Researcher provides insight into how committed Canadian foodies actually
FREDERICTON, May 28, 2011 /CNW/ - A study of Canadian families in
Toronto and Vancouver says most are happy to eat ethnic foods, but even
if people are open to trying things, European cuisine is still a
favourite. Sarah Cappeliez, a PhD student at the University of Toronto,
is presenting this weekend at the 2011 Congress of the Humanities and
Social Sciences in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Cappeliez's work examines how cosmopolitan Canadian urbanites are in
their eating habits through interviews with families of European
descent in downtown Vancouver and Toronto. These are ethnically diverse
cities and people in the centre are exposed to foods of many cultures.
Cappeliez found that how these individuals deal with variety differs.
She was able to divide interviewees into three categories: Maximizers,
Pragmatics and Tentatives.
The Maximizers, she says, take advantage of diverse foods on offer. They
are interested in a variety of ethnic foods, and actively seek them
out, sometimes driving across town in search of a particular
They are concerned also about 'authenticity' and are interested in
acquiring knowledge through what she called formal channels. For them,
it is akin to an intellectual endeavour. They also tend to be the group
with the highest income.
The Pragmatics, says Cappeliez, are open to trying new foods but won't
go out of their way to find it. They will stick with what's they can
get in their neighbourhood, and rely on friends and acquaintances to
introduce them to new things. The key word for the Pragmatics is
'exoticism.' They see new foods as a way of being introduced to
different cultures, and don't worry about techniques or authenticity.
The Tentatives, says Cappeliez, are the smallest group. They are not
very interested in seeking out new foods, though they are increasingly
aware of the diversity out there and have a made a few changes in their
Cappeliez says her study shows that despite the wide variety of foods
available in cities, a taste 'hierarchy' comes into play with food. For
example, she says that despite their openness to other cuisines, the
Maximizers still tend to favour the European cuisine and recipes that
are a part of their heritage.
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