Aboriginal Food

Traditional dishes surviving in the fast food era

Authored by: Donald Sinclair , Carolann Marcus

The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415702553
eBook ISBN: 9780203795699
Adobe ISBN: 9781134457335


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The focus of this study is the menus that are rooted in the ancestral traditions of the people that comprise modern-day Guyana, the styles of food preparation that have survived through time, been passed on principally through oral transmission and have left an indelible print upon even the most sophisticated modern Guyanese dish. Aboriginal food finds a place in these ancestral traditions, embracing recipes and cooking methods that go back centuries, are just as popular and appealing today and are a feature of mainstream culinary practice. There is a manifest strength and persistence in this Amerindian culinary tradition in Guyana that serves as a tool for the enhancement of the indigenous cultural identity. In the context of this article, the survival and persistence of Amerindian food and Amerindian culinary tradition must be seen essentially as the triumph of ‘the bush’. In terms of the anthropology of food, the pattern that emerges is of an interior culinary tradition that survives and coexists with ‘coastal’ and foreign concoctions of more recent vintage. This theme of a triumphant interior tradition will underlie the discussion in the section that follows.

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