Bernhard Tschofen

Vom Geschmack der Regionen. Kulinarische Praxis, europäische Politik und räumliche Kultur – eine Forschungsskizze


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With the spatial dimension of culinary culture this article discusses a notion of European modernity that has become a matter of course. According to this notion culinary systems are spatially limited and distinguishable, ‘regional specialities’ are therefore considered as a sign of the culture of specific areas, of their traditions and ways of life. Implicitly this paradigm has always determined ethnological and cultural scientific food research. Only recently, however, the research tradition presented in this paper explicitly focuses on the processes of constitution of regional food cultures. This is where this research outline starts from. First, it analyses the concept of the so-called culinary heritage by tracking its use in regional practices and European politics in order to then develop concrete questions for an analysis of related transformation processes: In the centre of attention is the transformation from everyday food practices to cultural heritage – and from cultural heritage to cultural property. Finally, a project is presented, which aims at the cultural analysis of protection procedures in the context of the EU quality assurance systems for food by the comparative ethnographical study of two protected specialities respectively application procedures. The article concludes with perspectives on research deficits which came to the fore in this context: the analysis of knowledge practices and -media on the one hand, and the ethnography of spatial-cultural culinary experiences on the other hand.