August 4, 2005
What I took from Heldke's chapter on "Eating in Context," is that using authenticity strategiacally has flaws. Heldke describes strategic authenticity as insiders of a culture appeal to the authenticity of their food and its controls's access to their culture by being able to claim thata cuisine is being misappropriated. Strategic suthenticity also calls for outsiders to respect and understand such claims so as to anticolonize the authenticity factor in food. Heldke also describes several of the traps to strategic authenticity faced by outsiders, including that all claims to authenticity by insiders be observed solely because they are insiders, regardless of their knowledge. Another dilemma is that there is not always a clear line to establish who is an insider and outsider, therefore having the authority to establish authenticity. The final trap Heldke mentions is the idea that certain cuisins have specific elements that must remain unchanged. In conclusion, the pitfalls of strategic authenticity can again lead to a silence of the colonized cultures which further divides Us and Them. Heldke reaffirms that their is a need, however, for authenticity because "there is tremendous power in marginalized people claiming the right to say, 'No.'"
Posted by surm0003 at August 4, 2005 11:51 AM
From the two readings that we had to read, I found “Eating in context” really interesting of how food are thought about by different people and how people think about them in terms of how others take actions in changing a cuisine recipe. Under the “Strategic Authenticity” heading, the reader distinguished between the insiders and the outsiders and how each of their claims about food is thought of differently. The writer says that with the insiders, they use the power of authenticity of their cuisine to control the access of others to their culture. Actually, I am not so sure if I understand this, like how exactly would they be able to do this? Do they mean that by eating the dish or changing an ingredient in it, an outsider could be apart of that culture by that way? Also, this article goes to say that a cuisine cannot be a cuisine anymore if it is too flexible or if there can be many changes to them. I think that even if you change a few ingredients in there, it would still be a cuisine but maybe just not the exactly same cuisine anymore. In the article, Lisa mentions the statement that, “It is tragic when food writers add or take away an ingredient to make a lifted recipe ‘their own,’ and pass it off as authentic. They are falsifying tradition This is how a culture ends up garbled and destroyed in the lap of another (Heldke, 195),” well, to be honest, I do agree with this statement because if you change a certain dish and claim it to be authentic, then it is a problem when it is really not but you are saying it to be. This can be problem when it can make others who know nothing about that cuisine believe it that way and then they might go off and cook it like that and then change it a little bit and also claim it as authentic. So what I am trying to say here is that in my opinion, it is okay to change a cuisine, as long as you do not claim it authentic, then it should not be a problem to the insiders right?
In chapter 11 titled Eating in Context, Heldke talks a lot about the authenticity of food. She also quotes a little bit of Uma Narayan saying "Eating in these restaurants, I taste India only faintly via a complex nostalgia of associations, something hard to explain to western friends who seem oddly disappointed to learn that my acquaintance with tandoori chicken is as shallow as theirs." I feel as if she is assuming that other immigrants or ethnic Americans think that Westerners won't ever taste what is truly Indian food because there have been so many adjustments to what is considered "original" or "authentic." What I really loved about this article is how she used Langston Hughes poem as a way to show how we can employ authenticity strategically. For instance, instead of saying, people are stealing ideas and/or ingredients from so and so's culture and pointing fingers and instead allowing everyone to share cultures would be a better way to cope. Another interesting point she mentions is how some people are so fixed on "retaining ties with dishes of their homelands or of their grandmothers' homelands or committed to preparing things according to specific ritual requirements" that they insist on seeing foods as "inhabiting particular cultural, agricultural, political, social contexts" I believe that we are all born into a culture no matter what the culture is. I too, agree with Heldke that Langston Hughes's poem is trying to make a point. She says "Hughes calls for the right of Black artists to have a say in the ways Black cultural creations get taken up in other cultures-and for the responsibility of those borrowing cultures never to forget their Black origins."
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It seems that authenticity should be determined by both historical data and an "insider's" input. A certain dish that has been prepared a certain way for generations can safety be called "authentic."
It sure appears so. Great stuff by the way!
I'm like a goof in the case of measurements. I'll tell you which chicken bones I'm tossing today, for whatever they discern in regards to the future.
Every individual has a different perception when it comes to food tasting. The verdict of the food comes solely to the one who eats it.