Virginia PETRICĂ Vocalizing taste: foreign travellers’ voices shaping the Romanian culinary identity

Abstract

This paper analyses the way some foreign travellers in the Romanian Principalities in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries verbalized their food judgmental attitudes through open or indirect dialogues with their readers and/or their predecessors. Thus, their foregoers’ opinions on the food and culinary practices in Wallachia and Moldavia are often quoted, are contradicted or reiterated. The article also examines the way in which the Foucauldian power/knowledge relationship (reconsidered through the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse) materializes at the level of the travellers’ discourse in semantic dichotomies such as civilized vs. rudimentary, refined vs. barbaric, creating a multi-layered construct of the Romanian culinary identity.

Keywords: Romanian culinary identity; foreign travellers’ voices; western vs. eastern perspectives.

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