Eating Fandom: Intersections Between Fans and Food Cultures 9780367227432, 9780429276675

This book considers the practices and techniques fans utilize to interact with different aspects and elements of food cu

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Eating Fandom: Intersections Between Fans and Food Cultures
 9780367227432, 9780429276675

Table of contents :
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1 Introduction: Food culture and fandom
Overview of food culture studies
Overview of fan studies
Food as popular culture
Fandoms around food
Food as fan activity
This collection
Chapter 2 Food studies: The language and narratives that define us
What is food?
What are food narratives?
Food culture’s culinary subjectivity
Chapter 3 Food and fandom: A folkloristic food studies perspective
Food in fandom folk groups
Chapter 4 In search of “Hestonthusiasts”: Heston Blumenthal’s liminal celebrity chef status and hybridized fan practices
Heston enthusiasm: Between media and activity
Heston transmediatization: Between media and food
Chapter 5 Poaching from the preserves: Navigating the Food Network’s nomadic fandom
Returning to nomadism
Exploring Food Network industrially
Guy Fieri: The mayor of Flavortown
Alton Brown: From “Good” to “Cutthroat”
Bobby Flay: The iconic and industrious Iron Chef
The last course
Chapter 6 Food poisoning: The Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce debacle and the temporalities of toxic fandom
Rick, Morty, and toxic geek masculinity
Nostalgia and fannish food poisoning
Contextualizing fannish food poisoning
Chapter 7 Learning how to cook without lifting a knife: Food television, foodies, and food literacy
Food television shifts from instruction to fandom
Food television fandom questionnaire
Fan identity versus foodie identity
Identities and food literacies
Chapter 8 A layover of food: Understanding Anthony Bourdain’s approach of describing cultures through culinary interactions and journalism
Food show as format
A parasocial relationship with Bourdain
Method and data analysis
Bourdain as the curious food journalist
Bourdain as the presenter of the humanity of other cultures through food
Bourdain as the eternally cool and iconic chef
Bourdain as the authentic, thoughtful presenter
Chapter 9 Consuming butlers and curry buns: Cooking, becoming, and desiring with Black Butler
Corporate positioning
YouTube re-creations
Anime food blogs
Real life service: Butler cafés
Shared sensations made real
Chapter 10 The promise of cake: Food fandom, tourism, and baking practices inspired by Portal
Culinary fan studies
Portal and baking
Close reading the cake
Official cake tourism and merchandise
Baking and re-creation in fandom
Chapter 11 Making and marketing fan food and drink: Immersion and transformative work
Relationships between fan food and story worlds
“Linked” category
“Themed” category
“Inspired” category
“Re-created” category
“Descriptive” naming convention
“Cultural capital” naming convention
Chapter 12 The “eatymologies” of the theme park: Re-creation, imagination, and the “extra/ordinary” in Disney foodstuff
Food, fandom, and tourism
Eating the theme park: Consuming the imagination
Food, fandom and culinary distinctions
“We even have the grey stuff”: Re-creation and imagination in the home
Chapter 13 Taste culture: Fan food as sensorial play and pilgrimage
Consumption in/as audience studies
Taste: The taking-in
Mimesis/ekphrasis, cosplay/pilgrimage
Food re-creation: Communities and crowd-sourcing
Transmedia spaces and sensorial storytelling
Chapter 14 Procaffeinating: Mapping regional coffee fandom via social media
That (rural) coffee life
Method: Why autoethnography?
“I heard it through the grapevine”: Online tourism and fan labor
Food tourism, fan labor?
Regional businesses: Destination Illawarra
Chapter 15 For the love of beer: Craft beer fandom
Defining craft beer
Craft beer communities
Craft beer fandom and fanship
Craft beer fandom matters

Citation preview

Eating Fandom

This book considers the practices and techniques fans utilize to interact with different aspects and elements of food cultures. With attention to food cultures across nations, societies, cultures, and historical periods, the collected essays consider the rituals and values of fan communities as refections of their food culture, whether in relation to particular foods or types of food, those who produce them, or representations of them. Presenting various theoretical and methodological approaches, the anthology brings together a series of empirical studies to examine the intersection of two felds of cultural practice and will appeal to sociologists, geographers and scholars of cultural studies with interests in fan studies and food cultures. CarrieLynn D. Reinhard is associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Dominican University, USA. Her research focuses on innovating methodological approaches in audience, reception, and fan studies. She is the author of Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities, the coauthor of Possessed Women, Haunted States: Cultural Tensions in Exorcism Cinema and the coeditor of Making Sense of Cinema: Empirical studies into Film Spectators and Spectatorship; Heroes, Heroines, and Everything in Between: Challenging Gender and Sexuality Stereotypes in Children's Entertainment Media; and Convergent Wrestling: Participatory Culture, Transmedia Storytelling, and Intertextuality in the Squared Circle. Julia E. Largent is assistant professor of Communication Studies at McPherson College, USA, and managing editor of the Popular Culture Studies Journal. Bertha Chin is lecturer in the School of Design and Arts at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, and coeditor of Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics and Digital Society. She has published extensively in fan and celebrity studies and is a board member of the UK-based Fan Studies Network. She is also interested in coffee culture and Sarawak heritage.

Eating Fandom Intersections Between Fans and Food Cultures

Edited by CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Julia E. Largent, and Bertha Chin

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Julia E. Largent, and Bertha Chin; individual chapters, the contributors The right of CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Julia E. Largent, and Bertha Chin to be identifed as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identifcation and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Reinhard, CarrieLynn D., editor. | Largent, Julia E., editor. | Chin, Bertha, editor. Title: Eating fandom: intersections between fans and food cultures / edited by CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Julia E. Largent, and Bertha Chin. Description: Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2021. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifers: LCCN 2020022254 (print) | LCCN 2020022255 (ebook) | ISBN 9780367227432 (hardback) | ISBN 9780429276675 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Food in popular culture. | Television cooking shows. | Celebrity chefs. | Fans (Persons) | Food habits–Social aspects. Classifcation: LCC GT2850 .E367 2021 (print) | LCC GT2850 (ebook) | DDC 394.1/2–dc23 LC record available at LC ebook record available at ISBN: 978-0-367-22743-2 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-27667-5 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Deanta Global Publishing Services, Chennai, India

This book is dedicated to our families, who frst introduced us to the wonders of food, and to our fandoms, who continue to fll our lives with wonder every day.


List of fgures List of tables Contributors Acknowledgments 1

Introduction: Food culture and fandom

ix xi xiii xvii 1



Food studies: The language and narratives that defne us




Food and fandom: A folkloristic food studies perspective




In search of “Hestonthusiasts”: Heston Blumenthal’s liminal celebrity chef status and hybridized fan practices




Poaching from the preserves: Navigating the Food Network’s nomadic fandom




Food poisoning: The Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce debacle and the temporalities of toxic fandom



7 Learning how to cook without lifting a knife: Food television, foodies, and food literacy CARRIELYNN D. REINHARD AND LAUHONA GANGULY




8 A layover of food: Understanding Anthony Bourdain’s approach of describing cultures through culinary interactions and journalism



9 Consuming butlers and curry buns: Cooking, becoming, and desiring with Black Butler



10 The promise of cake: Food fandom, tourism, and baking practices inspired by Portal



11 Making and marketing fan food and drink: Immersion and transformative work



12 The “eatymologies” of the theme park: Re-creation, imagination, and the “extra/ordinary” in Disney foodstuff



13 Taste culture: Fan food as sensorial play and pilgrimage



14 Procaffeinating: Mapping regional coffee fandom via social media



15 For the love of beer: Craft beer fandom






10.1 Screenshot of the “Cake Room” by the author 10.2 Portal cupcakes at the geek wedding of friends (reproduced with permission) 10.3 Nerdy Nummies Portal cake, screenshot by the author

124 126 129


7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5

Frequencies of watching food-based television shows ANOVAs with fan identity as comparison factor ANOVAs to compare foodie identity on literacy items Hierarchical regression results using fan identity, foodie identity, and income level ANOVAs to compare income levels on literacy items

77 78 81 82 83


Meredith E. Abarca is a professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso. She earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Davis and writes about food’s transformative power in people’s lives. She has written about food as cultural and theoretical discourses in Voices in the Kitchen (2006); Rethinking Chicana/o Literature Through Food: Postnational Appetites (2013), Latin@s’ Presence in the Food Industry: Changing How We Think about Food (2016), and numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited collections. She is also the creator, editor, and curator of El Paso Food Voices, an archive digital open source project and podcast series. Bertha Chin is a lecturer on social media at Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak). She has published extensively on fan labor, antifandom, intercultural fandom, and fan-producer relationships. She is also a board member of the Fan Studies Network and co-organizes the annual conference in the United Kingdom. Recently, the network has expanded to its Australasian counterpart with an inaugural conference held in the University of Wollongong, Australia, of which she is also one of the main organizers. She is coeditor of Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics and Digital Society (2015). Lauhona Ganguly is an associate professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School. Her research focuses on television studies, global media industries, cultural globalization and international communication. Her work has been published in Television and New Media and in edited volumes on global media and international political economy. Before returning to academia, she worked in the television industry in the United States and India. Victoria L. Godwin is an associate professor of Languages & Communication at Prairie View A&M University. She is assistant editor for the Journal of Fandom Studies. She has published multiple articles on fan customization of action fgures, dolls, and other products. Her publications also explore immersive theme parks and expressions of fan identity via Hogwarts House and other liminal merchandise. She currently has articles published in the

xiv Contributors

journals Transformative Works and Cultures, Film Criticism, Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, and The Journal of Fandom Studies, and book chapters published in The Twilight Saga: Exploring the Global Phenomenon (2014) and Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers (2012). Her current research interests include costuming as a material fan practice, historical reenactment and interpretation, retrophilia, and fandom before the Internet. Matt Hills is a professor of journalism and media in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at the University of Huddersfeld. He is also the codirector for the Centre for Participatory Culture with Cornel Sandvoss, where he supervises PhD projects in the area of media fandom and fan studies. His research interests include fan studies, audience studies, and science fction and fantasy television studies. He has written dozens of articles, book chapters, and books on fans, fan studies, cult television and flm, and audiences in the digital era, including Fan Cultures (2002). Nicolle Lamerichs is senior lecturer and team lead at Creative Business at HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht. She holds a PhD in media studies from Maastricht University. Her research interests include participatory culture and new media, specifcally the nexus between popular culture, storytelling and play. Lamerichs is the author of Productive Fandom: Intermediality and Affective Reception in Fan Culture and coeditor of Fan Studies: Researching Popular Audiences, as well as different book chapters in the feld of media studies. She has also published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Transformative Works and Cultures, Participations, and Well-Played. Her current work revolves around platform fandom. Julia E. Largent is an assistant professor of Communication at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas, where she also serves as the faculty advisor for the student newspaper, The Spectator. Her research focuses on why people are interested in documentaries and how fans communicate and view each other in online spaces. Julia serves as the managing editor for the Popular Culture Studies Journal and is also the vice president for the Midwest Popular Culture Association. She has published and presented on fans’ interactions with social media, virtual pacifsm within video games, and user-generated and user-backed documentaries and television shows. Lucy Long directs the independent Center for Food and Culture and teaches in American studies, ethnic studies, folklore, and nutrition at Bowling Green State University. With degrees in Folklore (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) and Ethnomusicology (Master’s, University of Maryland), she focuses on food, music, and dance as mediums for meaning, identity, community, and power. Her publications include: Culinary Tourism (2004), Regional American Food Culture (2009), Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia (2015), The Food and Folklore Reader (2015), Ethnic



American Cooking (2016), Honey: A Global History (2017), and Comfort Food Meanings and Memories (2017). Sarah McGinley is a senior lecturer at Wright State University, OH and a PhD candidate at Old Dominion University, Virginia. Her current work centers on how fans of Boys Love manga and anime use affective and acquisitive strategies to build community, form identity, and satisfy desire. Her research areas are fanfction, male/male romance fction, and Japanese pop culture in translation with a focus on gender and sexuality. Renee Middlemost is a lecturer in communication and media at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her research focuses on the intersection between fan/audience participation, celebrity and popular culture, and she has contributed to edited collections including The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema; Intercultural Communication, Identity, and Social Movements in the Digital Age; Crank It Up: Jason Statham—Star!; and Aussie Fans: Uniquely Placed in Global Popular Culture. Her work has also been published in journals including Celebrity Studies, M/C Journal, and the Australasian Journal of Popular Culture. She is the cofounder of FSN Australasia, and a co-editor of Participations. Kathie Peterson is a continuing contract professor at Yavapai College, in Prescott, Arizona. She has a Master’s of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master’s of Science in Educational Technology, both from Minnesota State University—Mankato. Her interests include professional wrestling, Supernatural (TV series) fandom, and gamifcation in education. CarrieLynn D. Reinhard is an associate professor at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, where she teaches classes in digital communication technologies, game design, communication research methods, and persuasion. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on reception studies, primarily concerning digital communication technologies. Along with her partner, Christopher J. Olson, she is coeditor of several anthologies and coauthor of two monographs. Her solo authored monograph, Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities, was published by Lexington Books (2018). Suzanne Scott is an associate professor in the Department of RadioTelevision-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry (2019) and the coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom (2018). Her work has been published in New Media & Society, Transformative Works and Cultures, Cinema Journal, Participations, Feminist Media Histories, and Critical Studies in Media Communication.

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Maggie Steinhauer is a PhD student in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests include US television industry history, nonlinear programming, and television scheduling. She is also a Fellow of the Media and Entertainment Industries Program at UT Austin and co–senior editor of Flow Journal, in which her work appears. Leah Steuer is a PhD candidate in Media & Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is interested in fan bodies and affective approaches to media reception, and is currently writing a dissertation on touch, sensation, and emotion in everyday TV viewing. Her work has been published in Transformative Works and Cultures. Shane Tilton is an associate professor of Multimedia Journalism at the Ohio Northern University. He is also a Fellow for the Ohio Northern University Institute for Civics and Public Policy, the Leyline Geek Therapy Advisory Board, and the Center for Society and Cyberstudies. He was named the 2018 Young Stationers’ Prize, was honored twice by the Society for Collegiate Journalists for his work advising the Northern Review, the campus newspaper, and was named the Sheridan Baker Advisor of the Year in 2018. Tilton’s research normally falls in the realms of collegiate gamebased pedagogy, the psychological issues surrounding ludology, multimedia journalism’s infuence on society, social media engagement, and memetic communication practices. His work on social media and its connection to university life earned him the 2013 Harwood Dissertation award from the Broadcast Education Association. Rebecca Williams is senior lecturer in Communication, Culture and Media Studies at the University of South Wales. She is the author of Post-Object Fandom: Television, Identity and Self-Narrative (2015), Theme Park Fandom (2020), and editor of Torchwood Declassifed (2013), and Everybody Hurts: Transitions, Endings, and Resurrections in Fandom (2018). She is a board member of the Fan Studies Network, and her work has appeared in journals including Continuum, Popular Communication, Transformative Works and Cultures, Celebrity Studies, Participations, European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Television and New Media.


The editors and contributors would like to thank their family, friends, colleagues, and peers for their help developing this collection by participating in the research, providing a sounding board for our ideas, and just all around being supportive people. We raise our glasses of Romulan ale, butterbeer, Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, Slurm, miruvor, and Flaming Moe in your honor. Renee Middlemost would like to thank Boris Georgiou of Delano Coffee for his time and valuable insights. The editors would further like to thank Routledge, and particularly Alice Salt, for their patience while the editors and contributors worked to fnish this book during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Introduction Food culture and fandom CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Julia E. Largent, and Bertha Chin

Food matters. Not just for health and sustenance. Food binds communities together through shared experiences and meanings. Food cultures are traditionally communities built around specifc food practices. Whether based on sports or media, fandoms increasingly replace traditional communities due to the modern online, global, and mobile world. Fandoms, then, have become sites for emerging food cultures. Any food, cooking technique, or culinary tradition can become distinct and elevated in an individual’s life when it is tied to a fandom-specifc special event, person, or even text. When the emotional attachment of that special thing includes the food, food becomes more than just sustenance. Food becomes integral to fandom. Nevana Stajcic wrote about the need to see food as a form of communication, as it helps to mediate and negotiate the relationships among individuals, their communities, and their cultural traditions. Food can become embedded with meanings as any other symbol or sign used to communicate between people and across time and space: “it is a nonverbal means of sharing meanings with others” (7). Given this reading, food—and here, we also include culturally important beverages such as coffee and tea—can be analyzed for how it serves as a communication vessel and topic for conveying sociocultural values, ideas, hopes, and fears that refect, reinforce, and even shape individual and communal identities. Thus, food is more than just the means of sustenance; it can also become the means for understanding oneself and others and expressing those understandings. Such actions of understanding and expressing are commonly researched in fan studies around media texts and sports. Those in both the food industry and the entertainment industry are paying attention to these intersections. Celebrity chefs will craft their personas and media appearances to create and maintain an energized fanbase willing to buy products beyond just their dishes and cookbooks (see Brien, Rutherford, and Williamson). Marketers who create transmedia campaigns to appeal to fans will approach those fans through their stomachs, such as renting food trucks to appeal to Game of Thrones fans—creating “miniature fan conventions” as fans converged around this foodie event (Hassler-Forest 687). Across academic and corporate circles, more people are paying attention to how fans are eating their fandoms.


Reinhard, Largent, and Chin

This chapter provides an overview of the emerging focus for understanding fans, fan communities, and fandoms that lies at the intersection of different disciplines, such as fan studies, cultural studies, anthropology, and culinary studies. This focus concerns understanding how food becomes involved in a fandom, either as the source of the fandom or involved in the fan’s or entire fan community’s activities. In essence, this feld of fan studies considers how fandoms relate to food cultures. A food culture refers to the individuals, networks, and institutions involved in the production, distribution, and consumption of food, as well as the norms, beliefs, artifacts, and activities that constitute and circulate through that culture. Food cultures vary across nations, societies, cultures, and historical periods, with trends and techniques adapting and shaping attitudes, practices, and consumption habits. Thus, a food culture can be dependent upon, and infuential to, a specifc community. As a fandom can represent such specifc communities, fan studies scholars are now turning more attention to how fan communities view and use food as part of the practices and values that constitute that collective, or how fan practices are being replicated in the relationship between foodies and food producers. Additionally, with the perception of fan identities as involving certain affective, cognitive, and behavioral components, the conceptualization of what is a fan can be extended to understand “foodies” within a food culture and see them identifying as a “fan” of a specifc food, culinary school, technique, and so forth. Both culinary professionals and foodies could thus be classifed as fans, and the networks and institutions that constitute the food culture could be studied for how they create and maintain such food-based fandoms.

