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Feasting Our EyesFood Films and Cultural Identity in the United States$
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Laura Lindenfeld and Fabio Parasecoli

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172516

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172516.001.0001

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Consuming the Other

Consuming the Other

Food Films as Culinary Tourism

(p.175) 6 Consuming the Other
Feasting Our Eyes

Laura Lindenfeld

Fabio Parasecoli

Columbia University Press

Analyses food films that invite audiences to visit the homes of ethnic others as vicarious tourists. The Joy Luck Club (Wang, 1993), Soul Food (Tillman 1997), Tortilla Soup (Ripoll, 2001), What’s Cooking (Chadha, 2000), and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Zwick, 2002) operate as forms of mediated culinary tourism. While the previous chapters focus predominantly on the ambivalent representations and treatment of femininity and masculinity, this chapter suggests that mainstream food films carefully appeal to the ethnic groups they represent while offering them as object of culinary tourism of mainstream white audiences through the presentation of familiar—although vaguely exotic—food. The films provide an unstable means of educating audiences about the foodways of different ethnic groups in the U.S., as they reiterate stereotypes and lace ethnicity with expectations and biases, also in terms of gender and class.

Keywords:   Culinary tourism, Consumption, Spectatorship, Ethnicity, Race, otherness

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