Shifts in Spanish Flavors: Tracking Social Change in 18 Meals

By Zeynep Kilic and Rebeca Maseda.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper contributes to the discourse on the symbolic role of cinematic food consumption –especially linked to its function as representation of the sociocultural problems— through a dialogue between tradition and modernity. Specifically, we will attempt to uncover how individual identities are negotiated in the movie “18 Comidas” (“18 Meals”, Jorge Coira, 2010) vis-à-vis the traditional Spanish family and gender roles, told through stories around each meal. Director Jorge Coira uses scenes of food preparation and consumption to scrutinize the existence and survival of Spanish traditions within a climate of change and intensified globalization. Food and eating are rhetorically invoked to comment on contemporary cultural and social ambiguities around traditions, familial relationships, heterosexual coupling/marriage, male bonding and gender. The food (preparation, treatment, consumption) in 18 Meals is a means to construct and negotiate the oppressive family dynamics, and to offer alternatives for love, desire, and commitment outside of family and tradition.

Keywords: “18 Meals”, Food, Spanish Cinema, Jorge Coira, Food & Family, Food & Gender

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, November 2014, pp.65-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 527.625KB).

Dr. Zeynep Kilic

Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, USA

Dr. Rebeca Maseda

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Department of Languages, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, USA