Overview of food culture studies Food exists at the intersection between biological sustenance, physical goods, and sociocultural meanings. The materiality of a food industry, the values of a food culture, and the relationships of a foodscape exist in any dish (Johnston and Baumann 3). “Food plays a structuring role in the social organization of a human community” (Poulain 1); the importance of food lies in how vital it is “in the creation of meaning, the construction of bonds of solidarity and attachment, and the creation of everyday forms of politics” (Johnston and Baumann 31). A food culture or foodscape could be as small as the attitudes and practices of an extended family’s meal habits for a particular holiday, or as large as a nation’s appreciation of a specifc dish as representative of that nation’s identity. From a sociological or anthropological perspective, food links a person to social, cultural, and national norms, drives, customs, and identities (see Germov and Williams; Gofton; McIntosh; Murcott; Poulain). People derive pleasures not just from fulflling their biological needs with the food they consume; the person’s society, culture, and nation inscribe meaning into those foods, and consuming those foods means that the person is also engaging with those meanings and thereby relating to the larger communal forces in their lives. Food is a social construction, as symbolic of larger meaning as any other system of signs that circulate within a community.



Being a member of a food culture helps a person learn what is appropriate and inappropriate for food production and consumption, as those norms shape, refect, and reinforce ideological perspectives. Food is part of the world, and thus food can be used to communicate about the world and how to live with it. Thus, vegans and raw food enthusiasts have different relationships to food and the world than hunters or snout-to-tail enthusiasts. Locavores think about their relationship to the world differently than fast food purveyors.As discussed by Meredith Abarca and Lucy Long in this collection, studies of food cultures seek to understand how people interact with food, or with each other around food (see also Anderson; Germov and Williams; McIntosh). Such work seeks to understand the complex ways in which people, their communities, and the nature of food interact with one another to form habits, tastes, preferences, and appetites. Studying food cultures can involve a variety of questions by seeking to understand “the myriad sociocultural, political, economic, and philosophical factors that infuence our food habits—what we eat, when we eat, how we eat, and where we eat” (Germov and Williams 5). Studies look at food systems for how food is produced and circulated. Sometimes the focus is on the nutritional value and health of the food being produced and circulated. Other research considers matters of social class and hierarchy as they relate to tastes and sociocultural values (see Johnston and Baumann). Sometimes the focus is on how different norms and identities form around and become enmeshed in the food’s production, circulation, and consumption. Studies from a functionalist perspective seek to understand how food represents social relations and structures, while studies from a structuralist perspective consider how a society or culture informs specifc rules regarding food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption (see Mennell, Murcott, and van Otterloo). These different sociological and anthropological approaches to food demonstrate a feld of study concerned with understanding the roles food plays in an individual’s life and a community’s formation and maintenance. While entire nations, ethnic cultures, and regional communities tend to be the food cultures studied with these approaches, fandoms and fan communities have emerged as another location to study these relationships, practices, and meanings surrounding and embedded in food.

Overview of fan studies Already an interdisciplinary feld, fan studies draws on theories and methods from various academic disciplines to understand what it means to be a fan, to be part of a fan community, and to have a fandom. It consists of different disciplines and methods, all focused on defning, exploring, understanding, explaining, predicting, and criticizing fans. Whatever the approach, it begins with a defnition of “fan.” Typically, this defnition begins with a conception of someone having a “positive emotional engagement with popular culture” (Duffett 17). At the


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same time, this affective aspect could involve immensely negative emotions, such as hate-watching, resulting in a perceived antifandom. Other defnitions add a cognitive dimension to this basic affective foundation, such as engaging with texts to understand the world, construct meanings, identify with others, adopt ideologies, and so forth (see MacDonald). On top of these cognitive and affective dimensions, then, emerges a behavioral aspect, as fans regularly engage with the text or object of affection (see Sandvoss). In a sense, then, someone’s fandom represents their attitude toward some object of affection. “Breaking down being a fan to these constitutive, attitudinal elements allows comparison of fans across different fandoms, as well as the processes involved in fandom” (Reinhard 4). On an individual level, being a fan means repeatedly returning to something to which one has a positive emotional connection and uses to, in some way, relate to and make sense of their lives, others, and the world. This individual level, however, is usually not enough for understanding what it means to be a fan or to have a fandom. In addition, to understand a fan requires an understanding of their communal, social, and cultural relations: “One becomes a ‘fan’ not only by being a regular viewer of a particular program but by translating that viewing into some kind of cultural activity, by sharing feelings and thoughts about the program content with friends, by joining a ‘community’ of other fans who share common interests” (Jenkins 41). Indeed, any “social dimension of fandom can intensify the cognitive, behavioral, and affective aspects of being a fan” as well as allow fans to co-construct each other through “establishing the boundaries and expectations for their interacting with one another” (Reinhard 4). The object of affection lies at the center of the individual and communal levels, “but fans only recognize themselves and others as fans by how they engage with one another in the community that emerges around this object” (Reinhard 4). Fan studies, then, can understand how an individual views themselves as a fan, or how they view themselves in relation to a community, or how a fan community views itself—or all three as they relate to one another. Fan studies tackles many questions, from exploring and explaining different fan practices and perspectives to critiquing social and cultural practices involved in fandoms. Overall, the historical trajectory of such studies has gone “from categorizing and understanding such individuals as ‘fanatics’ to appreciating and even celebrating their active participation in modern capitalistic economies” (Reinhard 4–5). Fan studies truly emerged and gained legitimacy as a scholarly discipline during the “‘Fandom is Beautiful’ phase” that sought to normalize fans and redeem them from the label of “fanatics” by studying fandom as the means to resist sociocultural or economic conditions or as just a regular function of everyday life (see Gray, Sandvoss, and Harrington). Fandom became conceptualized as “how we make sense of the world, in relation to mass media, and in relation to our historical, social, cultural location,” thereby explaining “what it means today to be alive and to be human” (Jenson 312). As everyday life also involves tension and strife, contemporary fan studies does study the darker side of fandom and fan communities, such as antifans and fan harassment. However, most fan studies remain focused on understanding



fan practices, whether as individuals or communities, and how those practices impact people’s lives and relationships.

Food as popular culture Fan studies often aligns with popular culture studies, from the perspective that fan communities represent a populace that has coalesced around some text, thereby demonstrating the popularity of that text for that specifc era or over a length of time. Popular culture studies emerged from a critical distinction regarding low and high culture, and the need to celebrate low culture as being the culture of the masses. As mentioned, fan studies also emerged from this need to reconceptualize fanatics from obsessive actions to common, everyday practices. Over the past decade, if not longer, social and cultural conceptions of food have also changed, with distinctions between low and high culture being reworked: high culture food has become more available to the wider populace, and low culture food has increasingly been celebrated (see Johnston and Baumann; Parasecoli). In this way, food has become another aspect of everyday lives studied as a popular culture phenomenon. For some researchers, the focus is on a specifc type of food culture, such as beer culture as a popular culture, or more generally considering food in popular culture. With so many different approaches possible for studying the intersection of food and popular culture, these studies exist under the interdisciplinary umbrella of popular culture studies, various disciplines have offered different perspectives (Parasecoli 11). For example, the concept of culinary tourism allows researchers from a tourism, hospitality, or cultural geography perspective to consider food as popular culture. Studies of Japanese tourism practices around udon noodles found issues with authenticity and identity wrapped up in tourist’s appreciation of these dishes (Kim and Ellis; Kim and Iwashita). Sociology and anthropology, meanwhile, provide insights into the roles that food plays in a community, culture, or society, such as a local diner, a sporting venue, or a multinational fast food chain. For example, David Gerard Hogan examined the American fast food chain White Castle for how it helped shape a specifc cultural identity for the United States. This exploration of how the food represents some national or cultural identity also occurs in critiques of food culture media representations. Francesco Buscemi analyzed the portrayals of women in Italian food cooking shows for how they refect traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Frances Bonner examined the representation of Asian foods, and thus cultural identities, in Australian cooking competition shows to understand the extent to which both had become normalized within the country. Delia Chiaro considered the tensions between the food consumption practices of the United Kingdom with the portrayal of foreign food cultures being circulated in the country via the media. Jonatan Leer and Katrine Meldgaard Kjær also considered this tension in examining British food culture shows Gordon’s Great Escape and Jamie’s Italian Escape, concluding that the portrayal of foreign food cultures results in questioning the authenticity of the non-British foods to justify British food as superior.


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Other related studies may consider how this representation comments on the contemporary living conditions of the readers, such as Lena Henningsen’s reading of the Chinese bestselling novel The First Intimate Touch for how it handles the globalization of coffee and fast food cultures. Likewise, Lorie Brau examined the Japanese manga Oishinbo as a medium for communicating about food and cultural identities, particularly what is being communicated about Japanese food trends and obsessions. Sometimes these representations occur in a text popular with a specifc cult audience, such as the cult television series Twin Peaks and how the presentation of food adds to the surreality of the text (Lorna Piatti-Farnell); or how the consumption of food in South Park adds to that cult TV show’s critique of American culture, particularly its grotesque overconsumption of food (Johnson-Woods). Sometimes, these studies consider texts around which fandoms have formed to highlight how the portrayal of food could inspire fans to care more about that food. Emily Gray et al. have argued that such representations, especially through celebrity chefs, can result in “food pedagogues” who explicitly or implicitly educate their viewers about proper food consumption and habits. Linda Rossato conducted such a study to understand the impact of watching cooking shows, fnding viewers admitting to taking notes and trying new recipes because of their television consumption. In a sense, these studies concern issues with literacy and persuasion, and provide the initial step toward considering how a fan may come to express their fandom through activities related to food. If the food or culinary tradition or technique appears positively in the text at the center of the fandom, then fans may be more likely to engage with that food in their own lives. One common way food culture intersects with popular culture is the creation of cookbooks to refect the foods seen in or inspired by a pop culture text. Cookbooks have been published to help fans produce the food from Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jane Austen books, or to encourage children to cook by drawing on D.C. superheroes and Disney princesses. Such cookbooks can draw on a fan’s affection for the original text and characters and function as another ancillary consumable fans can purchase to further their emotional engagement with the text as well as their memorabilia collection. These cookbooks could also refect the fan’s cultural values and fulfll their desire for nostalgia, as Gretchen Neidhardt argues in analyzing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cookbook. When a cookbook is created by the fans, then that intersection refects how food can become an activity through which the fan communicates their fandom; as such, fan-produced cookbooks are considered later in this chapter.

Fandoms around food A primary way to consider where food comes into a fandom is by examining popular culture texts and seeing how the fandom responds to the food represented or involved with that text. Commonly, such popular culture texts come from movies, television, comic books, and other forms of mediated content.



These texts could also involve sports, given the common associations between eating and watching or playing sports. As mentioned earlier, increasingly food itself, and associated industries and practices, is seen as a popular culture text. As such, food itself can be at the center of a fandom. With food-themed television shows such as The Great British Bake-Off and Chopped gaining popularity, there is increased attention on fans of food. Much of fandom studies focuses on media fandom; however, individuals can be fans of much more than that which is mediated: people are fans of food and food cultures. For example, it is possible to think of foodies as fans of food. A foodie is a person with a self-professed fascination with food, “somebody who thinks about food not just as a biological sustenance, but also as a key part of their identity, and a kind of lifestyle” (Johnston and Baumann 1). Foodies are people who “love cooking, to learn about food, to identify themselves with these activities, to think about food quality, to share food, to establish a social bond through food-oriented social meetings and to be meticulous while preparing a meal or buying food” (Yozukmaz, Bekar, and Kiliç 172). While in the past this person may have been called a gourmet or connoisseur, those terms do not adequately cover this new form of fandom. The gourmet perspective traditionally applies to upper-class individuals who are able to afford fne foods, especially French cuisine, considered to be the epitome of food in the Western hemisphere during the 20th century (Johnston and Baumann 5–8). A foodie is not necessarily upper class and is not only concerned with such haute cuisine (Johnston and Baumann 12–13). A foodie may be interested in a variety of cuisines and culinary traditions and techniques. Furthermore, a gourmet’s interest in food may be more personal, whereas a foodie may engage with a community and share their experiences with others (Collins, “Cooking Class” 271). Both a gourmet and a foodie, of course, may have specifc preferences for foods and cuisines, meaning that their fandom has a narrow focus rather than just loving all food. Additionally, the past several decades have seen a proliferation of mediated texts focused on food and food cultures (see Collins; Johnston and Baumann for historical overviews). Cooking shows, going back to television personalities such as James Beard and Julia Child, help people learn how to prepare dishes to impress their families and guests. Such television shows could be the audience’s frst exposure to foods and food cultures beyond their own experiences, and in watching the shows, they learned not only about the dish but also about the culture from which it emerged. Even to this day, personalities such as Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver, and Alton Brown develop fanbases that help them to sell not only their recipes but also other ancillary merchandise, like cooking supplies and cookbooks. Other celebrity chefs, such as Heston Blumenthal, can expose their fans to new techniques and technologies brought into the kitchen, to highlight the difference from the fans’ domestic kitchens to the expert’s laboratorial kitchen (see Brien). Similar to other reality TV stars and celebrities, celebrity chefs serve the function of creating a consumer base for media focused on food and food cultures; in other words, their purpose is to


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create a fandom with “an appetite for consumption that can never be satisfed” (Hansen 50). Along with such cooking shows, food culture is now represented through other genres. Cooking competition shows such as MasterChef and Top Chef pit professional or amateur cooks against one another for an ultimate prize, and the format has been replicated internationally. Travel shows like Man vs. Food and No Reservations send their hosts around the world to try culture-specifc cuisines. In these genres, the primary audience pleasure is not in learning how to cook but in seeing others cook—or fail to do so—and to experience the vicarious thrill of trying new foods in new locales. Additionally, Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann argue such programming helped to demystify different food cultures as well as challenge the “high-brow/low-brow tendencies” common in foodie culture (45). Fandoms emerge around these different shows, and the same types of literacies could emerge from engaging with these texts as any other text that represents food. Indeed, fandoms can emerge specifcally around a chef and elevate that professional to celebrity status. Such fanbases then follow that chef to whatever venture they undertake, both in the kitchen and across the media. And such fanbases can form through the chef’s media savvy, as they utilize online and social media to build brands around their persona and their specifc approach to food. Donna Lee Brien, Leonie Rutherford, and Rosemary Williamson analyzed how chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson have created transmedia brands that blur the lines between their public and private lives to encourage their fans to consume them as well as their food. In studying the consumers of celebrity chefs, Emma-Jayne Abbots found that such individuals purchase a variety of food and cooking-related items because of their attachment to a celebrity chef. While Abbots does not refer to these consumers as fans, her description of them and their desire to create close relationships with these chefs clearly aligns with traditional conceptualizations of fans from fan studies. Similarly, Hanna Garth studied the lasting impact of Cuban celebrity chef Nitza Villapol in helping her loyal viewers (aka fans, although she does not label them as such) learn to cook given restrictions in their lives.

Food as fan activity Whether the food is in a popular culture text or is the center of the fandom itself, food and culinary traditions or techniques can become part of a fan community and fandom through various fan activities. First, a fan may recreate the food they saw or heard about from the popular culture text. For example, fans may recreate the breads from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the traditional dishes from Jane Austen novels, or the showstoppers from The Great British Bake-Off. Such re-creations could be for special fan community events, such as a convention or viewing party, but they could just become a part of the fan’s everyday lives and develop a new culinary tradition for their lives. Eating the food as part of the popular culture text allows the fan to develop a more intimate



relationship with that text, thereby enhancing their emotional attachments to the text (Abbots 237). Second, a fan may work as an archivist and gather the recipes of the popular culture text, either as they appear in the text or through the work of their or their fan community’s re-creation. Such curatory actions should not be confused with offcially licensed cookbooks that serve as ancillary merchandise for the popular culture text. Fan-created cookbooks may never be published in print, but they may circulate online through discussion forums and blogs, and could serve as a defning document to bond the community members together. Rossato found such fan activities, without calling them such, when Italian viewers became “prosumers” and shared their new learnings online for other interested viewers and foodies. The website Fiction-Food Café (www by Diana serves as a case study for this type of fan activity, as blogger Diana shares recipes for reproducing the foods from her favorite popular culture texts. Third, a fan may curate information about a food culture or culinary tradition or technique not to help other fans produce the food but to help other fans understand some aspect of that food culture or culinary tradition or technique. For example, fans may produce maps of a city or country to illustrate where certain cuisines can be experienced as seen in a popular culture text. Fans can produce how-to videos to demonstrate ways to complete tricky or unfamiliar dishes to fans who may not share the culinary traditions of the popular culture text. Doing so can help the fan community’s bonds, and can help the fans serve as cultural ambassadors, sharing their knowledge to bridge cultural gaps. Fourth, when the fandom involves gathering at a physical location, food becomes involved in the fandom given its necessity. Theme parks are replete with fandom-related foods, such as the Be Our Guest Restaurant at Walt Disney World for Beauty and the Beast fans. Food at conventions may not be fandom-related, such as the giant soft pretzel, but can become staples for a fandom given their ubiquity. Similar associations between a fandom and a food can occur at a sporting event; usually such food is unhealthy, fast food, leading some fans to wish for healthier offerings to imbibe as part of their pastime (Ireland and Watkins 686). Even more informal gatherings of fans can involve foods commonly associated with the fan community, such as Mountain Dew and Doritos with Dungeons and Dragons game sessions. James Cronin and Mary McCarthy argue that the consumption of junk food by gamers helps to form the gamers’ identities and communal bonds by allowing the gamers to push back against mainstream norms involving appropriate food consumption. Whether the gathering involves merchandised or stereotypical cuisine, because of the necessity to eat, food is commonly associated with fandom. Fifth, fan pilgrimages occur whenever fans travel to a location in some way connected to their object of affection (Frost et al. 12–13). Such pilgrimages may involve a shooting location for a flm or television show like the streets of New York City or London, the production offces for the media such as Studio Ghibli or Skywalker Ranch, or a locale that inspired some aspect of


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the text such as Lake Tahoe for Bonanza or La Sagrada Família in Archer and Armstrong. Any fan pilgrimage could then involve culinary or food tourism should the nature of the fandom be focused on a specifc restaurant or food culture. For example, Samuel Seongseop Kim, Jerome Agrusa, and Kaye Chon found that watching Korean food culture as portrayed in the Korean television series Dae Jang Geum increased the intentions of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand residents to visit South Korea to experience the food for themselves; thus, the representation of food potentially creates fans of Korean food culture and can increase food tourism. Essentially, fan activities involving food are meant to help spread the information about the food, to experience more aspects of the popular culture text, and to get closer to that text. The consumption of food related to the object of affection could be a way to establish a more authentic experience with the fctional or just mediated experience (Frost et al. 12–13); unlike other fandoms or fan activities, consuming food allows for the closest form of intimate, parasocial interaction possible. Eating the food represented in the text allows the fan to experience a different type of emotional attachment—a more sensual attachment that allows them to increase their identifcation with the text. This sensual identifcation allows the fan to blur the line between their physical, everyday lives and the mediated, even fantastical, situations of the text. Such food-based activities and performances are similar to role-playing and cosplaying activities when the activity is focused on such boundary blurring. At other times, these activities are similar to other fan curation and fan transformative activities, when fans act to bring the knowledge of the food out in their fan communities.

