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Food and PowerA Culinary Ethnography of Israel$
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Nir Avieli

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290099

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290099.001.0001

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Size Matters

Size Matters

(p.25) One Size Matters
Food and Power

Nir Avieli

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the definition and characterization of Israeli cuisine. Based on interviews with dozens of chefs, restaurateurs, and food critics, and defying existing conventions of Israeli cuisine as an amalgam of diasporic Jewish cuisines, local produce, and (according to some) local Palestinian cuisine, the chapter argues that a defining element of Israeli food is large portions of “satisfying” dishes made from mediocre ingredients. Satiety, in this sense, is explained as a cultural rather than physiological trait. The implications of this tendency for excessive portions are discussed in personal, social, and national contexts. The chapter shows how the meanings Israelis attribute to their desire for large portions shed light on hidden aspects of contemporary Israeliness.

Keywords:   Israeli cuisine, Jewish cuisines, Palestinian cuisine, satiety, excessive portions, contemporary Isrealiness

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