Foodways as Frontiers - The importance of food for belonging in New Orleans
Jonge, N.K.M. de
MetadataShow full item record
"Based on ten weeks of fieldwork in New Orleans, we argue in this thesis that food is central in the construction of belonging to a particular place and to its community of residents. We approach the local cuisine as a frontier, a zone where different foodways intersect overlap and influence each other. It is at those frontiers where a sense of local belonging, being part of New Orleans, and feelings of ethnic belonging, connecting to one s ethnic group, overlap. We aim to contribute to the anthropological literature about belonging by taking food culture as a starting point, and relating different spheres of belonging to food. Several ethnic cuisines contributed to the food culture of New Orleans which is mostly described as Creole. A shared food culture that is linked to a specific place creates a sense of local identity through food and this contributes to a sense of community and place-belongingness. By taking on an expert role in food discourse, knowledge about local foodways creates a boundary with tourists and visitors who generally do not know much about local food culture. Expressing knowledge marks local belonging to the New Orleans community . Yet we argue that within the local community food functions mostly to connect, the boundaries between different communities become blurred."