DUBAI, April 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Formerly 'exotic' foodstuffs are now travelling across seas and borders to be embraced by all nationalities
How do we appreciate, maintain and reflect on our own local cuisine in the face of globalisation? More importantly, how do we introduce the culinary legacy of one's own culture to the wider world without compromising its authenticity?
Enjoying an authentic Arabic wedding banquet in Yiwu, having fresh-out-the-steamer buns and Taiwanese bubble tea in London, using a hashtag to locate a burger truck, and eating traditional Emirati snacks in a fashionable takeaway cup from a food van… These mouth-watering scenes echo concepts such as "globalisation" and "glocalisation".
Globalisation denotes the interdependence and exchange of worldviews, products, ideas and other cultural elements on an international scale. Under its influence, regional food is brought to different places, gaining new tastes and appearances for entirely different lines of customers, as seen from KFC's Peking duck wrap, and McDonald's black pepper beef bento.
On the other hand, "glocalisation", a less popular term proposed by sociologist Roland Robertson, emphasises how global products are adapted specifically to suit local cultures.
Abu Dhabi, brimming with luxurious hotels and restaurants is a cosmopolis par excellence and a distinctive example of globalisation; however, as Emirati girl Shaikha Al Kaabi, the owner of Meylas, remarks, authentic local cuisine can be harder to find. Her original mobile food truck is the first and so far only Emirati food truck in UAE.
Shanghai sees dining spots such as People 7 drawing attention from global adventurers, its cryptic sliding doors famously difficult to enter.
In Dubai, Salt, a burger truck, uses the hashtag #findsalt as a way for customers to track it down. Taipei's Astoria Café, once frequented by many poets, writers, thinkers and even the Russian-born first lady, has witnessed political changes, as well as remarkable mid-20th-century literary scenes.
Whilst working in Paris, American writer Ernest Hemingway wrote: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
The contemporary culinary diversity and creativity resulting from globalisation has provided us with a truly moveable feast.
To read the article in full, please visit: http://vision.ae/articles/feasts_on_the_move