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Food, Identity and Spaces - Research Paper Example

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FOOD, IDENTITY AND SPACE: CUSTOMER SATISFACTION VERSUS AUTHENTIC FOOD CULTURE EXPERIENCE Name: Institution: FOOD, IDENTITY AND SPACE: CUSTOMER SATISFACTION VERSUS AUTHENTIC FOOD CULTURE EXPERIENCE Do varieties of food and culinary practices between cultures affect the ways in which people react to unfamiliar diet practices?…
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Food, Identity and Spaces
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Download file to see previous pages Before we can consider such situations, it is important to first delve into challenges that tourists face in unfamiliar culinary situations. The primary point of concern is: How does food, as much as it presents unique experiences to tourists, conflict with their culture and eating etiquette in unfamiliar culinary situations? Cultural Mismatch One of the primary challenges faced by people in unfamiliar culinary situations stems from cultural mismatch. Local food, according to Cohen and Avieli, is both an attraction and an impediment. The cultural points of difference are evident from the displeasure to the displaying of caged animals waiting to be killed and served to customers. Tourists not accustomed to this practice have often found it repulsively disturbing to the extent of losing their appetite altogether (Cohen &Avieli, 2004). Similar sentiments are shared by Chang, Kivela and Mak, whose study centred on the idea of travel dining with a specific focus on the Chinese experience, as an expression of engagement between tourists and other cultures. According to the line of argument developed in this study, which has singled out different types of tourists, allo-centric tourists are generally more willing to try novel food when it comes to unfamiliar environment. On the other hand, psychocentric tourists will tend to stick to familiar culinary patterns that fit into their culture. Clearly, there is an implied sense of intimidation when the latter are not willing to step out of their comfort zone and accept the concept of change. It can be concluded from this line of thought that cultural mismatch is a great impediment when it comes to experiencing unfamiliarity in foreign land. As such, the identity of the foreign food culture is unappreciated and thus compromised. On a similar note, the element of cultural mismatch is also present when “an immigrant to Canada, quickly finds his own ethnic identity challenged in terms of food. Offered a hot dog by his friend Romesh, Nurdin, a Muslim, knowingly takes the forbidden meat into his own body” (Padolsky, 2005, NS). In another study, Western European and Israeli tourists in the Asian regions where the cultures are radically different find it overwhelmingly difficult to adapt to local food due to cultural mismatch (Cohen &Avieli, 2005). Evidently, the three studies share similar sentiments on cultural challenges faced when experiencing unfamiliar culinary situation. Contrasting Eating Etiquettes Contrasting eating etiquettes also come out strongly on the three studies as a notable impediment to adapting to new types of food as people visit different cultures. A specific example is the aroused uneasiness by Westerners confronted by chopsticks when touring parts of Asia (Cohen and Avieli, 2004). There are also some peculiar food practices that separate the cultures of the East and the West. For instance, the differing methods used in food preparation are culturally dependent and therefore, some methods may contrast with other cultures (Chang, Kivela & Mak, 2010). Culturally sensitive people would then find it difficult eating food prepared under such circumstances. The same line of thought seems to be shared by Podolsky when he claims that eating etiquettes vary from one cultural background to another. In his context, people find it difficult to adapt to new diets especially when the host’s eating etiquettes differ greatly from what they are accustomed to in their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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