Study Of Food And Culture Cultural Studies Essay

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INTRODUCTION

This assignment is basically based on gastronomy. In this assignment we need to discuss about gastronomy and its influences such as cultural, science sustainability and how they are influences buy gastronomy. How gastronomy is related with culture, transportation religion and many more things.

MAIN BODY

DEFINITION

Gastronomy is the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine. Modern gastronomy has its roots in several French texts published in the 1800s, but the idea of relating food, science, society, and the arts has been around much longer. True gastronomy is a demanding multidisciplinary art examining food itself along with its context, presentation, freshness, and history. While commonly associated with gourmets and gluttony, gastronomy is actually its own discipline, although some gourmets are certainly gastronomes, as are some gluttons.

The principle of gastronomy is that food is a science, in addition to an art form. By understanding how all of the senses contribute to an experience, a gastronome can more completely understand what is happening when a consumer claims to dislike or enjoy a particular food item. Gastronomy also examines the sociological implications of food, along with integrating other social science disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. The role of food in the fine arts such as performance art, painting, and sculpture is also examined, as part of a closer look at the role of food in society in general.

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http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-gastronomy.htm

INFLUENCE ON NATIONAL FOOD CULTURE

People mostly connect to their cultural or ethnic group through food patterns. For Immigrants food now become the means of retaining their cultural identity. Each and every individual have different cultural backgrounds and have different eating habits. The ingredients, methods of preparation, preservation techniques, and types of food eaten at different meals are different among cultures. The areas and the climate factors in which families live- and geographical location where their ancestors originated also influence food likes and dislikes. These food preferences result in varieties of food choices within a different cultural or regional group.

Food items themselves have meaning and some cultural identity attached to them. For example in many Western countries a box of chocolates would be viewed as an appropriate gift while in other countries chocolates might be a less appropriate gift.

Different nations or countries are frequently associated with certain foods. For example, many people associate Italy with pizza and pasta but Italians eat many other foods, and types of pasta dishes are popular throughout Italy. Methods of preparation and types of food also vary by regions and culture of a nation. Some families in the United States prefer to eat "meat and potatoes," but in some families "meat and potatoes" are not eaten on a regular basis, nor even preferred, by many in the United States, so would not be labelled as a national cuisine. Grits, a coarsely ground corn that is boiled, is eaten in the southern United States. A package of grits is only available in the largest supermarkets in the upper Midwest and it's difficult to find even in large Midwestern supermarkets a long time ago. This may be called as the geographical effect.

Regional food habits also exist in nations and countries but they also change by time. As people travel from place to place food habits and preferences are imported and exported. Families move to other nations, countries or places bringing their food preferences with them. They follow their old recipes with new ingredients available at different places or experiment with new recipes, incorporating ingredients to match their own tastes. In addition, food itself is imported from other countries.

Nevertheless, what is considered edible or even a delicacy in some parts of the world might be considered inedible in other parts. Although most of the times food is selected with some attention to physical need, the values or beliefs by which society attaches to potential food items and define what families within a cultural group will eat. For example, both plant and animal sources may contribute to meeting nutritional requirements for protein; soybeans, beef, horsemeat, and dog meat are all adequate protein sources. Yet, due to the some values and beliefs attached to these protein sources, they are not considered in all societies. Moreover, even when the foods perceived to be undesirable are available, they are not eaten by people who have a strong emotional reaction against those potential food item.

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CULTURE AND RELIGION

Types and food associated to British culture: British cuisine encompasses the cooking traditions of the British Isles. It reflects the cultural influence of the colonial era as well as post-war immigrations. British cuisine boasts of a rich variety of sumptuous dishes from its different regions. Staple foods include chicken, beef, pork, lamb and fish, served with potatoes and other vegetables. The most popular dishes are fish and chips, sandwiches, trifles, pies and roast

As the result of both globalization and global environmental change food systems face dramatic transformations. Change in global environment influence the physical and socioeconomic conditions that underpin terrestrial and marine food systems., Globalization is also responsible for transforming the production and storage of food, , access to and consumption of food, and the quality and safety measures associated with food and eating habits. Both processes also have direct effects on agricultural production, livelihoods, and the agricultural economies as well. More important, both processes can take place at the same time and interacting to create dynamic conditions that influence vulnerability to both rapid and gradual environmental changes.

