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The Heritage Arena

Reinventing Cheese in the Italian Alps

Cristina Grasseni

202 pages, 13 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-294-4 $95.00/£67.00 Hb Published (October 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-295-1 eBook


Hb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

“Grasseni writes with a confident hand, deftly analyzing the interplay of the richly varied political forces at work in a small Alpine region of Italy of which she has deep knowledge as a “native” critically distanced by long years abroad and by her calling as an anthropologist.”
 · Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University


“The book is meticulously researched with great detail on the production, naming, localization, politics, and marketing of cheese in the Bergamo area of the Lombardy region of Italy.” · Carole Counihan, Millersville University


“This book is a thoroughly engaging, in-depth look at the struggles between diverse cheesemakers. It demonstrates that a simple cheese is actually the product of complex performances and power relations, as it is constantly being re-invented and re-presented in relation to other actors’ positions.” · Michael A. Di Giovine, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

In Europe a number of production and communication strategies have long tried to establish local products as resources for local development. At the foot of the Alps, this scenario appears in all its contradictions, especially in relation to cheese production. The Heritage Arena focuses on the saga of Strachitunt, a cheese that has been designated an EU Protected Designation of Origin after years of negotiation and competition involving cheese-makers, merchants, and Slow Food activists. The book explores how the reinvention of cheese as a form of heritage is an ongoing and dynamic process rife with conflict and drama.

Cristina Grasseni is a Professor of Anthropology at Leiden University (the Netherlands).

Series: Volume 5, Food, Nutrition, and Culture
Subject: General Anthropology Food & Nutrition
Area: Southern Europe

LC: SF274.I8 G73 2016

BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; SOC055000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Agriculture & Food

BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; GM Museology & heritage studies




Contents

List of Tables, Figures and Maps
Acknowledgements

Introduction

  • Why cheese?
  • Calibrating cheese
  • Post transhumant timescapes

PART I: THE WAR OF THE CHEESES

Chapter 1. Patrimonio and Tipicità

  • The Entrepreneur as Sovereign
  • The Language of Tipicità

Chapter 2. Cultures of Resistance

  • The ‘Mother of all Battles’: Slow Food Bitto versus PDO Bitto
  • The Niche PDO: Formai de Mut
  • The Unachieved PDO: Branzi

Conclusion of Part I

PART II: WE, THE PEOPLE OF VAL TELEGGIO

Chapter 3. A geography of Opposites

  • Straddling uplands and lowlands
  • How Taleggio cheese failed the Taleggio valley

Chapter 4. The Best Cheese in Italy

  • PDO Italian Style?
  • The public trial of Strachitunt

Conclusion of Part II

PART III: DULCAMARA'S SENSES

Chapter 5. Marketing the Sensorium

  • Slow Food and the Geometry of Val Taleggio
  • Taliban and Improvers

Chapter 6.  Reinventing Stracchino

  • Deciphering a Meal
  • Performing Cheese

Conclusion of Part III

Conclusion

References

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