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What is Gourmetization

Handbook of Research on Cultural Heritage and Its Impact on Territory Innovation and Development
Refers to the processes and dynamics of transforming food products from simple, artisanal, rustic into exclusive, luxury and premium products. This can be done by several actors and agents, at different territorial scales.
Published in Chapter:
Rural Provenance Food as Cultural Heritage: A Way of Promoting Territorial Development?
Elisabete Figueiredo (Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences & GOVCOPP, University of Aveiro, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6701-2.ch007
Abstract
The aim of this chapter is to reflect on rural provenance food as cultural heritage, discussing at the same time its contribution to promoting rural development and renewed rural-urban connections in Portugal. This chapter takes a selection of urban retailers (the so-called gourmet or specialized stores) located in Lisbon, Portugal, as the starting point of the discussion. In fact, in commercializing rural food products—generally perceived as higher quality and presenting unique characteristics—urban retailers are selling a piece of the countryside, a piece of specific terroirs, a piece of cultural identity, and a particular vision of the world and savoir-faire. Based on the content analysis of the stores' promotional materials, it is possible to conclude that a growing gourmetization and heritagization in the commercialization of rural provenance food products is taking place in urban contexts. The promotion of foodstuffs held by the stores also relies on the claim that provenance matters, whether that provenance is portrayed as local, regional, or national.
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