Download Culinary Culture in Colonial India: A Cosmopolitan Platter by Utsa Ray PDF

By Utsa Ray

This ebook makes use of delicacies to appreciate the development of the colonial heart category in Bengal who indigenized new culinary reviews because of colonial modernity. This technique of indigenization constructed convinced social practices, together with mind's eye of the act of cooking as a vintage female act and the household kitchen as a sacred area. the method of indigenization used to be a classy selection that used to be imbricated within the top caste and patriarchal schedule of the middle-class social reform. despite the fact that, in those acts of mind's eye, there have been vital components of continuity from the pre-colonial instances. The e-book establishes the truth that Bengali food can't be categorized as indigenist even though it by no means turned extensively commercialized. the purpose was once to cosmopolitanize the household and but preserve its tag of 'Bengaliness'. the ensuing delicacies was once hybrid, in lots of senses like its makers.

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Additional info for Culinary Culture in Colonial India: A Cosmopolitan Platter and the Middle-Class

Sample text

When he talks about rice from Bengal, what he has in mind is the innumerable variety of local rice grown in Bengal, which started occupying major Western markets in the first half of the nineteenth century. However, he does not take into account the fact that the Carolina rice experiments in Bengal began from the 1860s with the intention of importing Carolina rice from India to Europe. Import of Carolina rice by the British from India to Europe can also mean the supremacy of the British as colonisers who could bring in ‘rational’ agriculture to its colony in order to ‘improve’ its material culture.

37 This attitude summarises what may be termed the theoretical background of the introduction of Carolina rice in India. Eugene Schrotthy, a British journalist stated succinctly, agriculture as practiced in Europe had always been considered a noble art. 38 According to Scrotthy, in eastern countries, agriculture did not progress from what it had been two or even three thousand years ago. 40 Scrotthy’s statements epitomised the colonial state’s perception of the colonised subject. While Scrotthy championed European agriculture on the basis of reason and progress, the twin pillars of enlightenment, his arguments showed that he was not prepared to admit that the colony possessed these two qualities.

6 Indian ingredients in British food were also becoming a reality with the enormous changes in the material culture ushered in by colonialism. The Indian Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition demonstrated the undisputable fact that products never heard of before in India not only became available in the market, but had also started being manufactured in the country itself. But what is most significant is the fact that this exhibition highlighted changes in the dietary practices of the Indians.

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