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Title: Cultural foodscapes of an island nation
Authors: Avellino, Marie
Buttigieg, Noel
Cassar, George
Keywords: Food habits -- Malta
Food tourism -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu Press
Citation: Avellino, M., Buttigieg, N., & Cassar, G. (2019). Cultural foodscapes of an island nation. Conference Proceedings CULTURE: INVENTED OR INHERITED. Valletta, Malta.
Abstract: Sourcing an argument put forward by Clifford Geertz, ‘Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun,’ what applies for the individual applies no less, to the collective identity of a group or a nation. The series of symbolic and mythical mental representations activate a mind map that locates and maintains cultural meanings. The emphasis on what constitutes a nation and its culture, forms an integral part of the broader interest in defining identity. The construction of national identities has attracted increasing attention among researchers over the past four decades, generating a panoply of views on the theme and its permutations. This study continues the debate, focusing primarily on a Maltese case-study. An attempt will be made to explore those vectors that generate some of the meanings surrounding Maltese food and particularly the way in which food is used in shaping the wider meanings attached to Malteseness. Food carries with it an emotional baggage. It is a fantastic background for storytelling, an inspiration for the narrative of an individual, a group or a nation. Whether it is the result of an “imagined community” or “banal nationalism” or “cultural hybridity”, food and food culture is as well rooted in defining otherness. Among the reasons underlying food choices, such labels as “traditional”, “authentic” and “quality”, are today used interchangeably as blueprint terms to simplify an arguably rather complicated matter. Just as defining what constitutes a nation is in itself difficult to establish with precision, so also is the concept of a national culinary identity.
ISSN: 2068-2123
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsTTC

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