Collapse Volume VII, 347–377

Chapter

Theorizing Cuisine from Medieval to Modern Times

Cognitive Structures, the Biology of Taste, and Culinary Conventions

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EXCERPT

How do we come to think that certain flavour combinations are good and that some tastes are to be kept separate, or that one food is to be eaten prior to another? To be sure, individuals have idiosyncratic preferences, and experience strong likes and dislikes for different foods. Yet many of the deeply-held beliefs about food that guide individuals in their cooking and eating are socially-shared ideas about what is right and what is wrong that vary from one historical period and social context to another…