This collection Bringing attention to the intersections of fandom and food culture is not meant to suggest that this is a new phenomenon. Rather, it is meant to—in a more concerted effort—bring attention to a subset of fan activities that have been underexplored despite how important they are to the fans who practice them. Additionally, the collection hopes to provide an interdisciplinary bridge to explore this subset of fans’ lives. Thus, the Eating Fandom anthology begins with two chapters from noted food culture scholars Meredith Abarca and Lucy Long. In her chapter, Abarca addresses the concept of food as a form of communication and how it can bind a community while informing a person’s identity. Long adds to this discussion from a folklore studies perspective to argue for understanding fandoms as folk groups and thus directly integrating food culture with fan practices. Their insights provide a foundation from which the fan studies scholars present analyses of different types of fandoms and fan practices involving food. Six chapters consider fandoms based on realistic foods by analyzing the fans of celebrity chefs, reality television, and food-based communities. In Chapter 4, Matt Hills considers Heston Blumenthal fans, also known as Hestonthusiasts,



negotiating the transmedia nature and democratization of the Blumenthal brand. Margaret Steinhauer examines the nomadic fandom on Tumblr for various Food Network celebrities in Chapter 5 and how those fans relate to the complex presentations of those celebrities. In Chapter 8, Shane Tilton explores the fandom that continues around the late Anthony Bourdain and addresses the issues of authenticity in the fans’ parasocial relationship with the late chef and food journalist. CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Lauhona Ganguly maintain the focus on fandoms around food television in Chapter 7, in which they present the results of a study examining whether fans learn from the shows that they love. In Chapter 14, Renee Middlemost discusses the coffee fandom of small businesses in Australia for how important fan labor is to those businesses’ success, while in Chapter 15 Kathie Peterson and Julia Largent argue how craft beer fans refect common fan activities, especially in their use of social media to establish communities. The remaining chapters focus on the fans’ interaction with fctionalized foods. In Chapter 9, Sarah F. McGinley explores fans’ attempts to recreate a specifc dish, curry buns, from Black Butler as a refection of their desire to consume both the food and the characters in the manga and anime series. Similarly, in Chapter 10, Nicolle Lamerichs seeks to understand fans’ attempts to create the cake from the Portal video game series as a form of fan activity that allows performance of their fan identity as well as an embodied experience of a video game reward. Additionally, in Chapter 13, Leah Steuer considers how fan re-creation and consumption of fctionalized food operates as another form of fan pilgrimages. Chapter 12 also looks at the matter of fan pilgrimage activity as Rebecca Williams discusses fans’ negotiations of the food and cookbooks associated with Walt Disney World. Then, in Chapter 11, Victoria L. Godwin presents a taxonomy of fan activities and labeling practices around recreating fctional or mediated foods to help future scholars analyze and discuss this aspect of fan studies. Taking a different approach, Suzanne Scott uses the McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce promotion, and the negative reaction that Ricky and Morty fans had to it, to argue for how “food poisoning” can apply allegorically to specifc instances of toxic fandom in Chapter 6. Our hope is that these fourteen chapters can help people interested in the possible intersections between fandom and food cultures by providing a review of the studies concerned with these intersections. The empirical essays in this collection may well inspire future studies to build upon what is known, specifcally by focusing on the fans and their meaning-makings and activities involving food. Additionally, the hope is to extend to other areas of popular culture, and thus people’s everyday lives, the concepts and theories of fan studies to highlight the overlaps between these different areas. Such interdisciplinary and transmethodological work would then help the application of fan studies to other areas such as religion and politics. Indeed, the hope is to use fan studies to help people make sense of various aspects of a fan’s life, and to underscore the normality of being affectively engaged with something, whether celebrity, food, or politician.

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References Abbots, Emma-Jayne. “The Intimacies of Industry: Consumer Interactions with the ‘Stuff’ of Celebrity Chefs.” Food, Culture and Society, vol. 18, no. 2, 2015, pp. 223–43. Anderson, E. N. Everyone Eats: Understanding Food and Culture (2nd ed.). New York City: New York University Press, 2014. Bonner, Frances. “The Mediated Asian-Australian Food Identity: From Charmaine Solomon to Masterchef Australia.” Media International Australia, vol. 157, 2015, pp. 103–13. Brau, Lorie. “Oishinbo’s Adventures in Eating: Food, Communication, and Culture in Japanese Comics.” Manga: An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives, edited by Toni Johnson-Woods. New York City: Continuum, 2010, pp. 109–27. Brien, Donna L. “‘Something Diabolical but Delicious’: Heston Blumenthal’s ‘Gothic Horror Feast’.” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 6, no. 2, 2017, pp. 203–17. Brien, Donna L., Leonie Rutherford, and Rosemarie Williamson. “Hearth and Hotmail: The Domestic Sphere as Commodity and Community in Cyberspace.” M/C Journal, vol. 10, no. 4, 2007, Buscemi, Francesco. “Television as a Trattoria: Constructing the Woman in the Kitchen on Italian Food Shows.” European Journal of Communication, vol. 29, no. 3, 2014, pp. 304–18. Chiaro, Delia. “A Taste of Otherness Eating and Thinking Globally.” European Journal of English Studies, vol. 12, no. 2, 2008, pp. 195–209. Collins, Kathleen. “Cooking Class: The Rise of the ‘Foodie’ and the Role of Mass Media.” The Routledge History of Food, edited by Carol Helstosky. London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 270–90. ———. Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows. New York City: Continuum, 2009. Cronin, James M., and Mary B. McCarthy. “Fast Food and Fast Games: An Ethnographic Exploration of Food Consumption Complexity Among the Videogames Subculture.” British Food Journal, vol. 113, no. 6, 2011, pp. 720–43. Duffett, Mark. Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture. New York City: Bloomsbury, 2013. Frost, Warwick, Jennifer Laing, Gary Best, Kim Williams, Paul Strickland, and Clare Lade. Gastronomy, Tourism and the Media. Bristol: Channel View Publications, 2016. Garth, Hanna. “‘They Started to Make Variants’: The Impact of Nitza Villapoi’s Cookbooks and Television Shows on Contemporary Cuban Cooking.” Food, Culture and Society, vol. 17, no. 3, 2014, pp. 359–76. Germov, John, and Lauren Williams. “Introducing the Social Appetite: Towards a Sociology of Food and Nutrition.” A Sociology of Food and Nutrition: The Social Appetite, edited by John Germov and Lauren Williams. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 3–26. Gofton, Leslie. “The Rules of the Table: Sociological Factors Infuencing Food Choice.” The Food Consumer, edited by Christopher Ritson, Leslie Gofton, and John McKenzie. New York City: Wiley & Sons, 1986, pp. 127–53. Gray, Emily M., Carolyn Pluim, Jo Pike, and Deana Leahy. “‘Someone has to keep shouting’: Celebrities as Food Pedagogues.” Celebrity Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 2018, pp. 69–83. Gray, Jonathan, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington. “Introduction: Why Study Fans?” Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, edited by Jonathan Gray Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington. New York City: New York University Press, 2007, pp. 1–16.



Hansen, Signe. “Society of the Appetite.” Food, Culture and Society, vol. 11, no. 1, 2008, pp. 49–67. Hassler-Forest, Dan. “Skimmers, Dippers, and Divers: Campfre’s Steve Coulson on Transmedia Marketing and Audience Participation.” Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, 2016, pp. 682–92. Henningsen, Lena. “Coffee, Fast Food, and the Desire for Romantic Life in Contemporary China: Branding and Marketing Trends in Popular Chinese-Language Literature.” Transcultural Studies, vol. 2, 2011, pp. 232–70. Hogan, David Gerard. Selling ’Em By the Sack: White Castle and the Creation of American Food. New York City: New York University Press, 1997. Ireland, Robin, and Francine Watkins. “Football Fans and Food: A Case Study of a Football Club in the English Premier League.” Public Health Nutrition, vol. 13, no. 5, 2009, pp. 682–7. Jenkins, Henry. Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. New York City: New York University Press, 2006. Jenson, Joli. “Fandom as Pathology: The Consequences of Characterization.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, edited by Lisa A. Lewis. New York City: Routledge, 1992, pp. 9–29. Johnson-Woods, Toni. Blame Canada! South Park and Popular Culture. Bloomsbury, 2007. Johnston, Josée, and Shyon Baumann. Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape (2nd ed). New York City: Routledge, 2015. Kim, Samuel Seongsep, Jerome Agrusa, and Kaye Chon. “The Infuence of a TV Drama on Visitor’s Perception: A Cross-Cultural Study.” Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, vol. 31, 2014, pp. 536–62. Kim, Sangkyun, and Ashleigh Ellis. “Noodle Production and Consumption: From Agriculture to Food Tourism in Japan.” Tourism Geographic, vol. 17, no. 1, 2015, pp. 151–67. Kim, Sangkyun, and Chieko Iwashita. “Cooking Identity and Food Tourism: The Case of Japanese Udon Noodles.” Tourism Recreation Research, vol. 41, no. 1, 2016, pp. 89–100. Leer, Jonatan, and Katrine Meldgaard Kjær. “Strange Culinary Encounters: Stranger Fetishism in Jamie’s Italian Escape and Gordon’s Great Escape.” Food, Culture and Society, vol. 18, no. 2, 2015, pp. 309–27. MacDonald, Andrea. “Uncertain Utopia: Science Fiction Media Fandom and Computer Mediated Communication.” Theorizing Fandom: Fan, Subculture, and Identity, edited by Cheryl Harris and Alison Alexander. New York City: Hampton Press, 1998, pp. 131–53. McIntosh, Wm. Alex. Sociologies of Food and Nutrition. New York City: Plenum Press, 1996. Mennell, Stephen, Anne Murcott, and Anneke H. van Otterloo. The Sociology of Food: Eating, Diet and Culture. Los Angeles: Sage, 1992. Murcott, Anne. “You Are What You Eat: Anthropological Factors Infuencing Food Choice.” The Food Consumer, edited by Christopher Ritson, Leslie Gofton, and John McKenzie. New York City: Wiley & Sons, 1986, pp. 107–25. Neidhardt, Gretchen. “Cooking in Oz: Designing Instruction and Packaging Nostalgia.” MA Thesis, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2014. Parasecoli, Fabio. Bite Me: Food in Popular Culture. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2008. Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. “‘That Cherry Pie Is Worth a Stop’: Food and Spaces of Consumption in Twin Peaks.” Return to Twin Peaks: New Approaches to Materiality, Theory, and Genre on Television, edited by Jeffrey A. Weinstock and Catherine Spooner. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 87–109.

14 Reinhard, Largent, and Chin Poulain, Jean-Pierre. The Sociology of Food: Eating and the Place of Food in Society (trans. by Augusta Dörr). New York City: Bloomsbury, 2017. Reinhard, CarrieLynn D. Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018. Rossato, Linda. “Good Food, Good Fun: An Exploratory Study on Italian Audience Consumption and Perception of TV Cookery Programmes,” inTRAlinea, 2014, www Sandvoss, Cornel. Fans: The Mirror of Consumption. Boston: Polity Press, 2005. Stajcic, Nevana. “Understanding Culture: Food as a Means of Communication.” Hemispheres, vol. 28, 2013, pp. 5–14. Yozukmaz, Nisan, Aydan Bekar, and Burhan Kiliç. “A Conceptual Review of ‘Foodies’ in Tourism.” Journal of Tourism and Gastronomy Studies, vol. 5, no. 4, 2017, pp. 170–9.


Food studies The language and narratives that defne us Meredith E. Abarca

In 2008 Warren Belasco wrote in Food: The Key Concepts that “while it may be premature to announce the birth of a new discipline of food studies, signs of increased [food scholarship] activity are everywhere” (25). Twelve years later, we can state quite confdently that Food Studies has frmly grounded itself as an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary corpus of study connecting methods from the humanities and social sciences. The proliferation of this scholarship is evident by the number of academic and trade presses with specifc categories on Food Studies: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, the University of California Press, the University of Arkansas Press, Ashgate, Routledge, Bloomsbury, and W.W. Norton are just a few of these publishers. Universities throughout the United States and Europe offer undergraduate, post-graduate, and certifcate programs on applied and theoretical Food Studies research. The Association for the Study of Food and Society’s website offers a list of these programs, an extensive list of the most recent publications and public lectures, and information on its annual meetings. Clearly, twelve years after Belasco’s speculation, Food Studies scholarship is frmly grounded in the academy. One thing Belasco affrmed in 2008 was that a person interested in studying the complexity of food’s history and culture should become a generalist and interdisciplinary scholar rather than a specialist within a single discipline: [W]e need generalists—people with a decent grounding in science and poetry, agriculture and philosophy, who are not afraid to question assumptions, values, and methods. [When it comes to food] we need to think about matters political, historical, economic, socio-cultural, and scientifc all at once. As generalists we must study food as a system. Such holistic thinking actually restores our sense of power and humanity, for when it comes to eating, humans are generalists, i.e. omnivores. (7, italics in original) By making food the orbit of scholarly research, what is fundamentally being explored and analyzed is what we might call “food culture.” Food culture means a lot of things: locavores, foodies, gourmand; agriculture, agribusiness,

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organic food, process food, labor inequalities; food deserts, food colonization, ancestral foods; and the list goes on. To comprehend what this culture is and what type of identity construction shapes the social values within this culture, three questions need to be examined: what is food, what are food narratives, and why do culinary subjectivities matter. This chapter tackles each question to provide an overview of what it means to study food culture.

What is food? Food. As a four-letter word, food is simultaneously a noun and a verb. It refers to a material item, a performative action, a symbol and/or metaphor. A complete and complex sentence is expressed in just one word. A complete sentence suggests a process of communication that includes subjects (agents), verbs (actions), and objects (relationships). What makes “food” a complex sentence is that the nature of relationships being expressed is farreaching: emotionally, socially, culturally, politically, and ecologically. This four-letter word has the capacity to radically transform the nature of identity politics by adding a category that questions the weight normally given such politics. Food grounds identity politics frst in seemingly fxed markers created through the accident of our birth: nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, for example. However, food becomes an ever-changing embodied identity marker as our food practices do changed over time. Biologically, our bodies need different foods as we move through all stages of our growth. Food availability, for most people, does not remain constant throughout their lives: these changes are brought by the very food industry or food systems affecting people’s everyday life, or by peoples’ migratory patterns and socio-economic realities. If we are what we eat, our palate does not remain constant throughout most of our lives. Austin Clarke, a Canadian novelist born in Barbados, attests to the weight and ever-changing nature that this four-letter word carries as an identity marker. He begins his culinary memoir, Pig Tails ’n Breadfruit by saying: Food. It defnes my life. […] Food: that thing that went into my stomach in such delightfully huge quantities, and that had such delectable taste and smell, when I was a boy. Taste and smell are important distinctions in my mother’s defnition of what food really is. Food to her, as to me, is something very special, almost supernatural. Something that blends in with the culture of the place I was born. (1–2) As Clarke continues to describe the numerous of ways food defnes his life, and by extension who he has been and has become, he embraces the taste and smell of the foods of places he lives throughout his life as part of himself. After teaching at Duke University for a while, he claims: “I considered myself to be as much a Southerner as a Barbadian [wallowing] in pecan pie, Virginia ham and above all, Southern fried chicken” (229–30). While the food of the cultures we

Food studies


are born into do leave an everlasting imprint in our sense of identity, the food of other places we eventually call home add more imprints. Food is a language. It carries material realities and expresses symbolic meanings. As Belasco says, food is a system of communication. In “Toward a Psychosociology of Contemporary Food Consumption,” Roland Barthes states that food is “not only a collection of products that can be used for statistical and nutritional studies. It is also, and at the same time, a system of communication, a body of images, a protocol of usages, situations, and behavior” (14). Barthes further suggests situations through which food’s communicative expression can be analyzed: “by direct observation in the economy, in technique, usages and advertising; and by indirect observation in the mental life of a given society” (14). Food goes beyond being edible and sustaining; it creates social practices flled with cultural signifcance. Food is abundant with historical, political, economic and ecological implications, while at the same time flled with personal cultural symbolic and affect meaning. What further makes food a system of communication, cultural anthropologist Jon Holtzman argues, is that food “serves as a site of articulation for powerful, if seemingly disparate, threads of causality and meaning” (53). For psychologist Paul Rozin, this form of articulation is what makes food simultaneously “fundamental, fun, frightening, and far-reaching” (9). Food is fundamental as it does not simply represent culture—it is culture, as historian Massimo Montanari illustrates in his book Food is Culture: “The dominant values of a food system in human experience are, to be precise, not defned in terms of ‘naturalness,’ but result from and represent cultural processes depended upon the taming, transformation, and reinterpretation of nature” (xi). Epistemologically and ontologically, food is fundamental because it shapes our subjectivity through “our experiences of embodiment, [through] the ways that we live in and through our bodies” (Lupton 317). Furthermore, philosophers Deane W. Curtin and Lisa M. Heldke in Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food illustrate how food centers our subjectivity as a relational being by underscoring our interdependence to others (both humans and animals) and to nature. Ethically, food helps us see our subjectivity as one of interdependence where our actions and attitudes towards food are not free of consequences affecting others. Because food and eating carry an enormous emotional charge—feelings of joy, bliss, and togetherness as easily as feelings of sadness, fear, and isolation—Deborah Lupton defnes appetite (having or not having one) as an “emotionally favoured hunger” (316).An aspect that makes food have a frightening and far-reaching effect is that while food is indispensable for our survival, and with it we create communion, our dependence on food is inseparable from violence. Eating is “by defnition … a deadly act, the frst one in history. [Eating] implies the sacrifce of a living being, be it animal or vegetable,” and through such sacrifce we make culture (Pascual Soler 45). Food is voice. According to nutritionist Annie Hauck-Lawson, food as a system of communication carries its own unique voice. For her, food as voice

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comes “forth as a powerful, highly charged, and personalized voice […] that crystallizes the dynamic, creative, symbolic, and highly individualized ways that food serves as a channel of communication” (6). Food’s voice expresses material and symbolic realties that are experienced and remembered as an embodied lived and living history that is communicated through narratives (Carolan 9).

