This article approaches the theme of “saving food” by taking a fresh look at the renaissance of artisan cheesemaking in recent years. Based upon fieldwork conducted over a decade in thirteen countries, the author suggests that the “death” of cheesemaking traditions and their “rebirth” are simultaneous processes that depend upon one another in complex ways. Invoking the idea that “managed decay” of milk imparts flavor to cheese itself, the author argues that, on a larger scale, the preservation of cheesemaking heritage involves the savoring of dying traditions.
Savoring Decay: Cheese, Heritage, and the Allure of Imminent Dissolution
Harry G. West is Professor of Anthropology, Convenor of the MA in Food Studies, and Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter in Devon, England. He has conducted research on food, farming, and agrarian society in Africa, Europe, and North America.
Harry G. West; Savoring Decay: Cheese, Heritage, and the Allure of Imminent Dissolution. Gastronomica 1 August 2019; 19 (3): 47–59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2019.19.3.47
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