taste in foodwriting


There is a particular genre of comics in Japan (in Korea, too) called Ryori manga. It can be translated into Gastronomy comics, Gourmet comics, or Food comics. The genre addresses various issues related to food and food practice: heroic cook, food fighter, gourmet practice, sake specialist, and so on.

Among hundreds of Ryori manga, Oishinbo (first to the left) is one of the most popular and the longest (it has more than 110 volumes) comic books in Japan. The main theme of Oishinbo is that one can approach and critically think of social, cultural, political, and economic issues through the search of “real” taste. For instance, the main character Jiro deals with the issue of boat people (the Vietnamese) in Hong Kong when he wins a food competition by using “authentic” fish source. For the author (Kariya Tetsu), taste and social issues are inseparable.

Meanwhile, in Foodies, Johnston and Bauman seem to relatively separate taste from other issues as we discussed in the class. Belasco also says that (responsible) “consumers will need to redesign their expectation, for such products may take longer to cook, be tougher to chew.”

What approach do you think is more appropriate for food writing?

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