What are food narratives? First of all, narratives tell stories. Food narratives tell stories through the lens of foodscapes. Humans are the only story-telling animal who crafts narratives of identity through expressing how we gather, cook, consume and share our food practices. These practices in turn refect how each one of us thinks about and engages with the world. Food narratives are discursive by nature and communicate simultaneously in at least three distinct discourses. The personal food story is of particular interest for in it all three levels of discourse (i.e. cognitive, sensory, and affective) are simultaneously played out. First, cognitively involves the process by which people learn lessons about food through what culture, history, science, and the politics and economics embedded in food systems teaches us. Second, through the senses, people learn to distinguish favors, textures, aromas, tastes, colors of foods; we use the information stored through our senses to make judgments, ethical and otherwise, about ours and others’ food practices; our senses are also key in creating mnemonic mechanisms to remember past culinary experiences. Third, like any good story, food evokes a range of emotions from the pain of hunger to the discomfort of on overstuffed belly, from the grace of receiving food to sadness caused by nostalgia for a meal no longer in our reach. Food narratives’ form and context varied vastly. They illustrate lived experiences and often anticipate desires. Their means of expression are personal oral stories, printed literature, media in the form of flms, food shows, TV programs, news reporting, social media, and advertisements. Food narratives, however, communicate beyond the limits of cognitive expression found in words and images. They also exist as embodied narratives that fnd expression in the performative acts that occur while gathering, making, eating and sharing food; even without the assistance of words, people can fully engage in a communicative process through their senses and emotions. Again, quoting from Clarke’s memoir, he speaks about this sensorial and affective narrative device of a food story by the way he describes the cooking technique of “feeling-up” food. He says: One thing about cooking that comes from slave days is that you have to feel-up everything. […] You have to touch-up the food and love-up the food. Rub your two hands over the pig tails and the salt beef, together with the seasoning. If you do not touch-up and love-up the meats and the ingreasements, your food is not going-respond and taste sweet when it done. (64)

Food studies


It is in the very act of “feeling-up” food that a story is communicated by the cook and understood by the one who eats such food. Food stories, then, speak to us at a very intimate and private level. In What We Talk About When We Talk About Food, Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson demonstrates how it is through talking—telling stories about food— that such private experience is shared with others. She writes that through spoken or written forms of food stories it becomes “possible for us to share the unsharable—that is, our sensual, powerfully private experience of eating” with others (Kindle: Loc. 287). She further argues that “Food talk recounts the ways that food affects our lives. More than that, it shows how food can help us live those lives. We talk about food both to craft identities and construct social worlds” (Kindle: Loc. 215). Elsewhere I have proposed that the importance of food narratives is that in telling what, how, and when we eat, we are showing who we are (Abarca and Colby). If procuring, consuming, and literally sharing food with others create social and cultural networks, it is though the crafting of our interpretive narratives that these experiences have the power to defne our subjectivities. Food narratives help us understand the many ways food’s material and symbolic meanings defne our sense of who we are historically, culturally, politically, and socio-economically. They help create and give meaning to food cultures. Just like all cultures are constructed by peoples’ sense of identity, which fnds expression in everyday practices, a culinary culture works the same way. Food cultures are formed by ever-changing social constructions. They are not fxed in place, space, and time in which people simply become members by following a preset set of rules, values, and practices. Because people’s dietary needs, socio-economic realities, place of residence, and personal palate do change over time, transforming the food narratives employed from established social signifcance to everyday culinary practices, food cultures are constantly re-defned by how people create foodscapes. These foodscapes form a food culture identity that I refer to as “culinary subjectivity,” a visceral and performative sense of being (Abarca, “Afro-Latina/os’ Culinary”).

Food culture’s culinary subjectivity People’s cultural identity based on their nationality, ethnicity, or race are products of a place of birth and a family born into. People’s food cultures, on the other hand, where a culinary subjectivity as a bodily performative act is formed, is the product of active engagement within ever-changing foodscapes that for many people transcend national borders and encompass multitude of culinary ethnic based favors. The word “subjectivity” underscores this active engagement. As a philosophical concept, subjectivity presupposes that all people are inherently subjects not objects. Subjects have the quality of possessing perspectives, experiences, feelings, beliefs, and desires that shape and are shaped, in this case, by the food cultures that frame people’s foodscapes. A culinary subjectivity does not mean free will, however. Culinary choices are

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impacted by food made available by the food industry, values embedded within diverse food systems, food popularized by media outlets and popular culture which promote an idea of a lifestyle, as well as by food adaptations born out of peoples’ voluntary or forceful migratory journeys and socio-economic status. While food cultures are the sites where a multitude of culinary subjectivities can be expressed, they all share a single communality: that it is frst and foremost through our “bodies” that we engage with, belong to, and think about the world. “Food itself … remind us—as Plato noted—of our materiality[,] as humans beings we both have and are bodies” (Gilbert and Porter xxvii). Of course, Plato did not develop philosophical perspectives anchor on food; on the contrary, his theories were all about the transcending, universal, unchangeable truths. Food is a reminder of continuous change, most fundamentally from nature to culture, from living to dying. But the very materiality implied in food cultures makes for a culinary subjectivity that allows people to realize how much we live in our bodies and how through our bodies we create ways of being in the world. It is through the body that people experience and understand their ever-changing foodscapes. Annia Ciezaldo, in her book Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War, offers a powerful moment that illustrates how it is the body that anchors people in the world. Once a special correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Baghdad and The New Republic in Beirut, she writes about how the practice of cooking and eating creates a feeling of home and offers a taste of belonging. As a journalist, she often fnds herself being assigned to cover a story in places flled with the conficts of war. She speaks about how through cooking she transforms every new location into a dwelling flled with favors, textures, and aromas that make her body be the site of home. She writes: When I’m in a strange new city and feeling rootless, I cook. No matter how inhospitable the room or the streets outside, I construct a little feld kitchen. In Baghdad, it was a hot plate plugged into a dubious electrical socket in the hallway outside the bedroom. […] I cook to comprehend the place I’ve landed in, to touch and feel and take in the raw materials of my new surroundings. I cook food that seems familiar and foods that seem strange. I cook because eating has always been my most reliable way of understanding the world. I cook because I am always, always hungry. And I cook for the oldest of reasons: to banish loneliness, homesickness, the persistent feeling that I don’t belong in a place. (8) Ciezaldo’s words capture the deep-rooted function that food—preparing it, gathering it, and consuming it—has as the “raw material” to create a home out of any geopolitical and socio-economic realities. By engaging with the “raw material,” by fusing familiar ingredients with unfamiliar ones, she bridges spaces that would keep her as an outsider in a new place. These new spaces allow her to create a culinary subjectivity through which she not only understands the

Food studies


world, but also and most importantly, anchors herself in the world. It is, therefore, through actively creating culinary subjectivities that people embody narratives, express discourses, and engage in practices to negotiate their personal symbolic relationships with food’s raw material in order to transform such rawness into realities that are flled with symbolic social signifcance. As a theoretical tool, culinary subjectivities affrm that people are culinary subjects with a degree of agency in shaping what kinds of subject people can or want to be at different stages of their lives. This degree of agency is expressed differently by each culinary subject as the circumstance in an individual’s lives are unique to them. For example, public historian Yolanda Chávez Leyva, a participant to the open-source digital project El Paso Food Voices (where food-based stories from residents of El Paso, Texas, are gathered, analyzed, and archived), refects on the foodscapes of her life from childhood to becoming a grandmother. As she shares the food narratives that illustrate her everchanging culinary subjectivity, she speaks of her childhood as a period of hoarding food: I’ve a lot of memories about food throughout my whole life. Starting when I was three, I’d hoard food. I’d hoard vegetables in the drawers. And I’m not really sure [why] because my mother fed me very well. I think maybe I was born with fear of not getting enough nutrition because I was so tinny when I was born, two pounds, because I was sharing the womb with my twin sister. So, I was hoarding food. So, I’ve always been really aware of the presence of food in my life. (Abarca, “Yolanda”) Later on in her life, the food narratives created by the food industry to modernize the American diet with process foods, which her mother embraced, and with fast food becoming easily accessible, led her to defne herself as a “big fast food junky” (Abarca, “Yolanda”). By becoming a historian interested in the lives of indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica and the Chihuahua Desert, where her ancestry comes from, two new food narratives begun to impact her relationship with food, and thus her culinary subjectivity: food colonization by the food industry and food de-colonization by claiming ancestral food: In my 40s, I started to go to Mexico, mostly to the ciudad de Mexico [Mexico City] and also the state of Morelos to different indigenous villages […] Indigenous food from central and southern Mexico started to be important to me. So, I had teachers in Mexico who taught me, for example, about “los siete guerreros” [the seven warriors]. I learned about the very traditional food that were the basics of our ancient ways of eating: corn, beans, squash, chiles, “amaranto” [amaranth], maguey, [and cutie]. (Abarca, “Yolanda”) These ancient foods, the history they carry into the present, are now central to Chávez Leyva’s culinary subjectivity. She recognizes this centrality by

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acknowledging that through our bodies and senses we carry memories of such historical context. For example, for her when she eats corn, she believes that rekindles ancient memories that live within her: Corn is something that we’ve had a relationship for 8000 years. And I say a relationship with that plant; corn can’t live without us and for thousands of years we couldn’t live without it. […] I’d love to have that relationship with what I put in my body. It’s something I work on. Having grown up in the 60s when TV dinners were like super exciting and sometimes we’d have them and were really happy, it’s hard to have that relationship. […] I was raised distant from fresh corn; we always had can corn. I can think of very few things we ate fresh; it was all process food. I want that relationship of understanding. I’ve tried to grow corn to have that relationship. (Abarca, “Yolanda”) Forming a deep relationship with ancestral foods means for Chávez Leyva learning about and respecting the source of food, the earth, and recognizing the indigenous value that people, plants, and animals are interconnected. Developing this relationship has become integral to Chávez Leyva food culture. She shares this culture with her grandchildren by teaching them with “attention and intention” about these foods and methods of growing, gathering and preparing it, so that they can experience the histories and knowledge embedded in food by touching, hearing, listening, and tasting while it’s been grown, cooked and consumed. By sharing these food narratives with her grandchildren, they are invited to make this kind of relationship with food signifcant to their own culinary subjectivities.

Conclusion The examples provided above, from Clarke and Ciezaldo’s culinary memoirs and Chávez Leyva’s food oral story, show how culinary subjectivities are formed by the foods people incorporate into their bodies. For sociologist Claude Fischler, this process of incorporation reveals how the symbolic values that have been linked to foods and drinks through a variety of social sectors become part of people’s identity. One of these social sectors, as this collection demonstrates, is fan culture or fandom. Since food is a language that fnds expression in multiple kinds of narratives that tell the stories of people’s ever-changing culinary subjectivity, the foods linked to any form of fan culture tells the story of yet another culinary subjectivity. Food and fandom are both key in making sense of life at the individual and collective level and of exploring ways to engage with and being in the world. The cognitive and affective nature of a culinary subjectivity is lived, archived, recognized and performed in, with, and through people’s bodies. Placing food at the center of any study that explores people’s cultural practices, like fandom, illustrates the materiality of our existence and the centrality of our body to defne who we have been, who we are, who we hope to become, and what inspired us along the way.

Food studies


References Abarca, E. Meredith. “Yolanda Chávez Leyva: Private Kitchens.” El Paso Food Voices, 2019, ———. “Afro-Latina/os’ Culinary Subjectivities: Rooting Ethnicities Through Root Vegetables.” Food Across Borders, edited by Matt Garcia, E. Melanie DuPuis, and Don Mitchell. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2017, pp. 24–43. Abarca, E. Meredith, and Joshua R. Colby. “Food Memories Seasoning the Narrative of our Lives.” Food and Foodways, vol. 24, no. 1–2, 2016, pp. 1–8. Barthes, Roland. “Towards a Psychosociology of Contemporary Food Consumption.” Food and Culture Reader, Fourth Edition, edited by Carole Counihan, Penny Van Esterik, and Alice Julier. New York City: Routledge, 2019, pp. 13–20. Belasco, Warren. Food: Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2008. Carolan, Michael. Embodied Food Politics. Farnham: Ashgate, 2011. Ciezaldo, Annia. Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War. Florence, MA: Free Press, 2011. Clarke, Austin. Pig Tails ’n Breadfruit: A Culinary Memoir. New York City: The New Press, 1999. Curtin, W. Deane, and Lisa M. Heldke, Editors. Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992. Ferguson Parkhurst, Patricia. Word of Mouth: What We Talk About When We Talk About Food. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014. Fischler, Claude. El (H)omnivoro: El Gusto, la Cocina, y el Cuerpo. Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1995. Gilbert, M. Sandra and Roger J. Porter. Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing. New York City: W.W. Norton and Company, 2015. Hauck-Lawson, Annie. “Hearing the Food Voice: An Epiphany for a Researcher.” Digest: An Interdisciplinary Study of Food and Foodways, vol. 12, no. 1–2, 1992, pp. 6–7. Holtzman, Jon. Uncertain Tastes: Memory, Ambivalence, and the Politics of Eating in Samburu, Northern Kenya. Oakland: University of California Press, 2009. Lupton, Deborah. Food, the Body and the Self. Los Angeles: Sage, 1996. Montanari, Massimo. Food Is Culture. New York City: Colombia University Press, 2006. Pascual Soler, Nieves. A Critical Study of Oakland: Female Culinary Detective Stories: Murder by Cookbook. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009. Rozin, Paul. “Food Is Fundamental, Fun, Frightening and Far-Reaching.” Social Research, vol. 66, no. 1, 1999, pp. 9–30.


Food and fandom A folkloristic food studies perspective Lucy M. Long

Food and fandom seem like an obvious intersection, both in practice and in scholarship. Fans eat for sustenance, but, like most humans, they also eat as an expression of identity, values, and creativity. They use food to create relationships, construct groups, and to show belonging—as well as rejection of a group or denial of membership in it. Furthermore, food ties fans to other aspects of their own lives and, whether they recognize it or not, to larger political and economic systems beyond the objects of their fandom. Humanities and folklore-based food studies contribute these understandings of food to the study of fandom. The humanities focus on meaning: how meaning is constructed; how it becomes attached to certain objects, practices, and thoughts; and how it is the basis for action (Long, “Meaning-Centered Research”). According to this approach, humans, if given a choice, decide on responses according to their interpretations of what and why something is and how it is connected to them personally. Understanding the meanings of food, then, is crucial to understanding what people do with it. This chapter focuses on the humanities feld of folkloristics (folklore studies) as a lens for viewing food and fandom. Folklore was one of the foundations of the interdisciplinary feld of food studies and continues to be infuential today.1 Folklorists had long included traditional food practices as part of any culture’s folklife, but a paradigm shift towards sociolinguistic-based performance studies in the 1960s encouraged scholars to see food as a dynamic medium through which individuals and groups performed, constructed, and negotiated their identities. A substantial body of literature resulted that moved scholarship beyond earlier descriptive studies of practices, materials, and people who were seen as representing continuity with the past. This literature instead emphasizes personal agency in creating meaning but also recognizes the tension between individuals and a group, and seeing individual choices as shaped by that collective but also potentially subversively challenging its practices and authority. Folk groups are composed of individuals, all of whom have their own set of resources or “vocabulary” for acting and interpreting the world. While folk groups are frequently spoken of as communities, it is useful to distinguish between the two. A folk group offers a collective identity, but community involves a sense of mutual obligation and support. People think of

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a community as a group on which they can depend, who they can trust to be there when needed. The assumption of mutual obligation also exists; people expect to return something to a community. That return might be actions, such as bringing a dish to a potluck, but it can also be an attitude of caring about and valuing other members. In this sense, sharing recipes or sharing photographs of the results of following someone else’s recipe can be a way of giving back to the community. As such, folk groups as communities have an emotional component; people feel attached to them, and then feel happy with their support but sadness when they fail in that support. Thus, approaching fandom as folk groups and as folk communities helps demonstrate how individuals develop a sense of collective identity around the object of fandom. It also helps to explain the emotional and social bonds some may feel to others in the group. Groups affrm the meanings of a production and help individuals construct those meanings. The groups themselves can also become meaningful sources of identity and socializing for individuals. Food can play a signifcant role in these processes.

