Foodie Travel

Found this ad from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau while thumbing through an old-ish “food” issue of the New Yorker.  The Bureau assumes that foodies (especially well-off, culturally literate foodies) travel in hopes of  finding the next “authentic culinary voyage.” They’re probably right.

It’s also a good example of the simple exoticism and apolitical stance we read about in Foodies. The ad doesn’t bother to complicate the notion of an “authentic” Taiwanese cuisine–in fact, the ad ignores the whole issue of the island’s mainland Chinese ancestry and recent political strife. Of course, its very placement and orientation is implicitly anti-democratic: not everyone has the cultural capital to enjoy the New Yorker, much less the capital capital to jet over the Pacific for a cup of tea.

Here’s the full text of the copy at the bottom. (Do you think they intended that instructions-on-the-back-of-Chinese-chopsticks malapropism and iffy syntax?):

“Built around a tradition of preparing and serving the freshest food, and with a reputation exceeding the best alternatives in Asia, Taiwan charts an authentic culinary voyage. Be astonished, challenged and charmed, but everywhere well-fed–with old favorites and new interpretations of the classics. And when it comes to tea, it’s no small testament to centuries of diligent cultivation that we’re renowned for producing some of the world’s finest leases. From planting to plate, the heart of Taiwan is celebrated in sharing with you our unique cuisine.”

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Virtual Insanity?

I saw this image and wanted to reblog it here, referring to Deutsch’s book on supermarkets and shopping. It is a picture of the world’s first virtual supermarket; shoppers can look at virtual images that replicate their expectations of supermarket aisles exactly, but use their smartphones to fill their virtual shopping carts with products, to be delivered conveniently at a time of their choosing. I find supermarkets visually stunning and so this picture caught my eye.

But when I looked for a story to accompany it, I found this video: Tesco video about virtual stores. It is totally worth watching, if you are into dystopian futures run amok or an interesting illustration of “glocalization” (nice portmanteau, dudes). Tesco developed the virtual supermarket to appeal specifically to Korean shoppers, busy Seoul residents who work many hours, and who are utterly at home on their smart phones. The British giant built virtual supermarket aisles in the subway to appeal to customers (truly) on the go. It is instructive to throw corporate intent into the discussion about who has agency, and how much power local consumers have in shaping the choices available to them in creeping global capitalism.

The answer, I think, is that it’s complicated?

An ‘Evergreen Revolution’??

http://www.fao.org/asiapacific/rap/home/news/detail/en/?news_uid=129001