This book explores the role of food in society as a means of interrogating the concept of the nation-state and its sub-units, and reveals how the nation-state in its various disguises has been and is changing in response to accelerated globalisation. The chapters investigate various stages of national food: its birth, emergence, and decline, and why sometimes no national food emerges. By collecting and analysing a wide range of case studies from countries including Portugal, Mexico, the USA, Bulgaria, Scotland, and Israel, the book illustrates ways in which various social forces work together to shape social and political realities concerning food.
The contributors, hailing from anthropology, history, sociology and political science, investigate the significance of specific food cultures, cuisines, dishes, and ingredients, and their association with national identity. In so doing, it becomes clearer how these two things interact, and demonstrates the scope and direction of the current study of food and nationalism.