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Nourishing the Nation: Food as National Identity in Catalonia

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Volume 44

New Directions in Anthropology

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Nourishing the Nation

Food as National Identity in Catalonia

Venetia Johannes

278 pages, 21 Illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-437-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2019)

ISBN  978-1-80073-203-2 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (February 2022)

eISBN 978-1-78920-438-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The author provides a model useful to others interested in the intersectionality of nation, region, and food. Overall, the book is of great value to Iberian scholars but also provides interesting food for thought for those interested in any related field.” • Food, Culture and Society

“…a fascinating and mostiy well-written study of Catalan gastro-nationalism…There are parts of Nourishing the Nation which are likely to appeal primarily to the academic anthropologist but most of this diligently and intelligently researched book with also intrigue those interested in Catalonia's long, fraught and so far unsuccessful bid to become an independent nation.” • The Critic

“This is an extremely interesting overview of Catalan food and its place as a symbol and signifier of Catalan nationalism as well as of how food has helped maintain Catalan national identity. In addition, it makes your mouth water as you start to search for the nearest Catalan restaurant to test some of the dishes described. Strongly recommended.” • Gabriel Stein on

“This is an excellent piece of work on Catalan gastronationalism as lived reality. It is written well and very readable – not a dry academic monograph but a vivid depiction of how people live ‘food’ in today’s Catalonia.” • Atsuko Ichijo, Kingston University


In the early twenty-first century, nationalism has seen a surprising resurgence across the Western world. In the Catalan Autonomous Community in northeastern Spain, this resurgence has been most apparent in widespread support for Catalonia’s pro-independence movement, and the popular assertion of Catalan symbols, culture and identity in everyday life. Nourishing the Nation provides an ethnographic account of the everyday experience of national identity in Catalonia, using an essential, everyday object of consumption: food. As a crucial element of Catalan cultural life, a focus on food provides unique insight into the lived realities of Catalan nationalism, and how Catalans experience and express their national identity today.

Venetia Johannes is a post-doctoral research affiliate at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. She was co-editor of The Emergence of National Food: The Dynamics of Food and Nationalism (Bloomsbury, 2019), and has published chapters and articles on Catalonia, food, nationalism, and heritage.

Subject: Food & NutritionAnthropology (General)
Area: Southern Europe


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