Food, Memory, Community: Kerala as both 'Indian Ocean' Zone and as Agricultural Homeland

Osella, Caroline and Osella, Filippo (2008) Food, Memory, Community: Kerala as both 'Indian Ocean' Zone and as Agricultural Homeland. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 31 (1). pp. 170-198. ISSN 0085-6401

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Abstract

The Kerala region in India can be said as an exceptional state especially when one tries to understand the stereotypical assumption of South Indian food. People in the Kerala region are non-vegetarian as they eat rice and fish. Kerala's openness to outside influences such as new foods and new people, is notable and quite different from mainstream South Indian patterns, which tend towards conservatism, closure and valorization of the familiar and the local. Meanwhile, there are certain items associated strongly with a community identity and are the very food items which are the ones people seem most attached to. They are the foods that evoke food memory, which comfort and provoke desire and appetite, which are the subject of nostalgic longing. They are the distinctive festive community-identified foods which are the most highly-appreciated in open discourse and discussion about meals.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Filippo Osella
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:07
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2012 09:25
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10346
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