This article investigates the role of regional cuisines in the building process of national identity in Brazil. Historically, this process has been based on the conjunction of territorial unity and regional diversity, in which regional cuisines acted as hallmarks of national richness. Connections between what people eat and who they are, between cuisine and identity, reach deep into Brazil’s history during the last century, when the ethnic origins of its population—the native indigenous people, African slaves and Portuguese settlers—became an essential part of the building process of national identity. It was necessary to redeem Brazilians’ context of melting cultures as a positive aspect and richness of the nation. During the nineteenth century, intellectuals and political leaders tried to Europeanize Brazil. The authenticity of its roots became an essential part of nationalist ideology when a growing urban middle class appropriated the popular native foods of the lower class and proclaimed them as national cuisine.
|Keywords:||National Identity, Food Habits, Brazil|
Anthropology Teacher, Departamento de Ciências Sociais, Instituto de Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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