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From Stilton to Vimto: Using food history to re-think typical products in rural development

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Angela Tregear


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Typical products - foods with special characteristics due to local ingredients and traditional production techniques - have been the focus of many studies in rural sociology and geography. Shared suppositions have emerged regarding the historic, artisanal properties of these products and their beneficial contributions to rural development. However, extant studies tend to be fixed in certain theoretical contexts, and they under-appreciate the historic dynamics shaping food-territory links. The present study addresses these gaps by tracing, over time, the evolution of food-territory links in the UK, taking account of critical social, economic and political forces. This leads to a classification of typical products grounded in UK conventions, whose contributions to rural development are contrasted with those of 'classic' Mediterranean products, with some challenging results. The paper concludes that typical products need to be conceptualized from a broader perspective, and that face-value assumptions regarding their contribution to rural development need to be treated with caution.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tregear A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociologia Ruralis

Year: 2003

Volume: 43

Issue: 2

Pages: 91-107

ISSN (print): 0038-0199

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9523

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00233


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