Food in fandom folk groups Approaching fandom as a folk group illustrates some of the processes by which fans develop a sense of collective identity. First, a folk group is one that shares some sort of commonality around which individuals have regular interactions. Those interactions then create opportunities for expressive traditions to be developed. Those traditions then encourage even more opportunities for sharing experiences and for developing a sense of collective identity. To apply this concept to fandom, consider, for example, how individuals devoted to a particular flm share that interest, establishing a commonality that then gives them something to talk about with each other. This commonality, perhaps, leads to further communications and even actions such as gathering together to view that flm. Those communications and actions then offer more potential commonalities to discuss and act upon, leading to a sense that the group is part of one’s identity as well as social network. Food is oftentimes a component of such interactions around a shared interest, and it can easily become an expressive tradition of that particular folk group. Fans of a particular flm, for example, may start meeting at a specifc restaurant because of its convenience and accessibility. The restaurant might have no obvious connection to the object of fandom, but it may become a tradition, even when chosen for pragmatic purposes, for that particular group to meet there out of their shared experience. Similarly, a particular cuisine or food genre might be a favorite of individual fans. Others who share that taste then fnd another commonality around which to interact. For example, fans who are vegetarian might form a subgroup within the larger fan group. Food in these examples is secondary to the object of fandom, but it can easily become the focus of activities and communications. Opinions of what cuisine or which dishes are appropriate to accompany viewing a flm, for example,

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can become a source for much discussion and interaction, leading again to a perception of commonality based on shared tastes and values. For example, tours of Northern Ireland to see production locations for Game of Thrones or New Zealand for Lord of the Rings usually last long enough that people need to eat during the activity. While food can simply be a matter of sustenance, procuring and consuming it offer opportunities for sharing experiences, becoming a commonality that reinforces the sense of belong to this group. Food directly connected to an object of fandom can also become the basis of the formation a group, and this is probably what comes to mind most readily when talking about food and fandom. Common examples include cookbooks or websites giving recipes of dishes consumed in a flm or book; re-creations of meals included in those productions; tours of locations referenced in a work or even used as the side of production; and even the creation of commercial products replicating imagined foods. Indeed, several chapters in this collection demonstrate this connection. The existence of these products alone does not create a folk group of fans, but the opportunity for interactions around this shared interest offers the potential for individuals to feel part of both the larger group of fans and the subgroup of fans who appreciate that experience. Jellybeans marketed as favors from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling offered an excellent opportunity for individuals familiar with the books or flms to play tricks on unsuspecting people. The unusual and oftentimes disagreeable tastes frequently elicited surprise and disgust—and much laughter among the perpetrators, who then felt a sense of kinship with other perpetrators. I speak from experience of watching my children use these jellybeans to determine who was knowledgeable about Harry Potter and, therefore, a potential friend. Additionally, the re-creation of dishes and meals in an object of fandom offers numerous opportunities for shared experiences and the recognition of commonalities between individuals. My own boys loved the Redwall series by Brian Jacques when they were children. At family reunions, they would play Redwall with their male cousins, who had also been given the books by my mother. (She gave the girls the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace, and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, but these did not stimulate as much group interaction.) As they grew older, the books remained a commonality that formed the basis of further shared experiences. When they were attending colleges an hour apart, they executed raids in which one would be brought back to the other’s college for a feast, using recipes from a Redwall cookbook. These experiences confrmed their social and emotional bonds, and although they do not think of themselves as a folk group, other individuals who are familiar with Redwall are more readily acknowledged as potential friends. Also, dishes that evoke the series (roasted parsnips, for example) have become a frequent part of family holiday meals, expanding the folk group beyond the overtly zealous fans. While these commonalities can develop organically from individuals’ interests and experiences, they can also be “invented” for marketing purposes. An industry of cookbooks, recipe websites, events, and tours have

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actually developed around food in literature and flms, and these oftentimes cater to fan groups. Fans also develop such products themselves without any desire for monetary gain. The reward is perhaps in seeing one’s own interests affrmed and fnding others to share with. The recent flm production of Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019), for example, inspired an essay with recipes for dishes shown or mentioned in the book by Louisa May Alcott (Hysmith). I shared the essay with my own friends, generating plans for a meal and flm viewing. I would not describe myself as belonging to a fan group around the Louisa May Alcott’s works, but I did read them all as a child, and fnding others who are familiar with them is offering an opportunity to sharing those memories in a new social experience, affrming a sense of membership in a group. The point of describing such fan groups as folk groups is that these groups provide a collective identity that is meaningful to the individuals involved. A fan can be one individual, but as a group, their interests (frequently seen by others as obsessions) are affrmed, shared, and recognized as signifcant to who they are. The expressive traditions that develop out of those commonalities then reinforce the group identity. Similarly, they can be used to deny membership in that group. An individual who likes a particular flm, but has no interest in the food shown in that flm, will not be considered “one of us.” Like the Harry Potter jellybeans, food can be used as a “litmus test” for knowledge about that product; those who know the food are accepted as part of the folk group of fans, while others are rejected. Seeing foods that are part of fandom experiences as folk foods helps demonstrate how they play a meaningful role in defning and refecting fan’s interests. A fundamental concept in folkloristics is that materials originating in commercial mass-production and dissemination can be used in ways that carry identity and meaning. This happens through the variations applied to them that in some way personalize or localize them, resulting in them becoming a part of that individual’s or group’s traditions (Long, “Green Bean Casserole”). For example, spam was substituted in Hawaii for small slices of raw fsh tied with a strand of dried seaweed to a small block of rice. Spam musabi is now an iconic food in the state and is seen as representing the Japanese infuence on the culture mixed with the American military presence that introduced spam. In a formal way, ramen noodles used to be a basic food to which college students add hot dogs, condiments, or spices according to their own tastes, becoming a culinary tradition representing the fnancial circumstances of this population (Kim and Livengood). The processes of personalization and localization can easily occur with foods consumed by fan groups. These acts sometimes express the identity of an individual within the group, as in chili for viewing a football team game that uses commercially produced ingredients but arranged in a way that becomes associated with a specifc individual. The dish might also refect the identity of the group as a whole, with a group drawing upon ingredients from their ethnic heritage to add to a dish. Localization can occur in a similar way by using

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ingredients or foods associated with a particular place. Place-specifc brands of chips or snacks, for example, can be featured at a gathering of fans. Even recipes invented by food companies have become part of local cultures and can become a tradition expected to be present at a gathering. Green bean casserole, invented by the Campbell Soup Company in 1955 using mass-produced ingredients, has become a part of many family holiday and everyday meals in the eastern Midwest.2 As such, it has become a folk group tradition. Some cooks insist on keeping the recipe as given by the company, while others vary it according to their own tastes or values. Similarly, foods that have been invented for a book or flm, such as the Harry Potter series, may become a traditional part of meals, social events, or even other dishes. Both store-bought and homemade birthday cakes have been personalized with Harry Potter chocolate, jellybeans, and lollipops—items mentioned in the books but now created and marketed by food corporations. Such traditionalization can occur through any aspect of the foodways of a dish, not just through its recipe. Foodways refers to the total system of practices around cooking and eating with each practice impacting others and oftentimes gathering meanings and memories without us realizing it (Long, Food and Folklore). Procuring ingredients from a specifc store can become a tradition in itself, as can be going to a favorite website for recipes. Cooking together has become a popular form of entertainment, and, when done with others in preparation of foods connected to an object of fandom, the activity itself becomes a part of that fandom. This traditionalization also means that consuming specifc foods that are favored by other fans allows for an experience to be shared simultaneously, albeit not in one another’s physical presence. Similar to the consumption of turkey at the American Thanksgiving meal, such experiences support the feeling that one is part of a larger “imagined community” of likeminded people (Anderson).3 Activities such as frequenting a specifc restaurant popular among fans or consuming a specifc cuisine favored by other fans are also ways in which to share a common experience with other fans. While no one might point to a restaurant as a folk site, the selection of it because others also select it can be seen as part of that particular folk group’s foodways. Culinary tourism is an additional concept from folkloristic food studies. While tourism from an industry perspective involves travel, the cultural approach conceives it as a state of mind, as the “intentional exploratory participation of the foodways of an Other” (Long, “Culinary Tourism” 21). Food can be a way of “trying out” fandom, of tasting the experiences in a group. Curiosity about a food can be stirred by watching a flm or reading a book. The description of a dish might inspire tasting and seeking a restaurant or recipe. Cookbooks for Jane Austen’s books or BBC’s Downton Abbey illustrate instances of a product creating curiosity. Fans may try out the recipes, share their results, and discover other fans with similar tastes, creating a sense of belonging to a group of fans. Similarly, interest in the food might stimulate interest in the original product itself. Readers of Jane Austen novels, for example, may fnd themselves going back to the novels looking specifcally for references to food after reading the cookbooks based on them.

Food and fandom


In a more obvious way, literature and flms have stimulated travel in which fans seek locations where they can experience food as it was presented in a context similar to the original story or portrayal.As my daughter described in response to queries about food and fandom:“pretty much any historic site I’ve visited where I’ve had tea, it felt like I’m imaging Jane Austen” (Santino). She further explained how sites that reminded her of Downton Abbey actually required her to stop and have tea. Finding others who enjoy similar outings for similar reasons have led to friendships and an informal kind of fandom. Some of those have led to travel to sites just to have tea and thus imagine a Jane Austen “experience.”

Conclusion Folklore-based food studies offers rich resources for understanding how food and foodways practices are meaningful in the experiences of fandom. They shed insights into the creation, negotiation, and maintenance of fan groups. These groups can then become a signifcant aspect of an individual’s identity and concept of self, enabling them to defne themselves through their membership in that group. Such groups also become a part of those members’ social lives, offering opportunities for collective interaction, whether it be virtual or in person. The sense of belonging to a folk group furthermore plays a role in the object of fandom becoming meaningful to an individual. Something that might previously have been casually enjoyed now becomes intertwined with other relationships, other activities, and other perceptions of self. The folk group around that interest in turn becomes a medium through which identity, personality, and values are expressed.

Notes 1 An overview of food within folklore studies is offered in Lucy Long Food and Folklore, which also includes brief introductions to folklore theories and methodologies. Infuential scholarship on food by folklorists also includes: Brown and Mussel; Camp; Humphrey and Humphrey; Jones et al. For overviews of food studies as a discipline, see Belasco; Counihan and Esterik; Miller and Deutsch; and Zhen. 2 For many eaters, green bean casserole unself-consciously represents their histories of embracing “all-American” foodways and the contemporary industrial food system; while others intentionally adapt the recipe to ft an ethos of supporting locally sourced, organic, or vegetarian foods. Either way, the expectation that it will appear on holiday tables, particularly at Thanksgiving dinner, means that it has become a tradition (Long, “Green Bean Casserole”). 3 I borrow the phrase from Benedict Anderson, who used it to refer to nations as a social and political construct.

References Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Refections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York City: Verso Books, 1983. Belasco, Warren. Food: The Key Concepts. Berg, 2008. Brown, Linda Keller, and Kay Mussel, Editors. Ethnic and Regional Foodways in the United States: The Performance of Group Identity. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1984.

30 Long Camp, Charles. American Foodways: What, When, Why and How We Eat in America. Atlanta: August House, 1989. Counihan, Carole M., and Penny Van Esterik, Editors. Food and Culture: A Reader. New York City: Routledge, 1997. Hysmith, Katherine. “This Weekend, Shake Your Fist at the Oscars and Make a Recipe in Honor of ‘Little Women.’” @ Kitchn, 8 February 2020. Humphrey, Theodore C., and Lin T. Humphrey, Editors. “We Gather Together”: Food and Festival in American Life. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1988. Jones, Michael Owen, Bruce Giuliano, and Roberta Krell, Editors. Foodways and Eating Habits: Direction for Research. Grass Valley, CA: California Folklore Society, 1983. Kim, Sojin, and R. Mark Livengood. “Ramen Noodles and Spam: Popular Noodles, Popular Tastes.” Digest: An Interdisciplinary Study of Food and Foodways, vol. 15, 2015, pp. 2011. Long, Lucy M. Culinary Tourism. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2003. ———. “Green Bean Casserole and Midwestern Identity: A Regional Foodways Aesthetic and Ethos.” Midwestern Folklore, vol. 33, no. 1, 2007, pp. 29–44. ———. Food and Folklore: A Reader. London: Bloomsbury Press, 2015. ———. “Meaning-Centered Research.” Research Methods for the Anthropological Study of Food and Nutrition, Vol. II, edited by John Brett and Janet Chrzan. New York City: Berghahn Books, 2017, pp. 204–17. Miller, Jeff, and Jonathan Deutsch. Food Studies: An Introduction to Research Methods. Oxford: Berg, 2009. Santino, Hannah. Informal Communication. 2020. Zhen, Will. Food Studies: A Hands-On Guide. New York City: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.


In search of “Hestonthusiasts” Heston Blumenthal’s liminal celebrity chef status and hybridized fan practices Matt Hills

Having focused on fandom’s “textual” productivity (Fiske 37), fan studies has begun to engage more centrally with material productivities such as “fan cooking,” (Magladry), theorizing how fans prepare dishes featured in or inspired by television shows. Despite this “culinary turn,” celebrity chef fandoms have remained under-explored, perhaps because “fne dining” has not been articulated with fan discourses, while fan engagements with TV chefs have been devalued as “vicarious consumption” (Adema; Hansen 51). However, one of the few scholars to carry out chef-related audience study, Nick Piper, has argued that the “pleasures of viewing celebrity chefs may not be transformed seamlessly into culinary experimentation in the kitchen … [b]ut there is nothing vicarious about such practices since people are directly experiencing themselves as viewers” (“Celebrity Chefs” 42). Developing this argument, he suggests that the dismissal of celebrity chef fandom in cultural studies may stem from “a more general … resistance toward a perceived step in the mediatization of everyday life, where traditionalists see a shift from the real [i.e. consuming celebrity chefs’ food] to the virtual [consuming food media] as … detrimental to human experience” (42). Furthermore, work on celebrity chefs has minimized any sense that some of their audience could be theorized as fans, instead studying “deeply committed” diners who devote time and money to appreciating haute cuisine (Lane 266). Even a focus on “foodie” culture (Furrow) has typically exnominated fandom, analyzing middle-class cultural capital (Johnston and Baumann 40); alternatively, such studies link “culinary capital” to “junk foodies” (Naccarato and Lebesco 18). Scholars apply these labels rather than investigate the “fannish credentials” of expertise that can be realized through attachments to celebrity chefs (Oren 33). The result of these approaches is that celebrity chef fandom has gone missing in cultural studies and fan studies. Even though Tim Hayward may argue that the era of “peak celebrity chef” has now passed (“Food in the 2010s” 51), I want to re-open this topic by adding fan studies’ concepts back into readings of the celebrity chef. Although Jamie Oliver has been most frequently studied (Barnes; Hollows; Hollows and Jones; Piper), I will examine the fgure of Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal has been strenuously connected to cultural narratives of “fne dining,” running the “World’s Best Restaurant,” The Fat

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Duck, located in the village of Bray in Southern England, while also promoting a middle-class supermarket range (“Heston from Waitrose”) and making multiple TV series for the BBC and Channel 4, as well as featuring on MasterChef Australia (Kirkwood 95). Blumenthal has been linked to experimental cookery styles such as “molecular gastronomy” and is famous for unusual dishes such as egg and bacon ice cream (de Solier, “Liquid Nitrogen” 155). He characterizes his own cookery as “multisensory” and has coauthored food science articles with academics (Blumenthal, “Foreword” xiii). In short, Blumenthal is exactly the kind of chef in danger of being critiqued for inspiring “vicarious consumption” rather than fans’ material productivity and real-life cooking skills: “For many cooking show fans such escapism is … linked to being able to take pleasure in the products of someone else’s (highly skilled) cooking without having to provide their own time and labour” (Lewis 57). Given this emphasis on allegedly “escapist” consumption, I want to revisit a type of fannish productivity that has been linked to hobbyist activities rather than media consumption, or what Nicholas Abercrombie and Brian Longhurst term “enthusiasm” (139). Looking at the blog “In Search of Heston” (www, I will argue that “Hestonthusiasts” articulate activity-based and media-based attachments, mirroring how Heston Blumenthal’s celebrity status cannot be restricted to an either/or of “real” culinary activity versus “virtual” mediation. I will then consider how a “branded chef” like Blumenthal (Ruhlman 212), with a “mixed strategy” (Lane 321) of horizontal and vertical brand extension beyond his three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant (i.e. moving into further high-end ventures and into more commercial/mass-market products), needs to be understood as part of the broader “transmediatization” of culture (Fast and Jansson 33). Thinking of Blumenthal as a “TV chef” misses the fact that “we … have a multitude of ways of expressing how we think about food, and … the ‘monomedia’ approach is increasingly rare” (Rousseau, Food and Social Media 91). Blumenthal’s celebrity status is liminal due to playing across the “culinary feld” and the media feld (Hollows and Jones 535–36) and by virtue of moving across an array of different media (e.g., books, TV, endorsed products, supermarket food) as he incorporates this transmedia orientation into the creation of “fne dining” food. To illustrate this “transmediatization,” and how it is used by fan-bloggers, I’ll focus on the “Michelin Microwave” blog (, which reviews the “Heston for Waitrose” range. In her discussion of people’s relationships to celebrity-chef-branded kitchen goods, Emma-Jayne Abbots combines qualitative research with autoethnography (225). I follow Abbots by combining my analysis of Blumenthalrelated blogs with auto-ethnographic underpinnings: I have visited all except one of Blumenthal’s restaurants:The Hind’s Head in Bray; Dinner by Heston in Knightsbridge and in Melbourne;The Perfectionists’ Café at Heathrow; and a “Hestonized” Little Chef restaurant (Rousseau, Food Media 91). I have yet to visit The Fat Duck, although I have consumed as many items as possible from

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“Heston from Waitrose,” up to and including the “hero” product released for Christmas 2019, a “trompe l’oeil” port-and-fg cheesecake made to resemble a block of cheese on a cheeseboard. This product carries Blumenthal’s style of “theatrical” culinary creation from The Fat Duck and Dinner through into his supermarket range (Lane 159). However, before returning to the transmedial quality of this food—and Michelin-starred cookery treated as theater, TV, or even flm—how can fan scholars theorize “Hestonthusiasts” as celebrity chef fans?

Heston enthusiasm: Between media and activity It has been argued that “[f]ans of food celebrities frequently refer to them on a frst-name basis” (Johnston and Goodman 206), and that this is especially true for TV chefs, who take on a familiarity for viewers (Barnes 169). But it cannot be assumed that the “celebrity chef” is a monolithic phenomenon; some are celebrities because of their place in the world of cuisine, whereas others are media celebrities who become associated with food. This difference between “celebrity chefs” and “celebrity chefs” (Stringfellow et al. 82, italics in original) has been linked to issues of authenticity. As a “celebrity chef,” Blumenthal represents what Chris Rojek calls “achieved” celebrity (17, italics in original). This label stems “from the perceived accomplishments of the individual in open competition. … [Such people are often] celebrities by reason of their artistic or sporting achievement. In the public realm, they are recognised as individuals who possess rare talents or skills” (Rojek 18). Blumenthal is recognized as such due to his fagship restaurant, The Fat Duck, having been acclaimed as the World’s Best Restaurant in the “World’s 50 Best” awards scheme, as well as holding the maximum number of three Michelin stars. Even more impressively, these achievements came after Blumenthal had taught himself to achieve the skills level of a world-leading chef, rather than receiving any formal training or mentorship. The frst-name orientation to a celebrity chef is visible in the (now discontinued) blog “In Search of Heston” (2010–16) whose title riffs on Blumenthal’s breakthrough series for the BBC, In Search of Perfection (BBC2, 2006–07). Although this blog, which linked to a number of other Heston-themed, usergenerated sites, persists within the Internet’s “digital archives” (Rousseau, Food and Social Media 93), blogging has arguably been somewhat displaced by the “platform fandom” of social media such as Tumblr (Morris). The blog ran to twenty pages of cookbook assessments, restaurant reviews, and TV show refections. The blogger accepts that perhaps “dedicating an entire blog to just one chef is a little bit weird and obsessive” but immediately justifes this obsessiveness by detailing how “Heston’s food is an inspiration. And this blog is the perfect excuse for me to indulge that, as well as preserve memories of the exciting, exclusive and expensive meals I’ve had, and provide the perfect excuse for trying out loads of complicated recipes” (“Background,” italics in original). By paying testament to Blumenthal’s inspiring food, and detailing visits to Blumenthal

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venues such as The Fat Duck (three Michelin stars), Dinner (two Michelin stars), The Hind’s Head (one Michelin star) and a redesigned Little Chef (no Michelin stars), this blog clearly aligned with a sense of Heston’s “achieved” celebrity. Blumenthal is read as a “vocationally skilled performer,” where “the credibility of their vocational skill is fundamental to their appearance on television and the authenticity of their image” (Bennett 130, italics in original). The term “Hestonthusiast” is playfully used, with another blogger being described as a “[f]ellow Hestonthusiast.” This (branded) enthusiasm seems to replay Heston’s celebrity image; interviewers repeatedly describe him as possessing a “bright, childlike animation” (Hayward, “Christmas Taste Test”), coming across as “more mad inventor meets small boy” with a “sense of wonderment and curiosity” (Dougary 27–29). To be a “Hestonthusiast” is, therefore, at least in part, to utilize the chef “as a conduit and a reference point for selfexpression” (Piper 260). At the same time, “Hestonthusiasm” would seem to challenge a key quality of “enthusiasms” as defned by Nicholas Abercrombie and Brian Longhurst: “Enthusiasms are … based predominantly around activities rather than media or stars. Media use is … likely to be specialized in that it may be based around a specialist literature, produced by enthusiasts for enthusiasts” (139), such as Heston-oriented blogs for likeminded readers. Applying a binary understanding of fandom focused on media, as opposed to “enthusiasm” focused on activities and hobbies like cooking, fails to make sense of this blog. “In Search of Heston” is simultaneously, and indivisibly, oriented toward Blumenthal’s TV shows and cookbooks as well as “activities” such as restaurant-going or attempting to prepare the chef’s signature dishes at home. In this respect, it comes far closer to Longhurst’s retooling of “enthusiasm” which argues “I will … use the idea of enthusing to capture … some degree of investment in forms of culture be they directly media related or not” (Longhurst 104). No toggling between these two options exists in the blog: Hestonthusiasm is both “directly” media-related and “based … around activities.” Although defning its purpose as an “ambition [to] cook all of Heston’s Perfection recipes,” this blog in fact incorporates a wider range of reviews and features, with the “Perfection” cookery becoming one sub-project within its entries: It was our frst visit to Heston’s 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, the Fat Duck, that started us on this ridiculous project. We had such an incredible experience at the restaurant that we wanted to fnd a way to recreate the same magic at home. […] What follows is an almost six year odyssey as we enthusiastic but untalented cooks, with no formal training and practically zero experience of fne dining, set about making every single one of Heston Blumenthal’s In Search of Perfection recipes. (“How to Make All”) Although carried out by a heterosexual couple, with the male partner usually posting entries, this focus on a “project” resonates with the gendered “foodie” activities analyzed by Kate Cairns, Josée Johnston, and Shyon Baumann.