Global environmental change affects food systems by various means such as, the loss of productive farmland, loss of biodiversity, and changing climate conditions, including increase in number of extreme climatic events such as droughts and floods. Globalization-related changes also include liberalization of trade in agriculture products which also spreads the eating and buying habits from different culture, and supports for agricultural production, expansion of the role of multinational corporations and supermarkets in food production and distribution, it also results in shifts toward urban and industrial land uses.

Food is also considered an important part of religious observance and spiritual ritual of many faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The role and importance of food in cultural practices and religious beliefs is complex and varies among different communities. Any introduction to such a diversified and complex topic will not be able to explain each and everything. Here are some examples of some ways in which various religious groups considered food a vital part of their faith. Understanding the role of food in cultural and religious practice is an important part of showing respect and responding to needs of people from a range of religious communities. This understanding towards different food culture also helps in increasing art of food, adding dishes from different menus and also helps in increasing revenues from tourist from different cultures and traditions. However, it is important to not to make any assumptions about person's culture and beliefs. The various faiths of Christianity include Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

In this competitive and new era chefs (the main body of kitchen) are sometimes blamed of turning their kitchens very similar into scientific laboratories, there's no doubt that when they heat a piece of meat in the kitchen the reaction that takes place is a chemical reaction as in science labs. Science and cooking both are processes that have some rules and methods to follow and also go hand-in-hand, now more than ever before.

 

The relation between science and cuisine is nothing new; we have several examples of this relation in past years as well. Studies such as chemistry, physics, biology and botany have always been closely related to cooking and also prove their existence in various terms. The terms "molecular gastronomy" and "molecular cuisine" become the topics of debates from a long time and the existence of science-based cuisine is also a controversial issue. To know about these terms in detail or to make the practical existence of such terms we need to consider or follow the approach adopted by chefs trained for such types of kitchens and other experts who want to know why things happen and have knowledge for their chemical reactions and which reaction is useful which is not. These types of kitchens and terms such as molecular gastronomy or cuisine will be no longer the topic of debates if they run under the guidance of their experts.

Technology has dramatically improved and reshaped every part of our lives including kitchen standards as well. It doesn't left any aspect of our existence untouched. It also revolutionized the way we work, entertain ourselves and even change the concept of our eating and cooking patterns.

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The food industry has increasingly developed and modernized by adopting more advanced and latest technologies that can help us in bringing healthier, fresher and more varieties of food. In this modern era, the marketplace offers a vast variety of foods influenced by different people and cultures and we have a wide range to choose from, at a better quality and lower prices than in the past.

With the introduction of new technologies and processes businesses can offer better products and services to the consumers in increasingly larger quantities and thus, satisfy a wider range of market. The same phenomenon works for the companies in the food industry.

The expression "nouvelle cuisine" has been used several times in the course of the history of cooking, particularly in France in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was introduced to subordinate the practice of cooking to principles of chemistry that were to be established by Lavoisier later on. People had mixed feelings about it: for instance, Voltaire wrote "I must say that my stomach does not at all agree with the 'nouvelle cuisine.'"

Today nouvelle cuisine refers to a trend of opinion that appeared in France in the 1960s. At the time, it caught on rapidly and was a great international success. Yet, as it got tangled up in its contradiction, it stopped being fashionable, and nowadays it has a negative connotation. In spite of that, it was an innovative and quite important movement, which brought about a revolution within the "Grande cuisine" whose lessons are still present in the grand chefs' minds.

http://www.enotes.com/nouvelle-cuisine-reference/nouvelle-cuisine

LIFESTYLE, MEDIA AND INDIVIDUALS

Today is the age of media; media is now become the backbone of every society and has a vital role in every field including kitchens as well. The universe of food-related blogs in particular is vast. It is estimated that there are at least 33,000 such blogs out there in cyberspace, but no one can give an exact or even approximate number of such blogs; this is one of the new and the widely using trend of the media. Some of the examples of Social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon and Blog Her provide valuable means for bloggers to connect with each other and share their content and views about different food ,ingredients ,recipes and methods , while food-specific communities such as Food Buzz (and countless others!) offer even more targeted networking. Add to these mix sites where users can post their reviews of restaurants, food shops and markets, such as Yelp, Chowhound and Trip Advisor and it becomes clear that the media space related to gastronomy is very wide and virtually endless. In addition means of television also plays a very vital role; there are many TV channels that telecast many cookery shows, travel guides and also provide information about different gastronomies. Media makes easy to travel with full information about the place to be visited.

