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Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places

by Richard Wilk

Richard Wilk is Provost’s Professor of Anthropology and Director of Food Studies at Indiana University. His recent books include Home Cooking in the Global Village (2006) and Fast Food/Slow Food (2006). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Livia Barbosa

Livia Barbosa is Professor of Anthropology and Research Director at the Center of Advanced Studies of the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has written extensively on food trends and habits in Brazil. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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(eds)
Berg, 2012
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350042223
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4222-3 (online)

    978-1-8478-8903-4 (hardback)

    978-1-84788-904-1 (paperback)

    978-1-84788-905-8 (epub)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017
Rice and Beans
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Rice and Beans is a book about the paradox of local and global. On the one hand, this is a globe-spanning dish, a simple source of complete nutrition for billions of people in hundreds of countries. On the other hand, in every place people insist that rice and beans is a local invention, deeply rooted in a particular history and culture. How can something so universal also be so particular?

The authors of this book explore the specific history of the versions of rice and beans beloved and indigenous in cultures from Brazil to West Africa. But they also plumb the shared African, Native American and European trans-Atlantic encounters and exchanges, and the contemporary forces of globalization and nation-building, which combine to make rice and beans a powerful substance and symbol of the relationship between food and culture.