GASD71 Course Showcase

Projects

This project explores the Ratnalingam family's life and food journeys from Sri Lanka to Canada.... more

Author:
Nelani Ratnalingam

 Rice is an important part of almost every Chinese meal. Here we explore rice as the staple food of China from very ancient times until today, and its cent... more

Author:
Karin Meng

Goan Diasporic Kitchen followed the life of a Goan Catholic female migrant; her journey from Zanzibar to Toronto through her experience of food. This project was to stimulate a... more

Project Page(s):
Author:
Adley Lobo

According to the historian Alan Davidson, China has four great cooking styles that correspond to the four cardinal coordinates: the northern style is centred on Beijing and the Yellow River valley stretching to the east up to Shandong; the central and western style that is concentrated around Sic... more

Author:
Eugene Chen

In this course, we showcase food, migration, work, and urban experiences of Global Asia households living in the Greater Toronto Area. My part of the class project focuses on ‘Fish and Chinese... more

Author:
Jing Li

​From my personal experience and research, Hakka-Chinese and Cantonese foodways are very similar to each other. For example, rice is a staple in both the Hakka-Chinese an... more

Author:
Carmen Lai

Food choices and eating practices are ways in which a community constructs a shared cultural identity and in which one constructs their self-identity. Therefore, food choices ar... more

Author:
Alice Leung

This semester, the students enrolled in the GASD71 Cuisine and Society in Global Asia course were busy learning about structured data, mapping and data analysis. While everyone focused on an individual project based on an oral history they carried out with a community member, we also decided to c... more

Author:
Lydia Zvyagintseva

HISD71 Course Showcase

Projects
 

Before the advent of modern refrigeration, the butcher would purchase an animal directly from the farmer: He would clean it, break it down and sell it the very same day. Modern technology allowed the craft to change and the business was separated into two vocations: The wholesaler who made large purchases from the farmer and the butcher who purchased his products from the wholesaler. The butcher then broke down the meat and sold it to his customers. Since most families would visit the shop several times per week to purchase meat, the butcher shop became a space of community and familial relationships developed between the butcher and his customers. Moreover, the shop provided a place to exchange knowledge: The butcher offered advice and guidance on purchases and cooking technique, and he learned from customer requests about new and different cuts of meat. Yet the rise of the supermarket made it economically difficult for local and family-owned butcher shops to compete. 

Project Page(s):

MMM is a multi-media series discussing migratory and diasporic experiencies through the lens of food. Through this, we are looking into promoting connection within and around communities , by looking at shared pathways through mapping, while also compiling alternative histories of the area by creating timelines.  Thus, a main question that comes to mind is "How do migrant families experience Scarborough (& the GTA)?".

Project Page(s):

As consumers of food we often hear the phrase, "this is authentic _________" from our family, friends and community, but what does it mean? Our research indicates that authenticity is a fluid concept which we construct to explain our memory of engaging with a particular cuisine. 

Food prepared in the home and restaurant offer a familiar yet distinct experience because of how it is presented. Restaurants try to engage clients in a multi-sensory environment where the sights, sounds, smells, and taste connect memory to the contemporary and is especially true of ethnic cuisine. Home cooking maintains a more intimate engagement with the cuisine that restaurants try to create.

Our project takes a closer look at the South Asian cuisine, primarily Afghanistan, Indian, and Pakistani as a diasporic journey from one "homeland" to another.  

Why do proprietors of Italian-Canadian restaurants and grocery stores evoke authenticity to advertise their products? 

The ethnic revival of the 1970s saw individuals reclaiming ethnic identities that their ancestors had given up in the prior decades due to the negative implications of evoking, for instance, one’s Italian heritage during the Second World War. Reclamation took various forms. One of the most prominent ways of doing this was – and still is – consuming products. Individuals wishing to celebrate their ethnicities became one of the major factors that influenced the increased demand for ethnic products. The other part of the demand came from non-ethnics, meaning people purchasing and consuming ethnic products representative of different ethnicities.

There was a particular demand for ethnic foods because as Marilyn Halter eloquently puts it, food is a universal and accessible way to express identity. People wanted to experiment with these new ethnic foods even if a particular food held no cultural connection for them because it was a taste of the exotic, and a way of becoming a tourist without leaving one’s country. There was an increasing demand for fare that adhered to the represented culture. In other words, people wanted authenticity.

The quest for ethnic foods is largely reflected in foodie sentiment, which emerged in the 1990s. It is important to note that the definition for “foodie” is highly contested; this could mean somebody who thinks and talks about food, or somebody who is knowledgeable about food, or simply someone who loves food. In any case, foodie sentiment spread across the nation. Foodies evaluate food based on two central criteria: authenticity and exoticism. Authenticity in and of itself has numerous sub-categories, three of which are significant to our project on Italian-Canadian cuisine. Geographic specificity establishes a connection between a food and a specific place. History and tradition relates to how a food “should be” cooked, how it has been prepared historically. Lastly, simplicity emphasizes a food’s distance from mass-production and connects to small-scale production. All three of these factors call forth authenticity, and owners of food-related businesses evoke these – alongside exoticism – to advertise their products more effectively.

Although Filipinos make up a large portion of the immigrant population of Toronto, their cuisine has flown under the radar in comparison to other ethnic cuisines. Nonetheless, Filipino restaurants can be found all around Toronto, most of which serve home style Filipino food. Instead of comparing several of these, I decided to look at three restaurants of different types:Remely's - an "authentic" restaurant serving home style Filipino food; Max's - another "authentic" restaurant that is also part of a chain originating from the Philippines; and Lamesa - a "modern" Filipino restaurant. I will analyze and compare the three, in addition to exploring the communities in which they are found, to see how they may help us answer the questions posed earlier.

This website is dedicated to Mole Poblano, which has been called Mexico’s national dish, a complex sauce of chile peppers, spices, turkey, and chocolate. As a documentary repository for mole, it seeks to answer the question, can we taste the past?

This project researches the importance of Polish grocery stores to Polish immigrant communities. The focus is on a Polka European Deli, a Polish-owned and operated supermarket that has been in business for over 20 years. It is located at Markham Rd and Lawrence Ave. The project analyzes why the deli is important to Polish immigrants in the GTA and to find out who goes to this specific grocery store. The project analyzes whether or not there is strictly Polish clientele or if there were other customers.

Project Page(s):

This website illustrates how sushi evolved, how they looked, and what factors contributed to its evolution.

Project Page(s):

The biggest way that Biryani was affected by the Indian Pakistan split was due to religion. Back in India, both vegetarian and meat Biryani were equally as important to the food culture. When Pakistan split from India, due to religious differences, it did not take with it the need for vegetarian Biryani. This is because in India, the majority of people at the time were Hindu, and in the Hindu religion, the diet is strictly vegetarian. Whereas, in Pakistan, the majority of people are obviously Muslim and they ate meat. Therefore in Pakistan, meat Biryani is much more popular than Vegetarian Biryani. This is probably why at some Pakistani restaurants, vegetarian Biryani is not even offered.

 

This website serves as a display for a research project conducted by students at the University of Toronto Scarborough as part the History of Culinary Ethnography course. The aim of the project is to analyse halal food locations in East Toronto with regards to Muslim institutions such as mosques.

 
Project Page(s):