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Noting that “men’s relationship to cooking has traditionally been defned as a hobby” (593), whereas women’s relationship to food preparation has instead been one of domestic care, they discuss in-depth interviews carried out “with 30 participants in 11 different states in the United States … [covering] a total of 17 women and 13 men … [with] above-average levels of education and income, most[ly] … in upper-middle-class professions” (Cairns, Johnston, and Baumann 597). A key fnding in relation to their male “foodie” interviewees is that such men “described ‘projects’ that they had designed to enhance their … knowledge” of cookery (606). Such “projects” often “constructed the fgure of the culinary artist as … motivating … [participants’] pursuits” (608). However, this appropriation of male chefs by hobbyist or “enthusiast” men is read as a performance of “cultural capital” (607), as the researchers interpret their actions as a middle-class construction of identity based around one’s aesthetic knowledge. This move can be said to simplify what “In Search of Heston” enacts as a blogging “project.” Demonstrating the complexity of knowledge acquisition, Christel Lane argues that professional chefs themselves often emphasize not simply “cultural capital” (i.e., what you know) but rather the “social capital” involved in visiting other chef’s restaurants: “The practice of paying informal visits to great chefs to examine their dishes is almost universally indulged in” (113). Lane discusses Blumenthal’s career in relation to the importance of social capital, recounting how he “became hooked on haute cuisine after a youthful visit to the French three-star restaurant L’Oustau de Beaumanière. …[Such] visits … go beyond sampling the food cooked by great chefs but are also devoted to seeking aesthetic and culinary inspiration” (113). In discussing “social capital,” Lane emphasizes not merely social connections; rather, her analysis stresses inspiration, just as the blog “In Search of Heston” does. Chefs visiting fellow professional chefs is akin to a blogger visiting their favorite celebrity chef’s restaurants, as both are about furnishing the self (whether professional or amateur) with resources that can be passionately transformed and productively appropriated. The manner in which Lane describes “social capital” is thus not simply about networking; it involves what Isabelle de Solier calls “serious consumption” (Food and the Self 79). This refers to knowledge-based consumption that takes on “work-like characteristics as it involves the emulation of the approach of professionals” (79). De Solier argues that blogging was valued by her foodie respondents because it transforms “serious consumption” into a form of productivity: “food blogging was … spoken about in remarkably similar ways to cooking, such as ‘being creative’ and ‘making something’” (Food and the Self 149). Thus, a form of “inspiration” occurs in such blogging: forms of cultural/ social capital are not simply performed in “The Search for Heston.” Instead, its writers are incited by an activity—dining at The Fat Duck—to engage with media (such as Blumenthal’s cookbooks and TV series) that hermeneutically re-codes the initial activity. “In Search of Heston” goes in search of a foundational “fne dining” activity that cannot, of course, be recaptured. But it can be re-created via these bloggers’ “work-like” transformational efforts, as

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they constantly shuttle between activity (dining/cooking) and media (Heston cookbooks/Heston-oriented blogging). In Food Media, Signe Rousseau suggests that “the blogosphere is replete with accounts of what happens when amateurs search for perfection [Heston-style] in their own kitchens. One particularly illuminating … post … underlines the difference between Heston Blumenthal’s world and the one most of the rest of us inhabit” (89). The difference, according to Rousseau, is that Blumenthal’s culinary world is marked by excessive expenditure and unlimited time; it is exorbitant when compared to the realities of “ordinary” cooking (89). But this binary between “Blumenthal’s world” and “the rest of us” fails to perceive that bloggers seeking celebrity chef perfection at home are engaged in a blurring of activity and media (contra the defnition of “enthusiasm” given by Abercrombie and Longhurst) that replays Blumenthal’s liminal positioning. Where Heston, as I will demonstrate in the next section, collapses together the production of food and the narrating of media texts, his admiring fan-bloggers relatedly articulate attachments to activities—their blogging and culinary creativity—with attachments to media in the form of Blumenthal’s “Willy Wonka” persona and his episodic “projects” reinventing classic British dishes (Bilmes; Lane 159).

Heston transmediatization: Between media and food If Heston’s multisensory cookery has been linked to consumer escapism (Rousseau, Food Media), then these modes of escapism have, in turn, tended to be read as highly elitist and class-based. After all, Blumenthal has run the “World’s Best Restaurant,” and his three-Michelin-starred menu is suffciently expensive that even fellow celebrities have felt the need to defend its cost (Astley 25). As if to reinforce Blumenthal’s elite position in the “culinary feld,” his TV shows have also featured pop-cultural celebrities being impressed by his wizardry and so furthered the recognition of his achievements: For example, actor Richard E. Grant describes Blumenthal as “completely insanely, bonkersly, Englishly fantastic. You can’t make it at home, so you know there’s one person on the planet who’s making it, this mad inventor.” … [T]he show … [features a] food occasion which is very clearly a product of Blumenthal’s creative and culinary labor. (Hollows and Jones, “At Least He’s Doing” 531) While Grant appeared on Heston’s Perfect Christmas (2007), a special episode at the end of the In Search of Perfection series, Heston’s Feasts (2009–10) built on this by again involving celebrity guests: “the audience is witness to a one-off spectacular event … [which] makes very little attempt to democratize anything but Blumenthal’s brand image … [T]he only product being publicized is Blumenthal and The Fat Duck experience” (Hollows and Jones, “At Least He’s Doing” 533). Thus, a play exists between elitist cultural distinction— operating through Blumenthal’s aestheticization of food and his positioning as

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a celebrity to celebrities—and the cultural democratization of TV coverage. Here, Heston’s fne dining is potentially conveyed to a mass audience. Yet this is not simply the “mediatization” of an embodied, auratic experience (i.e. actually visiting “the Duck,” as Blumenthal tends to call it). To adopt a “monomedia” approach (Rousseau, Food and Social Media 91) which contrasts “real” cooking/dining with televised “food porn” (i.e. spectacular food imagery) fails to engage with how Blumenthal’s cuisine operates transmedially. By combining cookbooks and supermarket products (as well as other endorsements) with multiple TV series and a range of restaurants stretching from three-star to no-star, Blumenthal has shaped a “brand strategy that has multiple diverse components, including all parameters of running a restaurant—having a consumer base, having a product line, having a book, having a TV show—those are all the things that … feed each other” (Scott Feldman in Ruhlman 215; see also Henderson 617). As well as material products and books acting as paratexts to TV shows, these media can all become paratexts for Blumenthal’s restaurants; as Joanne Hollows and Steve Jones have noted, dishes featured on TV have appeared on The Fat Duck menu. But this process is not restricted to the fagship restaurant; creations for In Search of Perfection, such as fsh and chips with a “chip shop” atomizer, have cropped up in Heston’s redesigned Little Chef and the Perfectionists’ Café. There have also been books linked to the Duck (Blumenthal, Big Fat Duck), while Heston’s Feasts inspired the “concept” of Dinner by Heston (Hollows and Jones, “At Least He’s Doing” 536). The result is an almost dizzying blur of audio-visual and written texts that interpenetrate and intertextually relate to material cultures of eating. As such, separating out an “eating” fandom and a “media” fandom is highly problematic. Likewise, processes of cultural distinction and democratization—as the cultural capital of Blumenthal’s “culinary alchemy” (Rousseau, Food Media 91) is extended to supermarket shoppers or TV viewers—remain dialectically interconnected. Even The Fat Duck itself can become a mobile signifer within Blumenthal’s transmedial array of products. Not only did the restaurant relocate to Melbourne in 2015 and inspire a cookbook, but the Duck was also commemorated through a nostalgic TV show, Heston’s Marvellous Menu (BBC2, 2019), which sought to recreate one of The Fat Duck’s 1990s menus. The 25th anniversary of the Duck was also celebrated in 2020 via an “Edible Histories” menu at London’s Dinner restaurant as well as an “Eating the Years” menu at The Hind’s Head. Thus “a two-Michelin-starred restaurant [can] pay … tribute to its three-Michelin-starred sibling with a … menu featuring … Fat Duck classics” (Noble). Rather than the “Fat Duck experience” merely being democratized through paratexts such as cookbooks, TV representations, and supermarket branding, it has also been extended, via a kind of “anniversary” merchandising, into other (less exclusive) Blumenthal venues. Diners can get a taste of the “Duck” without eating there; the “auratic” place has become reproducible, circulating as a set of commemorated culinary narratives. Distinctions

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of “culinary capital”—somewhat democratized or attenuated—are proffered to diners without the costs of booking at the Duck. Blumenthal appears to have conceptualized this not as a postmodern simulacrum but rather as an iteration of “immersive” dining, modeled on experience economy trends in immersive theater: He’d been thinking about the work of Punchdrunk, the British company who pioneered … taking audiences into spaces outside the auditorium … making them part of the performance. Why should The Fat Duck not be the frst “immersive restaurant,” liberated from the strictures of formal fne dining? Why should it be limited to a single location? (Bilmes) There is a tradition of reading Blumenthal’s style of multisensory cuisine as “theatrical” thanks to its use of items such as an iPod in “The Sound of the Sea,” or its regular deployment of trompe l’oeil (such as the “Meat Fruit” dish at Dinner), as well as preparation at-the-table. Indeed, Joshua Abrams has identifed “the most theatrical mode of ice-cream production” as “using liquid nitrogen,” where Chefs like Blumenthal … have used this to produce elaborate tableside performances; as the ice cream is produced, the nitrogen becomes gaseous, billowing a cool steam. The effect is one of pure magic—indeed the steam clouds evince the stage magician’s disappearance (or appearance), and has led to … the use of liquid nitrogen … at bars throughout the world. (“Performing” 120) Abrams describes Blumenthal’s work at The Fat Duck and Dinner as a mode of “culinary scenography” (“Mise en Plate” 11–12), arguing that theatrical mediation is incorporated into the materiality of these restaurants. But The Fat Duck is more than theatrical: since reopening in 2015, its menu has also been described as akin to “a screenplay. This is the frst time I have ever experienced a meal with a narrative so strong that, like a good flm, I could ruin it with spoilers” (Hayward). Similarly, Jay Rayner’s 2015 interview with Blumenthal focused on how the restaurant had been re-mediated: “The move to Australia was a great opportunity to question what the Fat Duck is. In the sense that we cook food and it’s served to people, we’re a restaurant. But … the Fat Duck is about storytelling. I wanted to think about the whole approach of what we do in those terms” [, says Blumenthal]. Behold: the chef is no longer cooking your tea. When the Fat Duck re-opens … he says, they will be in the business of telling you a tale. (Rayner) Again, transmediality is incorporated into the designed experience of The Fat Duck, rather than mediation paratextually surrounding the restaurant’s “real”

In search of “Hestonthusiasts” 39

materiality. At the same time as being theatrical/immersive, the Duck experience is personalized for diners via pre-visit information gathered about them (Bilmes; Hayward). Were I to dine there, for example, it’s feasible that some signifer of fandom or fan studies would be incorporated into my meal.The Fat Duck’s gastronomic spectacle is knowingly embedded in narrative structures familiar from popular media, and hence it is a priori textualized, whether this is via a menu “screenplay” or “tale.” By becoming an experiential narrative, capable of shifting to other Blumenthal venues and other locations, transmediatization thoroughly permeates the mobile signifer of The Fat Duck. This is what Karin Fast and André Jansson contrast to mediatization. Where mediatization concerns the media’s integration into everyday life—such as taking photographs of a restaurant meal to post online (Cox 20)—transmediatization instead involves the systemic interaction of, and between, different media: One of the key consequences of this shift is that it has become more diffcult to identify stable cultural “objects.” […] [T]ransmedia technologies and … fows have become integral to people’s everyday life environments, and as such they are also carriers of social norms, expectations and demands. … This is why we speak about … [t]he on-going expansion of this regime … [as] what we call transmediatization. (Fast and Jansson 33, italics in original) The meal that is itself a nostalgic narrative; the plate that is designed to express “culinary scenography”; the restaurant history that can be conveyed by specifc menus and replayed not just via cookbooks but through reality TV reconstructions—all are part of “a broader social trend, whereby transmedia, taken as a dominant mode of circulation … makes its way into ordinary culture” (Fast and Jansson 20, italics in original). Transmediatization is also evident in Heston’s range of Waitrose products. He is repeatedly asked in interviews if these mean that he is “selling out” or “cashing in” (Dougary 29; Rayner), the assumption being that his culinary “art” has been prostituted for commercial purposes. But such a binary assumes that a dominant version of “culinary capital” exists—that is, a form of recognised cultural status through high-end, experimental cooking—alongside an “alternative” form of culinary capital which reaches mass audiences/markets and fails to genuinely carry cultural value (Naccarato and Lebesco 5–6). Instead, representing a transmedial chef who constantly moves across and between media, the “Heston from Waitrose” range proffers a related hybridity; it is both connected back to the Michelin-starred “difference” and aesthetics of Heston’s fne dining establishments while simultaneously articulated with the convenience and commerciality of industrial food (Inga 5). Yet this hybridity is also present in other Heston media: it is there in the excess (rather than minimalism and restraint) of his restaurant dishes, and in the way that he brings scientifc or “enlightenment” experimentation (de Solier, “Liquid Nitrogen” 155)

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to ordinary food items like chips or French fries, indicating a “relaxed attitude toward ‘junkier’ food … [promoting] a … complicated interplay between privileged and non-privileged foodways” (Naccarato and Lebesco 115). Such was the success of Heston’s reconceptualization of how to prepare chips via “triple-cooking” that they have become a norm on the United Kingdom’s corporate restaurant scene (Kelly online). Triple-cooked chips, like nitro ice cream, have been adopted far beyond the Heston brand, and this commercial imitation is one major sign of Blumenthal’s hybrid approach to pursuing both aestheticized and “junkier” culinary capital (Naccarato and Lebesco 115). The blog “Michelin Microwave” perfectly captures such hybridity by exploring celebrity chef-branded mass-market food products. Like “In Search of Heston,” this blog also ran across the frst half of the 2010s, with archived posts beginning in November 2011 and concluding in October 2016. Its Heston reviews begin with Christmas 2011 products such as “Puff Pastry Mince Pies with Pine Sugar Dusting” and end with an account of “Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns” from Easter 2016, testifying to the seasonal strategy through which Waitrose has aligned new Heston products with “special,” ritualized times of year. However, “Michelin Microwave” does not simply replay Heston’s “retail and media discourses” (Abbots 229) as an eccentric culinary artist, but also contests the meanings and materialities of his products. The 2011 mince pies are described as follows in the November 29, 2011, post: But what is this lurking in the box? It’s a little white sachet of pine sugar dusting—could Heston get anymore adventurous. I tear open the sachet and it is Christmas in powder form, the smell of the stuff is incredible, like Christmas trees, like Christmas decorations fresh from the loft, like Father Christmas’ magic dust, like kitchen cleaner, it’s Christmas cocaine. (“Heston from Waitrose Mince Pies,” italics added). This lexical excitability may once again imitate Heston’s childlike wonderment, but the pine scent, discussed by Blumenthal as one of the “smells that say Christmas to me” (Sturgess 13) is also gently mocked. This “pine sugar” is said to be reminiscent of “kitchen cleaner,” a product which has traditionally been scented as “pine fresh” (and this was a powerful, and very offputting association which I also had when consuming these mince pies). The incongruity of adding “kitchen cleaner” to a breathless list of more positive items, along with the alliterative, bizarre collision of “Christmas cocaine,” enables this review prose to mimetically imitate Blumenthal’s weird favor pairings and food combinations, furnishing a sense that these mince pies have bizarrely combined the texture of a class-A powdered drug with festive memories and cleaning fuid. The syntagmatic sequence speaks of a demented non-paradigm: these items do not or should not be culturally combined.

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The review of Heston’s 2016 “Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns” is even more explicitly critical. The March 31, 2016, posts observes: What have hot cross buns and Cherry Bakewells got to do with each other? […] What I normally admire about Heston is how he fnds unusual ingredients and uses them to enhance the everyday … but with these hot cross buns he is tapping into the zeitgeist for cross contaminating dessert favours for no good reason. … I thought Heston was bigger than this. (“Heston from Waitrose Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns”) Unlike the pine sugar, which offers a Proustian evocation of Christmas, here there is felt to be no discernible logic to the favor combination—it is supposedly an arbitrary effect rather than exhibiting values of culinary research and experimentation (de Solier, “Liquid Nitrogen” 161). By engaging critically with the “Heston from Waitrose” range, this blog demonstrates how any celebrity chef’s fame is “circulated not just by the chef and the … discourses in which they are embedded, but also by the consumer via material objects” (Abbots 229). Yet even while “Michelin Microwave” resists some “Heston from Waitrose” products (Piper 255), it still responds to Blumenthal as a vehicle for hybridized culinary capital, recognizing his status as a world-leading professional known for unusual favor combinations, and simultaneously engaging with the Waitrose range as a supermarket enterprise.

