Relationship Between Food and Culture
According to an ancient belief, everything a person eats also nourishes her soul. Food is seen more than just a means of survival. It is also considered as a means of retaining society culture and identity. Therefore, man must eat clean, healthy and sufficient food in order to respect both nature and his soul. There are also forbidden foods in some cultures which are wrong to cook and eat these foods and in fact it is considered as a sin.
Food culture (by definition) refers to the practices, attitudes, and beliefs as well as the networks and institutions surrounding the production, distribution, and consumption of food. In all nations, food has a special place in the expression of local beliefs, religion, and traditions. People from different cultural backgrounds have different food tendencies and these food preferences result in patterns of food choices within a cultural or regional group.
It can be said that food has become the cultural ambassadors of nations, and the name of each country evokes certain foods and flavors in the human mind. In religious ceremonies of different cultures food is often used as a means of communication as well as thanksgiving. In addition, food is also a link between generations, as there are special meals in all countries on certain days to cook and eat, passed down from generation to generation. Flavors, condiments and even different cooking recipes each have a special meaning in different cultures. Every year, different food festivals are held in all countries around the world which display a variety of local dishes, vegetables, meats and different cuisines, using local and seasonal ingredients to create unique and distinguishable meals. Actually, food symbolize cultural identity in these festivals and acts as a symbol of people’s religion, ethnicity, social class definition.
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