Floodways II: Cheese and Virginia ham

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Diaspora and Transnational Studies
Kevin Lewis O' Neill

DTS200 Lecture #4 January 29, 2013 Floodways II: Cheese and Virginia ham - Cheese origin narratives o The shepherd boy and the first making of cheese  A Sheppard who had sheep’s milk, but he had sheep skin and couldn’t drink all the milks so put it into the sheep skin and hung it. After a few days the milked formed into cheese and he tasted it and it was good  This is the origin of all cheeses  Origins of the story- apocryphal story  First from the Sheppard  Then the land  Life which is local, simple and rustic.  Discovered by accident o Charlemagne and the cheese bishop o Gruyere (Maison Du Gruyeres) o Casu Marzu- Italian cheese exposed to a special cheese fly which lays larvae inside the cheese o Roquefort- Charles IV o Camembert- Napoleon III o Origin narratives and the cultivation of cultural aura o Royal blessings and class value o Common narrative  At some point in the cheese cycle the cheese gets royal assent.  All these stories suggest that cheese was adopted as the food of the high and mighty- this marks the cultural status of cheese  Common:  1. Tied to simple mode of life- bishop and the monastery, Sheppard, Roquefort  2. Adoption for the taste of royalty  3. The stories are designed to guarantee the cheeses cultural aura o This cultural aura is what the cheese master cultivates the culture of the cheese o You don’t just buy cheese you buy the cultural story of the cheese o You consume the cheese also to access the cheeses cultural aura - Cheese and the production of locality o Typically and historically, we are talking about from the middle ages cheeses were local to a region. o Cheese will have originally been consumed locally, within a few miles of where it was produced o For a long time, at least until the development of mass road and transportation systems th in the 19 century, cheese will have been main consumed by royal elites o Gradual spread of cheese  Elite groups were transnational in their habit- transnational of food was through royalty.  Made locally or not the royalty made sure food was transported  Consumption and display of diversity o The growth of the bourgeoisies following the industrial revolution helped to percolate the taste for cheese downward  They copied the activity of the royals  They tried to adopt the taste of royalty- which every country you look at the newly rich modelled the royals  This helped the expansion to taste to the ordinary people o The evolution of food markets will also have gradually brought diverse goods, including cheeses from other places, to local consumers o Democratization of cheese  Urbanization o Urbanization and the consumption of diversity: story of the House of Androuet in Paris  The expansion of urban areas became the expansion of taste  The hour of androuet  In 1880s 2 brothers decided to start finding cheeses across France to sell in Paris. This was first cheese house in Paris. They were the first people to start cheese tasting for people in Paris. o The diversity of cheeses  Royalty always consumed diversity  Then with the growth of cities and the growth of ordinary people- the rich bourgeoisies began to adopt these tastes and cheese becomes democratised - Locality and trasnationalism o The dynamics of terroir (native to a particular region- French word) and the certification of origin  The locality implies production processes  Ex: the cheddar cannot be made unless with a particular cow, who eats a certain class...  These production processes guarantee that this taste is local  This starts in France and becomes escalated  This concept has now entered the domain of international authenticity  To prove something is local you have to submit the cheese to a regulatory body to prove the process of locality o These are depended on narrative stories- the stories are codified for the authenticity of terroir o Protected designation of Origin (PDO): of general application to cheese, wines and whiskies  You can now give your produce monetary status once you are approved as a terroir o Certification schemes and geographical indications of origin: GATT- agreement on Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS), Annex 1C, article 22, defines these as: indications which identify a food as originating in the territory of a member country, a region or a locality, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is exclusively or essentially attributable to its geographical origin, including natural, human and heritage factors o Presidia- associations of producers, convivia and food festivals o The slow food movement and eco-gastronomy- this movement is Italian local only  Started in Italy by the Italian left- they decided consumption
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