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date: 23 May 2024

Culinary Tourismfree

Culinary Tourismfree

  • Alicia KennedyAlicia KennedyIndependent Scholar


[This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Food Studies. Please check back later for the full article.]

Culinary tourism has been defined as “the intentional, exploratory participation in the foodways of an other.” The culinary tourist is understood as an individual who actively constructs meaning in their experience through an aesthetic appreciation of food. When one travels, one eats, but this does not always mean partaking in culinary tourism. By definition, culinary tourism entails an intentional and exploratory aspect. It has become a popular way of interacting with the world, whether through actually travelling, using social media to learn about foodways, cooking dishes from cultures other than one’s own, or watching food television. Going to a grocery store in a new area is also considered culinary tourism, according to the definition set forth by Lucy M. Long in Culinary Tourism. The multifaceted nature of culinary tourism requires a multidisciplinary approach that draws from anthropology, media studies, history, and food studies.

In the 21st century, food has been used as a tool of national soft-power interests—chiefly in places such as Denmark and Peru—and the enticement of the culinary tourist has been part of this political work. A more contemporary understanding of culinary tourism would explore the use of food as a tool of soft power, where desire and exploration are somewhat democratized by social media but political-economic power and Western interests still dominate the ways in which a cuisine is understood as worthy of intentional, exploratory participation.


  • Food and the Media