Thursday, August 1, 2013
Local Matsuri III: Tamago Senbei
I could justify this post by claiming the importance of the research of food in anthropology with examples like the following:
The study of food and eating has a long history in anthropology, beginning in the nineteenth century with Garrick Mallery and William Robertson Smith... We contend that the study of food and eating is important both for its own sake since food is utterly essential to human existence (and often insufficiently available) and because the subfield has proved valuable for debating and advancing anthropological theory and research methods. Food studies have illuminated broad societal processes such as political-economic value-creation, symbolic value-creation, and the social construction of memory. Such studies have also proved an important arena for debating the relative merits of cultural and historical materialism vs. structuralist or symbolic explanations for human behavior, and for refining our understanding of variation in informants' responses to ethnographic questions (Mintz and Du Bois 2002).
For more contemporary examples of the research of food one could check out the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition blog.
But to be honest I am posting about Tamago Senbei because not only is it a popular snack at the Local Matsuri, it is one of my favorites...
Who can resist a shrimp cracker topped with okonomiyaki sauce, crunchy tempura refuse (tenkasu), mayonnaise and a heart shaped egg - all for only 200 yen. At this stall there was a lottery of sorts; if you chose a certain number you could get 2 or even 3 eggs.
Still want more of the Local Matsuri? The next VAOJ post features Local Matsuri IV: People.
FoodAnthropology, Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. http://foodanthro.com/tag/anthropology-of-food/
Mintz, Sidney W. and Christine M. Du Bois, The Anthropology of Food. In Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 31: 99-119, October 2002.
Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri I: The Mikoshi, posted July 30, 2013.
Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri II: Evening Activities, posted July 31, 2013.