The lamprey and the partridge: a multi-sited ethnography of food tourism as an agent of preservation and disfigurement in Central Portugal

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This article discusses the impacts food tourism has had on traditional foodstuffs and foodways in two separate regions in Central Portugal. Following a multi-sited ethnographic approach, ethnographic and documental data from the regions of Baixo Mondego and Beira Interior Sul pertaining to tourism impacts on local foodstuffs and foodways were collected and analyzed over the course of several years (2003–2012). Dishes representative of the culinary traditions of the two regions under study (lamprey rice and pickled partridge) were used as metaphors of the cultural transformative power of tourism fluxes over local food systems. Findings point towards a dual influence of tourism development on traditional processes of food preparation and consumption. In Baixo Mondego, the impact of tourism development on food practices associated with the lamprey led to a retrenchment and revitalization of traditional means of capture, preparation, and consumption among the local and visiting populations. In Beira Interior Sul, however, the tourism-related mediatic prominence of the partridge exacerbated the uneven distribution of local foodstuffs and led to angry disputes between localities vying for increased numbers of tourists and revenue. Implications of these findings in light of existing literature on cultural heritage and food tourism are discussed.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)193-212
JournalJournal Of Heritage Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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