Accepted paper:

Food heritage making processes: production and appropriations of artisanal pork in northeast Portugal


Manuel Teles Grilo (Univ. Nova de Lisboa)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the role of heritage narratives and politics in the contemporary configurations of production and consumption of artisanal food in Europe through the analysis of the materiality and social circulation of a set of pork products.

Paper long abstract:

Comprehending heritage discourses, logics and productions is becoming, more than ever, essential to observe and understand practices of food production and consumption in the contemporary world. In this article, a specific set of artisanal pork products are analyzed, revealing how food and food practices are represented and shaped by food producers and promoters, in a language strongly influenced by ideas linked with heritage, such as 'tradition', 'roots' or 'preservation'. We try to offer some preliminary thoughts on what is at stake in the efforts to conserve specific food, framing the heritage discourses within their critical contribution to shape the relations between local and the globalized world, through their role in areas as tourism, rural development, or regional politics. We also argue that this heritage processes and their 'naturalization' have strong effects on consumption and the way people deal and appropriate the material dimensions of food in their everyday life. This paper deals with the impact of food heritage making in the circulation and the social paths of products and practices, such as the role of the protection and control of origin denominations (DOP, DOC) in defining new social spaces and consumptions; the proliferation of food related festivals and events; or the uses of food for identitary, political and economic construction of European regions in the frame of the EU.

panel P118
Objects, domestic routines and the making of everyday life