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The practical aesthetics of traditional cuisines: slow food in Tuscany

Miele, Mara ORCID: and Murdoch, J. 2002. The practical aesthetics of traditional cuisines: slow food in Tuscany. Sociologia Ruralis 42 (4) , pp. 312-328. 10.1111/1467-9523.00219

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The paper examines the aestheticisation of food in the context of ‘eating out’ and distinguishes two main aesthetic types: first, an ‘aesthetic of entertainment’ in which food quality is secondary to the restaurant experience; second, a ‘gastronomic aesthetic’ in which the quality of food, notably seasonality and freshness, is seen as primary. Having distinguished the two types, the paper then investigates the second – the gastronomic aesthetic – through the case study of Slow Food in Tuscany. The Slow Food movement seeks to heighten the aesthetic appreciation of typical products and works mainly through local groups and typical restaurants. Through the in–depth analysis of one such restaurant, the paper outlines three main strands in the gastronomic aesthetic: a practical aesthetics of restaurant organisation; an aesthetical–ethic of typical foods; and, an aesthetic of ‘connectedness’ or ‘embeddedness’ in which the food is seen as a reflection of surrounding socio–economic and ecological relationships. The paper concludes by drawing out the implications of the study of aesthetics for rural sociology.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
ISSN: 14679523
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 17:13

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