CU/AN 338 - Barcelona: The Culinary City

In recent years, the NY Times has called Spain “the new France,” and Barcelona has become known as one of the culinary capitals of the world, thanks in large part to the legacy of Ferran Adrià and his followers. How can we explain this revolution? This course will trace the legacy of Barcelona’s culinary culture, examining its history within Catalunya and the Mediterranean region, and following it all the way to the city’s current status as a modern-day influential gastronomic and culinary hub.

As we analyze the long history of food culture in Barcelona, we will see that in traditional Mediterranean cultures, food is about much more than what’s on our plate, hence allowing us to establish multiple connections to culture, lifestyle, and rituals. This historical and cultural understanding will provide us with a basis to analyze current topics and trends in Barcelona’s contemporary food scene, such as the avant-garde with Ferran Adrià and his influence over chefs locally and around the world; the changing role of gender in food; chocolate as an example of the globalization of food. We will also be encountering the issue of sustainability in the food industry, an important contemporary topic, throughout. The course will make full use of the city of Barcelona, which we will explore as a social and cultural space for the development of the local food culture.

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Cultural Studies

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