The Reinvention of Traditional Cuisine as Counterculture

대항문화로서의 전통음식의 재탄생

  • 김지희 (연세대학교 영어영문학과)
  • Received : 2014.07.24
  • Accepted : 2014.09.02
  • Published : 2014.11.28


This paper discusses how the traditional cuisine of Korea capitalizes on "nostalgia" for the past. While examining the (re)invention of Buddhist cuisine and Andong food, this paper contends that traditional Korean cuisine is commodified through a process of de-contexualization. This paper first discusses the possibility that the idea of traditional cuisine is an invention in the first place. The history of temple food, for instance, suggests that it was created as a vehicle for circulating and implementing the ruling ideology in the ancient societies of China. This paper then turns to the issue of the growing influence of traditional cuisine in contemporary Korean culture, which is related to the public's demand for healthy food and also tied with the South Korean society's need for promoting a national cuisine in the age of globalization. The rise of traditional cuisine is a sign that people are seeking to reform their eating habits and form a counterculture. Yet, another side of the story is that consumers end up taking part in the self-expanding capitalist market with more consumer choices rather than forming a genuine counterculture. In this respect, the reinvention of temple food is closely related to what Jean and John L. Comaroff call the "emergence of consumption as a privileged site for the fabrication of self and society, of culture and identity".


Traditional Food;Buddhist Temple Food;Andong;Hut-jesa-Bab;Decontextualization;Food Choice;Consumerism;Counterculture


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