Culinary Culture in Colonial India
This book utilizes cuisine to understand the construction of the colonial middle class in Bengal who indigenized new culinary experiences as a result of colonial modernity. This process of indigenization developed certain social practices, including imagination of the act of cooking as a classic feminine act and the domestic kitchen as a sacred space. The process of indigenization was an aesthetic choice that was imbricated in the upper caste and patriarchal agenda of the middle-class social reform. However, in these acts of imagination, there were important elements of continuity from the pre-colonial times. The book establishes the fact that Bengali cuisine cannot be labeled as indigenist although it never became widely commercialized. The point was to cosmopolitanize the domestic and yet keep its tag of 'Bengaliness'. The resultant cuisine was hybrid, in many senses like its makers.
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aesthetic aestheticisation agriculture Ahmad Ananda Publishers argued Bandopadhyay Bankura Basu bawarchis became beef Bengali cuisine Bengali middle-class Bikrampur Bose bottle gourd Brahmin Brahmin cooks British Calcutta Carolina rice caste Chakrabarty Chandra Chattopadhyay Chaudhuri colonial Bengal colonial India colonial middle-class colonial modernity consumed consumption cookbooks cosmopolitanism critique crops culinary skills cultivation curry Datta Debi Delhi Dhaka diet Dipesh Chakrabarty discourse of taste dishes domestic Dwija eastern Bengal eating economic feasts fish fried gahana bori gastronomic culture gendered ghee gram Haldar haute cuisine hilsa Hindu Hindu middle-class hybridity Ibid kitchen Kolikata labour lower classes meat middle-class Bengali middle-class discourse milk Mukhopadhyay Muslim nineteenth century one’s Oriya paddy Panchkari Partha Chatterjee politics potato Prajnasundari published rachanabali Rarh recipes region repr restaurants rohu seeds self-fashioning shuntki social spices subregional sweetmeat sweets Tagore Tetka texts tradition Urdu Varendra vegetables vegetarian village West Bengal western women women’s cooking wrote