Food Access, Identity, and Taste in Two Rural Cuban Communities

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While many scholars have examined the idea of consumption preferences, also known as taste, in capitalist contexts, they have not explored how taste manifests in socialist or communist societies. In this case study, we query the ways in which two Cuban communities express taste through food choices and consumption patterns. We find that identity influences preferences less than the prevailing discourse around Cuban cuisine suggests. In addition, patterns among subjects’ responses speak to the ways in which local custom and larger structural forces intersect in respondents' lives. Instead of simply reflecting the notion of class differentiation through consumption, our subjects reveal the significance of gender roles and individual relationships to food production in their discussions of preferences. Thus, this study demonstrates that, while food preferences appear in this resource-constrained context, taste and actuality do not always align.


This article is freely available through the website of Gastronomica: https://online.ucpress.edu/gastronomica.

Gastronomica is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, international journal publishing critical, translational studies on food. In the pages of Gastronomica, you will find examinations of historical trends and transformations in food and eating; analyses of the political, economic, and social dimensions of food production and consumption; research briefs on emerging issues in fields related to food research and innovation; and interviews with key figures in the world of food.

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