GEOGRAPHY AND TRANSPORTATION:

As long as there has been food in existence, there has been gastronomy in some form or another. Questions regarding our eating habits have always been around: How can we add taste and make our food special? Which ingredients provide the best boost of energy? What types of foods have healing properties in them and how can we cultivate them to get more of it? Later on, cuisine became more specialized, and cooking books and apprenticeships are also developed to provide instruction on the preparation of different kinds of food.

However, it wasn't until the 1800s that gastronomy started to develop as an actual field of study. Instead of simply learning how to make food, people began to focus on how dining could be an experience-how the senses interacted in order to create a whole meal to be enjoyed.

Gastronomy is such a wide concept that no country can be away from its influence. There are many countries in which the influence of gastronomy and its related terms such as molecular gastronomy can be clearly seen. The main countries influenced by gastronomy are Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and many other European countries.

The history and popularity of Indian food in Britain is now almost four hundred years old and it has not only affected the cuisine but also a great change in the United Kingdom but also in its native land. In this field of food the reports of occasional explorers play a great role but the story really starts with the arrival in Surat of the English merchants of the East India Company in 1608 and then again and more successfully in 1612.

As with the explorers or merchants the influence of the British in India grew, so did the popularity of Indian food back in Britain, leading to the publishing of recipes and Indian ingredients and the creation of curry powder at commercial level in 1780? The introduction of curry on a menu was at the Coffee House in Norris Street, Haymarket, London in 1773 but the first establishment dedicated to Indian cuisine was the Hindostanee Coffee House at 34 George Street, Portman Square, London in 1809 as recorded in The Epicure's Almanack. It was opened by Dean Mahomet (or Mohamed/Mahomed) (See article) from Patna, Bihar, India, via Cork in Ireland. He appreciated the all Indian things and also offered a house "for the Nobility and Gentry where they might enjoy the Hookha with real Chilm tobacco and Indian dishes of the highest perfection" with real Indian taste. He also considered the Indian chefs for the real Indian taste.

http://www.menumagazine.co.uk/book/restauranthistory.html

As per UK gastronomy the growth of fast food is increasing day by day like people like fish and chips, burgers, KFC and many other fast food brands rather than having the proper meal. In which the quantity of vegetarian people is very less.

As per the data and research people prefer organic food rather than other normal food. They are more conscious about healthy eating.

The objective of food garnishing is, usually, to portray or to show the inherent beauty of food.  And, just as when you are preparing food for eating, garnishing is one of the easiest and the important way of enhancing a dish for the camera.  A garnish should be chosen very carefully, so that garnish can add just the right splash of colour in the dish, textural detail and/or height which really lifts the final image of the food.  Some foods, such as mousses and soups can sometimes be difficult to capture their effect because of their flat and monotone surfaces.  Adding a right and appropriate garnish makes it more attractive and also captures the eye of the customers.

Sustainable agriculture as a means of the local farming is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their local environment. It has been defined as "an integrated process of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will remain over the long term: in other words it is farming with natural resources. Conservation of natural resources is the main aim of this practice.

This practice helps in satisfying human food and fibre needs of the people by natural way.

Also helps in enhancing the environmental quality by understanding ecology system.

It also proves beneficial in making the most efficient and appropriate use of non-renewable resources and integrate, natural biological cycles and controls.

Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole by providing various agriculture related benefits and also helps in minimising the farming related expenses.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the assignment author would like to conclude gastronomy plays a vital role in the hospitality industry. Art and science of food is appreciated all over the world and is also considered as value added equipment for the hotel industry.

Gastronomy is influence by many factors such as culture, beliefs science, media and many more. It is one of the emerging trends of each and every country. It is also used as a tool to attract tourist from different parts of the world. Gastronomy proves itself as a revenue generating tool for hospitality industry.