"These essays' personal aspects invite readers to reflect critically on and react differently to the situations in which the authors find themselves. Reader reactions to the various situations and issues presented could-and should-range from the appreciative to the indignant and promote deeper inquiry.Though unheralded by the editors. the challenge to reaction is a major methodological and instructional contribution of this gracefully edited and written book."
—Susan Tax Freeman, Journal of Anthropological Research
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 travelers 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, Adventures in Eating 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.
The main readership of Adventures in Eating will be students in anthropology and other scholars, but the explosion of food media gives the book additional appeal for fans of No Reservations and Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel.
Contributors: James J. Aimers, Rachel Black, Maria G. Cattell, Miriam S. Chaiken, David John Goldstein, Helen R. Haines, Susan L. Johnston, Roger Ivar Lohmann, Lidia Marte, Maxine E. McBrinn, Joel Palka, Ronald Reminick, Clare A. Sammells, Ariela Zycherman