November 22, 2017
Steven Byrd, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director of the Latin American Studies Minor, has been published in Global Food History, a journal presenting new research in food history from prominent scholars in the field.
Byrd’s research addresses “gastronomia mineira,” the state cuisine of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 2016, Minas Gerais passed a law declaring that gastronomia mineira is a “cultural patrimony” worthy of promotion and protection. By doing so, the state aimed to promote tourism and development, while safeguarding a regional cultural identity from foreign influences, the whims of food industry marketing, and Brazilian national identity.
Through his work, Byrd examined the historical development of the promotion of comida mineira. He considered food in the context of Brazilian regionalism and nationalism, the way contemporary chefs and culinary historians have sought to define a “historical essence” of comida minera, and the state government’s effort to promote it.
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