Adventures in Eating: Anthropological Experiences in Dining from Around the World

Helen R. Haines, Clare A. Sammells

University Press of Colorado, 2010

2

Anthropologists training to do fieldwork in far-off, unfamiliar places prepare for significant challenges with regard to language, customs, and other cultural differences. However, like other travellers to unknown places, they are often unprepared to deal with the most basic and necessary requirement: food. Although there are many books on the anthropology of food, this book is the first intended to prepare students for the uncomfortable dining situations they may encounter over the course of their careers. Whether sago grubs, jungle rats, termites, or the pungent durian fruit are on the table, participating in the act of sharing food can establish relationships vital to anthropologists’ research practices and knowledge of their host cultures. Using their own experiences with unfamiliar – and sometimes unappealing – food practices and customs, the contributors explore such eating moments and how these moments can produce new understandings of culture and the meaning of food beyond the immediate experience of eating it. They also address how personal eating experiences and culinary dilemmas can shape the data and methodologies of the discipline.

Table of contents 


Contents……Page 8
Figures……Page 10
Contributors……Page 14
1: The Importance of Food and Feasting around the World……Page 18
Section 1: The Main Course……Page 36
2: Boiled Eggs with Chicks Inside, or What Commensality Means……Page 38
3: A Rat by Any Other Name……Page 60
4: The Delicacy of Raising and Eating Guinea Pig……Page 76
5: Termites Tell the Tale……Page 96
Section 2: Side Dishes and Accompaniments……Page 116
6: Ode to a Chuño……Page 118
7: Durian……Page 144
8: MSG and Sugar……Page 162
Section 3: Table Manners and Other Rules to Eat By……Page 182
9: Eating Incorrectly in Japan……Page 184
10: No Heads, No Feet, No Monkeys, No Dogs……Page 198
11: Buona Forchetta……Page 208
12: “No Thanks, I Don’t Eat Meat”……Page 220
13: Eating with the Blackfeet……Page 240
Sectioni 4: Beverages……Page 258
14: Drinking Ethiopia……Page 260
15: You Are What You Drink in Honduras……Page 280
Section 5: The Last Course……Page 292
Epilogue: Edibles and Ethnic Boundaries, Globalization and Guinea Pigs……Page 294
Index……Page 298

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