Conclusion In this chapter, I have argued that Heston Blumenthal’s celebrity chef status needs to be analyzed within the context of “transmediatization” rather than thinking of him as a “real” chef who “does TV.” Even Blumenthal’s celebrated dishes and menus at The Fat Duck are discursively framed as theatrical/cinematic and personalized narratives, making any separation of material and textual, or restaurant activity and media textuality, unhelpful. Blumenthal’s position within media and retail discourses is notably liminal, hybridizing “privileged and non-privileged foodways” (Naccarato and Lebesco 115) through the likes of triple-cooked chips or a redesigned Little Chef, previously known for serving fry-ups to truck drivers (Rousseau, Food Media 91). This hybridization means that rather than straightforwardly reinforcing middle-class cultural capital, or unidimensionally subverting it, Heston is signifcantly caught between cultural distinction and democratization, each reinforcing the other. At the same time, creative productivity is important both to Heston and his “foodie” fans, with social capital being valued less in terms of its “networking” support, and more as a resource for inspiration and creativity. Furthermore, I have shown that fannish bloggers do not just emulate the Michelin-starred chef via “work-like” productivity (de Solier, Food and the Self 79); they mirror Blumenthal’s position of hybridization, moving across the media texts and fne dining/supermarket experiences of the Heston brand.

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Such “Hestonthusiasts” also challenge any distinction between activitybased “enthusiasm” and media or celebrity-based fandom (Abercrombie and Longhurst 139). As a result of these liminal blurrings, blogs such as “Michelin Microwave” and “In Search of Heston” simultaneously recognize the cultural capital of fne dining as a “privileged foodway” and yet also set this discourse into dialogue with “Heston” products, such as his supermarket food range for Waitrose or his cookbooks and media texts. Although such bloggers certainly perform types of “foodie” distinction, this is not at all carried out in opposition to commercialization, as might be expected. Instead, these “Hestonthusiasts” tend to devotedly follow the (trans)media, supermarket, and paratextual “reach” of Blumenthal as a contemporary branded chef. Fan studies might thus beneft from focusing more on how “eating (and cooking) fandom” can indivisibly be media-based fandom, and how we might need to further explore limits to the very concept of “media fandom” in a time of incessant and branded transmediatization. Or, as Heston’s motto indicates, “question everything” (Rayner).

References Abbots, Emma-Jayne. “The Intimacies of Industry: Consumer Interactions with the ‘Stuff’ of Celebrity Chefs.” Food, Culture & Society, vol. 18, no. 2, 2015, pp. 223–43. Abercrombie, Nick, and Brian Longhurst. Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination. New York City: SAGE,1998. Abrams, Joshua. “Mise en Plate: The Scenographic Imagination and the Contemporary Restaurant.” Performance Research, vol. 18, no. 3, 2013, pp. 7–14. ———. “Performing the Ephemeral.” Performance Research, vol. 18, no. 6, 2013, pp. 112–21. Adema, Pauline. “Vicarious Consumption: Food, Television and the Ambiguity of Modernity.” Journal of American Culture, vol. 23, no. 3, 2000, pp. 113–23. Astley, Rick. “My Memorable Meal.” Waitrose & Partners Weekend, November 21, 2019, p. 25. Barnes, Christine. “Mediating Good Food and Moments of Possibility with Jamie Oliver: Problematising Celebrity Chefs as Talking Labels.” Geoforum, vol. 84, 2017, pp. 169–78. Bennett, James. Television Personalities: Stardom and the Small Screen. London: Routledge, 2011. Bilmes, Alex. “Heston Blumenthal Returns to the Source.” Esquire, January–February 2020, Blumenthal, Heston. The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. London: Bloomsbury, 2008. ———. “Foreword.” The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining, edited by Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, pp. xiii–xv. Cairns, Kate, Josée Johnston, and Shyon Baumann. “Caring About Food: Doing Gender in the Foodie Kitchen.” Gender & Society, vol. 24, no. 5, 2010, pp. 591–615. Cox, Emma. “How Did I End Up Here?” Radio Times, January 18–24, 2020, pp. 16–20. de Solier, Isabelle. “Liquid Nitrogen Pistachios: Molecular Gastronomy, elBulli and Foodies.” European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 2010, pp. 155–70.

In search of “Hestonthusiasts” 43 ———. Food and the Self: Consumption, Production and Material Culture. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. Dougary, Ginny. “Kid in the Kitchen.” Radio Times, December 7–13, 2013, pp. 26–9. Fast, Karin, and André Jansson. Transmedia Work: Privilege and Precariousness in Digital Modernity. London: Routledge, 2019. Fiske, John. “The Cultural Economy of Fandom.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, edited by Lisa A. Lewis, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 30–49. Furrow, Dwight. American Foodie: Taste, Art, and the Cultural Revolution. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefeld, 2016. Hansen, Signe. “Society of the Appetite.” Food, Culture & Society, vol. 11, no. 1, 2008, pp. 49–67. Hayward, Tim. “Food in the 2010s.” The Observer Food Monthly, vol. 223, 2019, pp. 51, 53. ———. “A Christmas Taste Test with Heston Blumenthal.” The Financial Times, 2019, Henderson, Joan C. “Celebrity Chefs: Expanding Empires.” British Food Journal, vol. 113, no. 5, 2011, pp. 613–24. Hollows, Joanne. “Oliver’s Twist: Leisure, Labour and Domestic Masculinity in The Naked Chef.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, 2003, pp. 229–48. Hollows, Joanne, and Steve Jones. ‘“At Least He’s Doing Something”: Moral Entrepreneurship and Individual Responsibility in Jamie’s Ministry of Food.” European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, 2010, pp. 307–22. ———. “Please Don’t Try This at Home: Heston Blumenthal, Cookery TV and the Culinary Field.” Food, Culture & Society, vol. 13, no. 4, 2010, pp. 521–37. Inga, Danielle. “Dark Arts: Designed Communications and a New Rhetoric of Authenticity.” Design and Culture, vol. 4, no. 1, 2012, pp. 5–25. Johnston, Josée, and Shyon Baumann. Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape, 2nd edition. London: Routledge, 2015. Johnston, Josée, and Michael K. Goodman. “Spectacular Foodscapes.” Food, Culture & Society, vol. 18, no. 2, 2015, pp. 205–22. Kelly, Guy. “How Heston Fell Back in Love with Christmas.” The Sunday Telegraph, December 15, 2019, 2080573725984. Kirkwood, Katherine. “MasterChef Australia: Educating and Empowering Through Entertainment.” Entertainment Values: How Do We Assess Entertainment and Why Does It Matter?, edited by Stephen Harrington, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 91–107. Lane, Christel. The Cultivation of Taste: Chefs and the Organization of Fine Dining. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Lewis, Tania. Smart Living: Lifestyle Media and Popular Expertise. New York City: Peter Lang, 2015. Longhurst, Brian. Cultural Change and Ordinary Life. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2007. Magladry, Madison. “Eat Your Favourite TV Show: Politics and Play in Fan Cooking.” Continuum, vol. 32, no. 2, 2018, pp. 111–20. Morris, Jeremy Wade. “Platform Fandom.” Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, edited by Melissa A. Click and Suzanne Scott, London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 356–64. Naccarato, Peter, and Kathleen Lebesco. Culinary Capital. Oxford: Berg, 2012. Noble, Karyn. “New ‘Edible History’ Menus Come with a Revamp at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.” Hot Dinners, March 6, 2020,

44 Hills stroblog/Latest-news/new-edible-history-menus-come-with-a-revamp-at-dinner-by -heston-blumenthal. Oren, Tasha. “On the Line: Format, Cooking and Competition as Television Values.” Critical Studies in Television, vol. 8, no. 2, 2013, pp. 20–35. Piper, Nick. “Jamie Oliver and Cultural Intermediation.” Food, Culture & Society, vol. 18, no. 2, 2015, pp. 245–64. ———. “Celebrity Chefs.” Food Words: Essays in Culinary Culture, edited by Peter Jackson and the CONANX Group, London: Bloomsbury, 2015, pp. 40–3. Rayner, Jay. “Heston Blumenthal Interview: The Fat Duck Flies Again.” The Observer, 23 August 2015, gain-heston-blumenthal. Rojek, Chris. Celebrity. London: Reaktion Books, 2001. Rousseau, Signe. Food Media: Celebrity Chefs and the Politics of Everyday Interference. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. ———. Food and Social Media: You Are What You Tweet. London: AltaMira Press, 2012. Ruhlman, Michael. The Reach of a Chef: Professional Cooks in the Age of Celebrity. New York City: Penguin Books, 2007. Stringfellow, Lindsay, Andrew MacLaren, Mairi Maclean, and Kevin O’Gorman. “Conceptualizing Taste: Food, Culture and Celebrities.” Tourism Management, vol. 37, 2013, pp. 77–85. Sturgess, Emma. “Sweet Memories.” Radio Times, November 3–9, 2012, pp. 10–14.


Poaching from the preserves Navigating the Food Network’s nomadic fandom Margaret Steinhauer

In a 1997 issue of Broadcasting & Cable, Food Network took out a full-page advertisement to proclaim: “taste the original favors … of the food network” (Food Network). It promises “100% exclusive programming” and “97% original programming,” all “delivered fresh daily,” yet there is hardly any food to be found in the advertisement (Food Network). Rather, the advertisement’s “favors” are the seven television personalities it features, indicating Food Network’s early confuence of food and celebrity into valuable programming. More than twenty years later, the lifestyle and entertainment cable television channel still cross-pollinates its score of celebrity chefs and cooking afcionados across its twenty-four-hour schedule through ensemble and panel-based programs, serving up those stars as the crux of its identity. In this way, it is important to view the channel as a network of food and lifestyle celebrities, their brands, and their fans. Food Network’s tendency to spread and recombine its stars across the programming lineup creates a viewing dynamic in which these stars’ personas manifest within an evolving networked system, rather than only within the individual programs they routinely appear on. As Cynthia Littleton notes, “Food Network’s biggest brand assets are the many celeb chefs it has helped groom. No cabler does a better job of keeping its stars front and center by cycling its stars through numerous skeins year-round” (“Food Network Bastes”). Indeed, the channel’s reality competition series, such as Chopped (2007–present), Food Network Star (2005–present), and Iron Chef America (2005–present), embody this “cycling” within their formats through the use of judging panels and multiple chef-competitors. This strategy of programming across and within its series becomes more evident in the nomadic manner that online Food Network fans consume and engage with its content. The fandom, which I observed through a personal Tumblr blog, looks across and within the channel’s extensive programming catalog in a manner that suggests an array-like approach to the television programs. I use these observations of the Food Network fandom on Tumblr to revitalize Henry Jenkins’ use of Michel de Certeau’s poaching metaphor, and I argue that Food Network’s programming strategies lead fans to appreciate, consume, and/or remix content across different series using nomadic

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behaviors based around constructed star personas. In this chapter, I assess these nomadic poaching practices within the Tumblr Food Network fandom via three brief case studies of longtime channel stars: Guy Fieri, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay.

Approach This project frst began as an observational Tumblr blog that I personally curated to focus on Food Network fandom, distinct from fandom surrounding food or cooking. As a Tumblr user, I was aware of an active fannishness surrounding the Food Network prior to this online observational research. From this curation period, I was able to glean that Food Network fandom (through my limited viewpoint) appreciates the channel’s programming from a networked or array-style perspective. As a fan myself, my introduction was through the long-running reality competition series, Chopped. With nearly fve hundred episodes over thirty-six seasons, not including spin-offs like Chopped Junior (2015–present) and Chopped After Hours (2015–2017), the series dominates Food Network programming and its rotating judging panel is an appetizer into the channel’s extensive star lineup. My initial goal was to focus on Chopped, but as I navigated through Tumblr’s Food Network fandom, seemingly little distinction existed between the channel’s programs. Blogs centered around Chopped also showed interest in programs like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (2006–present) or Cutthroat Kitchen (2013–17), and Food Network stars are often celebrated in tandem with one another and/or with signifcant recognition of Food Network customs and history. Through the blog, I followed a small number of active users over a twoto-three month period to observe a manageable and chronological dashboard. Additionally, I observed a variety of Food Network’s offcial social media accounts. Though I am a fan of Food Network on television and online, I consider my fannish activities more akin to lurking than active production, which Bethan Jones highlights as an important form of fan activity because it exists outside the realm of participatory fandom (Bury et al. 304). In a conversation with other fan studies scholars, Jones writes that nonparticipatory fans “are just as important as the participatory fans. … What is it about for the fans who don’t have Twitter but still follow Tweets? Or don’t have a Tumblr but still look up memes? There’s something going on out there that fulflls a need” (Bury et al. 304). Jones’ argument highlights the needs to look at varied forms of production and circulation of fan content to understand its impact for a wider range of audiences. However, “lurker” is not a complete description of this project on its own. My curated blog is an act of lone fandom as well, which Rebecca Williams identifes as another form of nonparticipatory fan activity. A “lone fan” is “someone who does not engage in dialogue with other fans in fannish spaces, even though such fans may visit such sites and recirculate content created by others” (1.4). My observations in this project are drawn from my experiences

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as both an active viewer of Food Network programming and a lone fan within the Food Network fandom, and from the dynamic that emerged between these two forms of engagement when performed simultaneously. To protect the privacy of individual Tumblr users, all examples discussed in this chapter are sourced from previously published articles on mass media platforms which are already credited back to individual blogs.

Returning to nomadism In a 2011 online roundtable, Henry Jenkins noted the way Textual Poachers’ legacy has largely neglected his insistence on the nomadic qualities of fan communities in addition to poaching, writing: “I stressed that fans were nomadic, that they ‘traveled across’ texts much as de Certeau describes readers as ‘traveling across’ lands they have not cultivated” (“Acafandom and Beyond”). While the poaching of Food Network fans and meme creators is vital to understanding the infuence of star image and its reciprocal impacts between fans and producers, their nomadism across the landscape of Food Network is an important distinction, too. This traveling is not only “across,” in terms of fans moving around a particular text or the daily programming schedule, but also within the programming catalog. Through their poaching, Food Network fans demonstrate knowledge of the channel’s past and present. Drawing on de Certeau and Pierre Bourdieu, Jenkins’ 1992 argument directly tied the idea of nomadism to poaching, defning the latter as “an impertinent raid on the literary preserve that takes away only those things that are useful or pleasurable to the reader” (Textual Poachers 24). When tied to nomadism, poaching describes fans who are “not constrained by permanent property ownership but rather constantly advancing upon another text, appropriating new materials, and making new meanings” (Textual Poachers 36). Sites of entry into a fandom are multiple, diverse, and intersecting, as is Food Network’s programming structure. In referencing the Food Network fandom as “poaching from the preserves,” I intend to evoke Jenkins’ use of the poaching metaphor in Textual Poachers to illustrate a dissonance between the fandom’s activities and the channel’s output. Food Network structures its programming and social media to create an ecosystem of stars with layered screen personas. Yet, the channel offers few offcial outlets for fans to express affnities for its content in ways that do not directly relate to cooking or instructional resources. For instance, as of this chapter’s time of writing, the Food Network’s social media outlets, which are linked to on its offcial website, do not include Tumblr. Food Network does maintain a presence on many other social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, but does not engage with the Tumblr community. A now-dormant Tumblr page exists,, but it indicates virtually no awareness of Tumblr’s Food Network fan community and its interests. The blog began posting in June 2012 with some behind-the-scenes photos, promotional content, and recipe links/photos as the primary content.

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It then temporarily ceased posting in June 2016 before briefy resuming recipeof-the-day posts from March 2017 to September 2017. Rather, the fan posts and memes that circulate online within the community are often poached from on-screen moments, to be recontextualized according to existing fan principles or to become new principles. As a viewer and lone fan, this dissonance between on-screen programming and online fandom lends itself to a nomadic experience of Food Network. And in poaching from this text, the fan community’s use of star images simultaneously serves as a sustaining force for the group and plays upon existing meme cultures that make the fandom’s in-jokes palatable to a wider audience. Janice Radway’s approach to nomadic fan behavior and ethnography, which Jenkins references in Textual Poachers, more clearly elucidates how this phenomenon can be applied to digital fandom. According to Radway, “active individuals,” as opposed to audiences, “productively articulate together bits and pieces of cultural material scavenged from a multitude of sites and who, in doing so, nomadically, perhaps even slyly, take up many different subject positions with respect to the dominant cultural apparatuses” (368). Looking at the Tumblr fandom as a collection of “active individuals” draws attention to the ways in which users articulate the channel’s offcial content and digital culture to generate “their own form of popular culture” (Radway 367). As Jenkins writes, nomadism is “key to imagining the reader as structuring their relationships with texts and each other through choices made about which materials to borrow” (Jenkins, “Acafandom and Beyond”). Fannishness surrounding Food Network, versus solely Alton Brown or Chopped, is a deliberate choice resulting from nomadic tendencies to look across and within the channel’s programming rather than at discrete objects. This theoretical concept is especially important to consider in the case of a digital fan platform like Tumblr, where nomadism is built into the platform’s infrastructure through the dashboard. The site is also a part of a “multiplatform context” with other fan-centric online spaces (Stein 86). Looking at analog fans, Jenkins states that “fans […] read intertextually as well as textually and their pleasure comes through the particular juxtapositions that they create between specifc program content and other cultural materials” (Textual Poachers 37). Moving into digital fan culture, though, intertextual readings manifest through user choice, but also through the algorithmic design of the particular platform. On Tumblr, the home dashboard is a confuence of posts by every blog that the user follows. By default, users read intertextually and nomadically as they scroll down their dashboard. It was my intention in curating a Chopped-specifc blog to distinguish posts under this theme from a wider assortment of food-based media. As a lone fan, however, initially restricting my observational blog so narrowly eliminated the joy wrought from those “juxtapositions” in content and became increasingly diffcult to accomplish given Tumblr’s interface. The dashboard feed continuously updates with the posts of other blogs that a Tumblr user follows. Depending on how a user chooses to assemble their personal blog

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(e.g., from posts encountered within the dashboard, from original content, or from other online outlets, for instance), the dashboard can represent a site of complex authorship. Does authorship emerge from the context of a reblogged post within the re-blogger’s blog? Or does it remain with the original poster? Perhaps authorship exists in both instances simultaneously. Louisa Ellen Stein argues that “individual authorship [is] subsumed into the collective” on Tumblr (87). Looking at authorship as part of a greater collective, individual posts and blogs should be understood under a nomadic lens which illuminates the interrelations and connections of fan content. To lose sense of nomadism as part of digital fan culture is to ignore the way that meaning and humor circulate within Tumblr and how a digital fan community grows over time.

