Food – The Story of Our Life: A Contribution to the Studies of Food and the Anthropology of Taste

  • Gordana Đerić Institute of Euoropean Studies Belgrade
food, senses of taste and smell, food studies, anthropology of taste, culinary art, revolution, social values


By approaching the phenomenon of food (consumption) as an identity issue of the first order, as man’s alimentary, only true biography, and an authentic expression of self and experience, but also as a key phenomenon in the development of man and mankind, the author points toward the anthropologically relevant aspects of research pertaining to food (the mythological, cultural and historical, economic, aesthetic, linguistic, political). The development of the art and philosophy of food (consumption) is considered in the context of history of the ideas of Epicureanism, empiricism and lametrism, as well as in the context of the end of the cult of culture” in its traditional meaning. Moving between issues of art theory and epistemology, the author pays special attention to the causes of the theoretical neglect of the senses of taste and smell, historical reasons of the second-rate position of gastronomy among the other sciences and arts, as well as changes taking place at the end of the “short 20th century” which enabled a revolution in aesthetics and social values – the expansion of food studies and the art of cookery. Thus the aim of the paper is twofold: on the one hand it is an attempt to shed some light on the history of this revolution in the context of the theoretical and aesthetic relationship toward food and the art of its preparation, and on the other, it should be an argument incentive to have the basic issue of food (consumption) find its way onto our own academic menu.


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