Making Taste Public

Making Taste Public: Ethnographies of Food and the Senses

by Carole Counihan

Carole Counihan is Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Millersville University, USA. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Susanne Højlund

Susanne Højlund is Associate Professor in Anthropology at Aarhus University, Denmark. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-5271-0 (online)

    978-1-3500-5268-0 (hardback)

    978-1-3500-5269-7 (epdf)

    978-1-3500-5270-3 (epub)
  • Edition:
    First published
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Making Taste Public
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Making Taste Public takes an ethnographic approach to show how social relations shape – and are shaped by – the taste of food. Recognizing that different cultures have different taste preferences and flavour principles embedded in cuisine, editors Carole Counihan and Susanne Højlund ask how these differences are generated. The editors have compiled 14 chapters to show how specific influences become a part of our sensorial apparatus and identity through shared experiences of making, eating, and talking about food.

Using case studies from Asia, Europe and America, the book presents a theory of how taste is made public through everyday practices. The authors are exploring how place, production methods and cooking techniques create tastes. They discuss the criteria determining good and bad tastes, and how tastes and memories evolve over time. Subjects such as how values can be embedded in taste, and the role of taste education in food movements, homes, and schools are explored. The different chapters examine definitions and mobilizations of taste in different institutions, public places, and regions around the world to reveal ethnographic understandings of how people learn, experience, and share taste.

With contributions spanning the Solomon Islands, Denmark, Japan, Canada, France, the USA, and Italy, Making Taste Public is a fascinating account of how our sense of taste is continuously shaped and re-shaped in relation to social and cultural context, societal and environmental premises. The book will interest anyone studying anthropology, sociology, food studies, sensory studies and human geography.