DTS200Y1 Lecture Notes - Royal Assent, Terroir, Roquefort

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Published on 20 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Diaspora and Transnational Studies
Course
DTS200Y1
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.
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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
in the 19th 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
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Document Summary

Cheese origin narratives: 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. 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. Tied to simple mode of life- bishop and the monastery, sheppard, 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: the growth of the bourgeoisies following the industrial revolution helped to percolate the taste for cheese downward.

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