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Local food cultures in the Swedish rural economy
Örebro University, Department of Restaurant & Culinary Arts.
Örebro University, Department of Restaurant & Culinary Arts.
Örebro University, Department of Restaurant & Culinary Arts.
2005 (English)In: Sociologia Ruralis, ISSN 0038-0199, E-ISSN 1467-9523, Vol. 45, no 4, p. 346-359Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A rising interest in the commercial benefits of locally and regionally connoted food culture for rural development is notable in Sweden. Local and regional food culture is used as a tool both to encourage the rural economy, but also to fulfil urban residents' dreams of an authentic rural idyll. A qualitative study of a government project involving ten rural food businesses was performed to analyse how local food culture was used as a business advantage. The managers were interviewed and their conceptions analysed using company documents, observational notes and photographs. The results revealed that the managers do use food culture to gain a competitive advantage. They produce only those products that signal perceived 'good taste' and those that best reflect urban customers' ideas of rurality. It is also important to satisfy their kitchen staff's demands to work with developing urban food trends, otherwise the managers risk losing skilled staff. Rural customers are of minor day-to-day economic value, except when using the restaurant on festive occasions. But on those occasions, rural customers demand meals prepared in an urban classical style, not the local and regional food culture they eat at home. The most advantageous local and regional food culture for rural development is therefore that which best combines the urban ideal of the countryside, authentic rural products, and the rural ideal of urban classical cuisine.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell , 2005. Vol. 45, no 4, p. 346-359
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3108DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2005.00309.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3108DiVA, id: diva2:137016
Available from: 2006-09-07 Created: 2006-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The construction of food and meal culture for political and commercial ends: EU-summits, rural businesses and World Exhibitions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The construction of food and meal culture for political and commercial ends: EU-summits, rural businesses and World Exhibitions
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines how cultural values of food and meal culture were expressed and used by professional agents. The overall aim was to analyse and synthesise the interpretation and creation by professionals in commercial food and meal production of what they defined as a local, regional or national food and meal culture. Four groups of professional agents were interviewed on their use of food and meal culture as cultural value and form when: organising meals for ministerial meetings during Sweden’s first tenure of the rotating European Union presidency (chairmanship) in 2001 (political civil servants, meal editors, chefs and sponsors), producing and marketing food and meals in rural areas (restaurateurs, food producers and event organisers), branding food products with a place-related origin (marketing consultants), and when food products and meals were deployed in the international political arena of world exhibitions, 1851–2005 (political civil servants). Data was gathered using qualitative methods: semi-structured interviews, various observation techniques and analysis of contemporary and historical government and commercial documents. The analytical methods used were based on how agents in a field interact to negotiate the values significant in the field, and on how the use of cultural form as symbol affects the presentation. Culinary arts and meal science methodology as followed using ethnological research techniques. The results showed that food and meal culture for commercial and political use was carefully shaped to achieve specific professional goals: to be bought or accepted by the customer or citizen. Meals for EU ministers were designed to match those visitors’ apprehensions of high-status Swedish food and of local food and meal culture. In marketing situations, food product brands were created and shaped to match consumer ideas of place-related origin and ‘genuineness’. At world exhibitions, food and meals were presented as entertainment based on stereotypes of pre-existing food and meal culture. Concepts of the ‘commercial’ and ‘political’ dimensions became cultural values affecting the cultural form, demonstrating that in these cases culture was manufactured to be acceptable to its consumers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2006. p. 116
Series
Örebro Studies in Culinary Arts and Meal Science, ISSN 1652-2974 ; 5
Keyword
authenticity, commercial, cultural form, cultural value, food and meal culture, origin, political, professional
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-615 (URN)91-7668-492-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-09-29, Gastronomiska teatern, Måltidens hus, Restauranghögskolan, Grythyttan, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-09-07 Created: 2006-09-07 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Tellström, RichardGustafsson, Inga-BrittMossberg, Lena

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