"Strange" Foods, Taboos, and German Tastes

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This article examines three contemporary German reports of encounters with "strange" and "taboo" food: a newspaper article about the perils of eating in China, a biographical essay in which contemporary German novelist Birgit Vanderbeke discusses historical changes in the culinary habits of postwar Germany, and a rather unusual cookbook by the same author. These texts provide a snapshot of contemporary German sensibilities regarding food, and they allow us to gain insights about the cultural specificity of taste, historical shifts in our culinary value judgments, and the impact of culinary globalization.

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