM THE EDITOR
Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

CULINARY GLOBALIZATION AND HERITAGE POLITICS: CHINA, JAPAN, AND SOUTH KOREA
Global Engagement for Local and Indigenous Tastes: Culinary Globalization
in East Asia | Stephanie Assmann

Let Them Eat Royal Court Cuisine! Heritage Politics of Defining Global Hansik | Chi-Hoon Kim

Culinary Politics in Japan: The Shokuiku Campaign | Stephanie Assmann

The Cultural Politics of Food: Rice as an Anti-Globalization
Project | Ding-Tzann Lii

Kyoto Cuisine Gone Global | Greg de St. Maurice

Beyond Merroir: The Okinawan Taste for Clams | C. Anne Claus

The Transformation of Pig Feasts in Rural Northeast China |
Ann Veeck, Hongyan Yu, and Gregory Veeck

China’s Emerging Food Media: Promoting Culinary Heritage in the
Global Age | Lanlan Kuang

Historical Reflections on Culinary Globalization in East Asia | Eric C. Rath

CREATIVE REFLECTIONS
Cooking for Democracy | Joseph Heathcott

Griswold No. 10. | Andrew Furman

REVIEW ESSAY
Food Culture at the Margins of Consumption: Two New Books on Eating
Disorders | Emily J.H. Contois

REVIEWS
Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in
Honour of Jack Goody
Edited by Jakob A. Klein and Anne Murcott, Reviewed by Jesse Dart

Just Food: Philosophy, Justice and Food
Edited by J.M. Dieterle, Reviewed by Pascale Joassart-Marcelli

Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World
By Markman Ellis, Richard Coulton, and Matthew Mauger, Reviewed by
Lawrence Zhang

The Brewer’s Tale: A History of the World According to Beer
By William Bostwick, Reviwed by Aaron Ellis

Tasting French Terroir: The History of an Idea
By Thomas Parker, Reviewed by Cristina Adele Solazzo

BOOKS AND FILMS RECEIVED

Editor’s Letter, Summer 2017

from Gastronomica 17:2

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Milk that comes straight from the source at a dairy farm near Manchester, England.
Photograph by Andrew G. Baker © 2015

Authenticity is one of those qualities that have proved especially vexing to those of us who are concerned with food matters. It is not simply the question of what makes something authentic, but also the question of what “authentic” means. Most often, what counts as “authentic” is imagined as an absolute state that can be quantified in some way, whether through aesthetic presentation, a specific combination of ingredients, sensory experiences, or the particular origin story attached to a dish or meal. Yet as Arjun Appadurai noted many years ago, authenticity is less an absolute state of existence than it is a relative category. More significantly, it is a relative category that is inherently and explicitly moral. As Appadurai wrote in his essay “On Culinary Authenticity”: “authenticity measures the degree to which something is more or less what it ought to be. It is thus a norm of some sort.” Appadurai then queried the nature of this norm: “But is it an immanent norm, emerging somehow from the cuisine itself? Or is it an external norm, reflecting some imposed gastronomic standard? If it is an immanent norm, who is its authoritative voice…? If it is an imposed norm, who is its privileged voice?” (Appadurai 1986: 25).

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