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Bad bread and the 'outrageous drunkenness of the Turks': food and identity in the accounts of early modern European travelers to the Ottoman Empire

During the early modern era foodways were an important signifier of identity. This is evident in the extensive body of literature produced by the growing number of Europeans who ventured into the Mediterranean, especially the lands of the Ottoman Empire. These travelers commented at length on the fo... Full description

Journal Title: Journal of world history Jun 2014, Vol.25(2-3), pp.203-I
Main Author: Dursteler, Eric
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 1045-6007
Link: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1695993607/?pq-origsite=primo
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title: Bad bread and the 'outrageous drunkenness of the Turks': food and identity in the accounts of early modern European travelers to the Ottoman Empire
format: Article
creator:
  • Dursteler, Eric
subjects:
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Identity
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Culture
  • Literature
  • Anthropology
ispartof: Journal of world history, Jun 2014, Vol.25(2-3), pp.203-I
description: During the early modern era foodways were an important signifier of identity. This is evident in the extensive body of literature produced by the growing number of Europeans who ventured into the Mediterranean, especially the lands of the Ottoman Empire. These travelers commented at length on the foods they encountered, their preparation, and how they were consumed. They drew on widely known classical models, as well as their own familiar foodways, to produce culinary geographies that delineated stark boundaries between East and West, Islam and Christianity, and that inscribed alterity and barbarity onto Ottoman culture. Ottomans ate undercooked bread, adulterated with seeds and spices, and meat prepared in an unrefined fashion that was barely removed from its natural state. They consumed this food while seated on the ground and without the benefit of civilized utensils, and hypocritically washed it all down with large quantities of wine. In the early modern Mediterranean world who you were was defined, at least partly, by what you ate and how you ate it. Reprinted by permission of University of Hawaii Press
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 1045-6007
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 10456007
  • 1045-6007
url: Link


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subjectOttoman Empire ; Identity ; Food ; Travel ; Culture ; Literature ; Anthropology
descriptionDuring the early modern era foodways were an important signifier of identity. This is evident in the extensive body of literature produced by the growing number of Europeans who ventured into the Mediterranean, especially the lands of the Ottoman Empire. These travelers commented at length on the foods they encountered, their preparation, and how they were consumed. They drew on widely known classical models, as well as their own familiar foodways, to produce culinary geographies that delineated stark boundaries between East and West, Islam and Christianity, and that inscribed alterity and barbarity onto Ottoman culture. Ottomans ate undercooked bread, adulterated with seeds and spices, and meat prepared in an unrefined fashion that was barely removed from its natural state. They consumed this food while seated on the ground and without the benefit of civilized utensils, and hypocritically washed it all down with large quantities of wine. In the early modern Mediterranean world who you were was defined, at least partly, by what you ate and how you ate it. Reprinted by permission of University of Hawaii Press
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abstractDuring the early modern era foodways were an important signifier of identity. This is evident in the extensive body of literature produced by the growing number of Europeans who ventured into the Mediterranean, especially the lands of the Ottoman Empire. These travelers commented at length on the foods they encountered, their preparation, and how they were consumed. They drew on widely known classical models, as well as their own familiar foodways, to produce culinary geographies that delineated stark boundaries between East and West, Islam and Christianity, and that inscribed alterity and barbarity onto Ottoman culture. Ottomans ate undercooked bread, adulterated with seeds and spices, and meat prepared in an unrefined fashion that was barely removed from its natural state. They consumed this food while seated on the ground and without the benefit of civilized utensils, and hypocritically washed it all down with large quantities of wine. In the early modern Mediterranean world who you were was defined, at least partly, by what you ate and how you ate it. Reprinted by permission of University of Hawaii Press
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