Rice and Beans is a book about the paradox of local and global. On the one hand, this is a globe-spanning dish, a simple source of complete nutrition for billions of people in hundreds of countries. On the other hand, in every place people insist that rice and beans is a local invention, deeply rooted in a particular history and culture. How can something so universal also be so particular?
The authors of this book explore the specific history of the versions of rice and beans beloved and indigenous in cultures from Brazil to West Africa. But they also plumb the shared African, Native American and European trans-Atlantic encounters and exchanges, and the contemporary forces of globalization and nation-building, which combine to make rice and beans a powerful substance and symbol of the relationship between food and culture.
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About the Author
Richard Wilk is Provost's Professor of Anthropology and Director of Food Studies at Indiana University. His recent books include Home Cooking in the Global Village (Berg, 2006) and Fast Food/Slow Food (2006).
Livia Barbosa is Professor of Anthropology and Research Director at the Center of Advanced Studies of the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has written extensively on food trends and habits in Brazil.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vii
Notes on Contributors ix
1 A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places Richard Wilk Livia Barbosa 1
2 The Transnational Dish of the Motherland: The African Roots of Rice and Beans Michael W. Twitty 19
3 The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Rice and Beans in Modern Cuba Anna Cristina Pertierra 35
4 Jamaica Coat of Arms: Rice and Peas B. W. Higman 61
5 Beans, Peas, and Rice in the Eastern Caribbean Riva Berleant 81
6 Rice and Beans, Beans and Rice: The Perfect Couple Livia Barbosa 101
7 Beyond Rice Neutrality: Beans as Patria, Locus, and Domus in the Brazilian Culinary System Carlos Alberto Dória 121
8 Cookup Rice: Guyana's Culinary Dougla and the Performance of Guyanese Identities Gillian Richards-Greaves 137
9 All in One Pot: The Place of Rice and Beans in Panama's Regional and National Cuisine Carla Guerrón Montero 161
10 Defending National Foodways: Laying Claim to Tradition in Costa Rica Theresa Preston-Werner 181
11 Nationalizing the Ordinary Dish: Rice and Beans in Belize Richard Wilk 203
12 Rice and Beans, a Staple on Even the Most Respectable Mexican Tables Mari-Jose Amerlinck 219
13 Red Beans and Rebuilding: An Iconic Dish, Memory, and Culture in New Orleans David Beriss 241
14 Conclusions Sidney Mintz 265