Exploring Food Network industrially Before moving on to Food Network’s contemporary stars and fan culture, it is necessary to examine its history. In 1993, the cable channel frst began airing original programming as the Television Food Network, or TVFN, though the name would be shortened to “Food Network” in 1997 (Salkin 33, 186). Profles of its early years often describe the limited programming budget resulting in meager production value at best; the “annual programming budget [was] just $22 million,” even by the year 2000 (Beatty B1). Yet the E.W. Scripps Co. quickly saw the potential value in adding the channel to its growing network, which already included several broadcast stations throughout the US and the cable channel Home & Garden Television (HGTV) (Jessell 19). Scripps acquired TVFN in 1997 when it “swapped a leading TV station in San Antonio, Tex., KENS-TV, and its companion AM radio station with Belo Broadcasting for $75 million and a controlling 56% interest stake in the Food Network” (Jessell 19, 21). According to Frank Gardner, senior vice president of television at Scripps in 1997, the network’s strategy with both Food Network and HGTV was to “create easily identifable, highly specifc viewerand advertiser-friendly brands that can satiate a particular need or interest on the part of a very specifc group of consumers” (Jessell 19). Scripps branded this strategy of television programming as “category-television,” in which Food Network would become the destination for food-themed television content (Jessell 18). By 2000, the channel was “available in 52 million homes” and ad revenue was expected to reach $91 million (Beatty B1). In the same year, only seven years after its founding, Food Network turned a proft for the frst time, besting earlier projections by network executives (Beatty B1). Key to this success was the Food Network’s “recipe for transforming chefs, such as Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay, into TV celebrities” (Romano 10). Sue Hoffman, then-vice president of programming in 1996, acknowledged Lagasse’s infuence in saying “he’s been a big, big part of this network’s growth” (Littleton, “Food Network’s Lagasse” 51). However, Food Network would eventually cancel Emeril Live! (1997–2007), citing souring audience appeal for his cooking-centric style and the program’s hefty expense (Salkin

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352–56). Lagasse’s unceremonious departure signaled an economic reality that Food Network was less interested in the celebration of food and cooking than it was in cost-effective programming and the synergistic opportunities afforded by a roster of stars. The stars remain, and always were, the channel’s gateway to massive advertising sales and profts on partner retail deals. For example, Bob Tushman, Head of Daytime Programming in 2004, described fnding stars as the channel’s “toughest assignment,” and said “when you fnd the right person, they’re gold” (Romano 11). Additionally, Ketchum’s political analysis of Food Network, both in terms of the channel’s origins and its “vision of a utopian consumer culture” (171–72), argues that the channel’s focus on advertising does not allow for critical discussion of social and cultural issues relating to food. Lagasse’s retail empire has only grown since leaving Food Network in 2007, but his brand of cooking live in-studio is no longer Food Network’s primetime ideal. Instead of instructional cooking programs with a single chef in a studio kitchen (which still air in the daytime hours), the channel’s primetime lineup more often consists of reality and competition programs, usually with judging panels, that facilitate the deployment of multiple stars in the Food Network “family” simultaneously (Goldsmith). In 2012, Susie Fogelson, then-Senior VP of Food Network, clarifed this shift in claiming that the channel’s marketing strategy relied on “varying touch-points and deeper consumer engagement [which] creates depth in our connection to fans” (Goldsmith). By 2018, shortly after Discovery Inc.’s $14.6 billion deal to buy Scripps (Hayes), new Chief Lifestyle Brands Offcer Kathleen Finch declared that “our job is not to teach people how to cook. Our job is to make people want to watch television” (Denhart). Despite the change in ownership and over twenty years of development, Gardner’s 1998 musings on Scripps’ acquisition of Food Network reveals a similar goal (Jessell 22). Before deciding on Food Network, Scripps debated purchasing Travel Channel instead. Ultimately, Gardner says, “we just thought Food was a little bit more compatible ft with Home & Garden” (Jessell 22). The two channels are now under the same umbrella through parent company Discovery, Inc., but the possibility for Scripps to forgo Food Network altogether reveals the channel’s initial value was rooted in the marketability of its synergistic content and advertising profts via celebrity personas and category-television.

Guy Fieri: The mayor of Flavortown In May 2019, Guy Fieri became the third food celebrity to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, following Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck (Horst). Known for his distinctive spiky blonde hair and off-the-wall quips like “Flavortown,” Fieri quickly became a household name after his 2006 Food Network Star win and the subsequent launch of Guy’s Big Bite (2006–2016). The instructional show saw Fieri demonstrate recipes, but labeled under whimsical titles such as “Wham Bam Thank You Lamb” (Season 19, Episode 10),

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“Duck, Duck, Booze” (Season 14, Episode 13), and “Baltimore Bad Boy Beef” (Season 3, Episode 8). While Guy’s Big Bite ran for nineteen seasons over ten years, Fieri is better known as host of noninstructional shows like Diners, DriveIns, and Dives (Triple D, 2007–present), and Guy’s Grocery Games (2013–present). Triple D follows Fieri on a nationwide roadtrip as he “rolls out, looking for America’s greatest diners, drive-ins, and dives” (each episode begins with this phrase). Visiting approximately three locations per episode, Fieri observes as restaurant chefs prepare their most popular dishes and dispenses with any pretension or elitism. He dresses casually, often with his sunglasses held on his head backwards behind his ears, breaks the fourth wall, and shows little regard for put-upon poise in his tasting. Fieri’s appeal, from Food Network’s perspective, seems to be his relatability and authenticity; his Food Network biography page describes him as a “likeable, laid-back California guy” (“Guy Fieri Bio”). Fieri himself admits, “I’m not a TV person. I was never groomed for this—I think what people get is that I am the same guy; I am just being Guy” (Horst). Emily Contois further nuances this image in arguing that Fieri’s appeal lies in his embodiment of “populist gastronomy” (155). In his 2009 cookbook with Ann Volkwein, More Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: A Drop-Top Culinary Cruise through America’s Finest and Funkiest Joints, Fieri remarked, “Hopefully my industry will say I carried the torch for the mom-and-pop joints. Helping rebuild American culture, one funky joint at a time” (Contois 151). This benevolent sentiment, Contois argues, indicates Fieri’s image as “as a missionary-like ambassador for a particular segment of the food business” (151). Within Food Network fandom on Tumblr, and Internet culture more generally, Fieri’s presence often signifes a larger-than-life eccentricity cultivated from his on-screen persona. His image is so distinctive that when a bearded and spiky-haired guest judge on Chopped decided to wear a shirt with fames on the collar, a Tumblr user screenshot a still of the scene and captioned it, “this guy looks like Santa went to favor town” (Aspler, “33 Times the Internet”). Reading these types of memes and posts in tandem with one another and alongside Fieri’s programs points to a collective acknowledgment of how his star image has evolved over time via circuitous poaching and nomadism. Additionally, and perhaps in reference or contrast to the populist image indicated by the offcial programming, Fieri is often associated with mystical or extraordinary imagery online. For example, a user’s text post muses: “Imagine Guy Fieri being dressed every morning by forest animals as he sings Smash Mouth discography” (Golder). The post evokes a reading of Fieri as a fairytale princess, but with a nod to cult-favorite Shrek (Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, 2001). Another post showcases a photoshopped GIF of Fieri inside a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015). Driving his signature red Camaro from Triple D, Fieri leads the army of War Boys through the desert and addresses the camera while the inserted caption reads: “I’m Guy Fieri and we’re rolling out, looking for America’s greatest diners, driveins, and dives!” (Szewczyk). Owing to Triple D’s lengthy production run, the post amplifes Fieri’s undertaking as a quest so formidable as to lead him to an

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apocalyptic realm, and signals the lengths Fieri’s character would be willing to go to accomplish this great task. These posts illustrate a re-working of an authentic celebration of popular food into an image that borders on fantastical.

Alton Brown: From “Good” to “Cutthroat” Across the interconnected ecosystem of Food Network stars, many of the channel’s personalities or stars are featured in a variety of programs. Alton Brown is one such star who has taken on multiple roles since his debut on Food Network in 1999. His frst Food Network program, Good Eats (1999– 2012) grew so popular that it eventually bumped Emeril Live! from the 8:00 P.M. slot and was part of Food Network’s shift into entertainment-based reality programming instead of instructional cooking shows in primetime (Becker). Since Good Eats, Brown participated in Feasting on Asphalt (2006), Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef (2007–12), Food Network Star, Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef Gauntlet (2017–18), and Good Eats: The Return (2019), not to mention his guest appearances on other long-running Food Network series. Along with the vastness of his repertoire, the most notable feature about Brown’s persona on Food Network is the trajectory of his character development over the past twenty years. A subset of fannish sentiment surrounding him seems to be predicated on the transformation of his persona from the educational, scientifc-minded host of Good Eats to his comically nefarious role on the competition cooking show, Cutthroat Kitchen. His persona’s variances are well-suited to a common meme based in the character alignment grid from Dungeons & Dragons. The meme presents as a nine-square grid (each of which is represented by a different fgure or person) with “lawful,” “neutral,” and “chaotic” organizing the columns, and “good,” “neutral,” and “evil” organizing the rows. Applied to Brown, one Tumblr post classifes the Good Eats host as “neutral good,” while Iron Chef America Brown is “lawful neutral,” and Cutthroat Kitchen Brown represents “chaotic evil” (Golder). Along this same vein of transformation, another Tumblr post compares Brown’s evolution to Batman by parodying Harvey Dent’s monologue in The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008). Following Tumblr’s dashboard structure, users read the post vertically and reveal its layered meaning as they scroll. First, “you either die a hero,” precedes the colorful 90s-themed poster for Good Eats, in which Brown props his hand against his forehead and offers a calm smile (Golder). The post continues to read, “or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” and reveals the dark poster for Cutthroat Kitchen, in which Brown presides over a smoke-covered chessboard where the pawns have been swapped out for small chefs and Brown looms dastardly above them. On Good Eats, Brown shared recipes and cooking tips from a homeykitchen set and often performed skits with fellow crew members. Years later, on Cutthroat Kitchen, he wears sharp suits and plays the ringleader in a stainless steel-adorned kitchen arena in which he doles out sabotages. As host of the competition show, his role is that of an auctioneer, a saboteur, and a mastermind,

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but not judge. Each episode brings four chefs into the kitchen for three rounds of play, tasking them with relatively basic dishes for Food Network. As Brown states in the opening credits, “sabotage is not only encouraged, it’s for sale.” In the auction phase, Brown gleefully unveils two crafty sabotage scenarios that should make cooking impossible. Each chef is provided with $25,000 in cash to bid on these sabotages, and the winner forces the sabotage on one of their fellow competitors. The catch is that the winning chef will only take home the cash they have retained by the end of the show. Bitterness, animosity, and revenge are built into the program’s format, and part of its success is the dissonance between Brown’s images in Good Eats and Iron Chef America, and the diabolical theme of Cutthroat Kitchen. The show is also distinctive in tone from Food Network’s other programming, although the four-chef, three-round structure is common. As one Tumblr text post advises, “Watch Chopped if you want to see legitimate dishes being made. Watch Cutthroat Kitchen if you want to see legitimate culinary professionals try to create corn dogs while packing into a clown car” (Golder). Another user adds to the same post, “Cutthroat Kitchen is more or less the Mario Party of competitive cooking shows.” Similarly, a different post laments: “after u start watching cutthroat kitchen, chopped is just so underwhelming […] it’s like ‘they have access to all the ingredients whenever they want?? they can use BOTH of their hands??? AND they don’t have to do all their cooking on a campfre they build themselves???? wheres the challenge????” (Aspler, “33 Tumblr Posts”). These kinds of comparative refections between Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen illustrate the potential impact of a reciprocal relationship between a show, or a channel’s, fans and its producers. For example, Cutthroat Kitchen’s “Evilicious Tournament,” airing during season seven in 2015, does suggest an internal awareness of the appeal of Brown’s new persona in the show. The fve-episode special brought returning chefs back to compete again, and Brown dealt out some of his most evil sabotages yet, such as forcing a chef to do all food prep while wearing a scuba mask and having to look at his prep table through a shallow aquarium (Season 7, Episode 11). Also, the tournament’s fnale episode (Season 7, Episode 13) contains a nod to Good Eats when a contestant piques Brown’s interest by referencing by the maillard reaction, which is a food science term Brown previously explained in “Stew Romance” (Good Eats, Season 11, Episode 7). “Maillard reaction, huh?” Brown says. “And what would that be, chef?” But instead of embodying the teacherscientist he played in on Good Eats, Brown instead interrupts the contestant’s incorrect answer by loudly shouting, “Wrong!” and walking away disappointedly in a subtle intertextual juxtaposition of his Food Network past and present.

Bobby Flay: The iconic and industrious Iron Chef And then there’s Bobby Flay, one of Food Network’s most famous celebrities. He “made his frst appearance on a then-fedgling Food Network in 1994 and now ranks as the cabler’s longest-running active personality” (Littleton, “Food

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Network Sets”). However, Flay has been a polarizing fgure on the channel since the iconic moment when he stepped on his cutting board at the end of an Iron Chef battle with Masuhara Morimoto in 1999; Chef Morimoto won that battle. But Flay’s persona as the bellicose challenger to root against solidifed through years of cultivating that identity in small increments as his Food Network fame grew. Flay’s longest-running program is currently Beat Bobby Flay (2013–present), but to describe him only under the umbrella of that show reduces the impact of his overwhelming presence on Food Network’s schedule. Since 1994, Flay has participated in over a dozen series in a leading role (Gallo). Although his earlier programs conformed to the instructional or informational genre with special focus on grilling, he is now associated with his competition-themed reality series. This battle-centric and love-to-hate version of Flay’s persona, honed through shows like Iron Chef America, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay (2006–11), Bobby’s Dinner Battle (2013), and Beat Bobby Flay, eventually crossed over to Chopped when he starred in a Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay tournament during its thirty-frst season in 2016. Spoiler alert: the fnal challenger did not beat Bobby Flay. As seen within his own programming, Flay’s on-screen persona engenders a sense of dislike (sometimes to extremes) that refects his evolving persona on Food Network. For instance, each episode of Beat Bobby Flay brings in two celebrity commentators who actively root against Flay throughout the episode. In “Get in the Zone” (Season 9, Episode 11) chef Alex Guarnaschelli sums up the program’s intent: “I love [Bobby], but that doesn’t change the agenda.” Flay asks, “What’s your strategy?” and Guarnaschelli deadpans, “Crush you.” Her panel partner, Kenny Mayne, amps up the hostility when later in the episode, he “goes in to mess with Bobby” and winds up pushing a large knife into a cutting board, pointing to it and saying to Flay, “that’s in your face.” Fan posts regarding Flay often mimic this sentiment at a similar level of exaggeration through reading from his on-screen history. For example, a text post outlining the “best Food Network fandom memes” includes “bobby fay is the devil” (Aspler, “33 Times the Internet”). Another Tumblr post compares Flay to a meme of a small child screaming intensely in instances where Flay is challenged to cook recipes that do not center around his southwest fusion specialty (Aspler, “33 Times the Internet”). This kind of unfavorable fan response is predicated on viewer’s awareness of his gradual evolution over time, across and within Food Network media, similarly to Brown. But as Johnathan Gray discusses of anti-fandom, fan research explores a “broad variety of interactions that occur between text and audience” (65), and that not all fan interactions are necessarily in favor of the key subject. In addition to fans, the antifan and the nonfan positions offer further opportunities to “study what expectations and what values structure media consumption” (Gray 73). Being a longtime lurker of Food Network fandom, it is diffcult to separate Flay antifandom from Flay programming, and perhaps that is a useful strategy for both the fandom and Food Network.

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The last course While I have argued thus far that the Food Network’s nomadic fandom illustrates renewed utility of the nomadic poaching metaphor as applied to digital fandom and its platforms, I will briefy turn attention to the potentiality of these remixed creative products to valorize or subvert offcial output by Food Network. The binary between affrmational and transformative fan production loses signifcance in its inability to account for the specifcities of context. Transformative fandom is typically associated with creative production as a means of resistance, while affrmational fandom is more commonly aligned with canonized media and fan activities that “reinforce the offcial author’s power and control over their own works” (Hills 2.2). Hills critiques this binary by asserting that some fandoms and fannishness may “[appear] to be affrmational from a distance, but transformative details are evident when viewed closely” by virtue of fans’ ability to frame the objects of material culture through creation (2.17). Considering this insight, seemingly transformative works may also fulfll affrmational sentiments given the context of their creation and circulation. I pose this proposition with no intention to question the value of transformative works, their creators, or their resistant capabilities, but to explore demarcations regarding which fan works are valuable to industry and why. In alignment with fandom as more expansive than a defned set of behaviors or activities, affrmation and transformation may be inherently limiting terms to assess fan content and suggest how theory may need to shift to account for contemporary industry engagements with visible and searchable digital fandoms. While certain fan-created posts and memes may confict with Food Network’s desired images, or be outwardly antagonistic toward certain stars, these kinds of fan-readings are not far out-of-step with the personas crafted by Food Network. While transformative in the sense that these poached fanreadings are circulated outside dominant industrial circles, they also represent an affrmational reading of content already produced by the network and should be desirable for the way they acculturate casual and non-viewers to the pre-existing star personas. When Bobby Flay’s persona is predicated on his series Beat Bobby Flay, where the panel and in-studio audience actively root against him, the fandom’s antifannish disposition toward him is then in-sync with an affrmational reading. When fan content applies that characterization as his dominant persona, the resulting antifan disposition directed toward him is more likely a combination of affrmational and transformative interpretations. While Food Network’s lack of incorporation or interaction with Tumblr’s Food Network fandom is unclear, it is clear that existing theories regarding affrmational and transformative fan behaviors, specifcally poaching and nomadic behaviors activities, are worthwhile to reconsider in accordance with the nuances of contemporary fan engagement on digital platforms that blur divisions between media content. Relatedly, Jenkins discusses a similar binary structure regarding fandom of commercial media in Textual Poachers.

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While nomadic readings of commercial texts must consider the power dynamics between producers and consumers, Jenkins complicates this notion in that “consumers are selective users of a vast media culture whose treasures, though corrupt, hold wealth that can be mined and refned for alternative uses” (Textual Poachers 27). Nomadic textual poachers may be limited in many ways to capitalist output, but their remixing can create an alternative subjectivity that reframes and reappropriates those works in an entirely different context by reimagining its use value. With the varied examples in previous sections of this chapter, I have demonstrated how Food Network fan content on Tumblr understands the channel’s stars in nomadic fashion, by combining and reassembling their images through multiple representations across and within various Food Network media and via comparisons to mainstream entertainment culture. These stars, and others on Food Network, function simultaneously as celebrities for a fan community, but also as entries into the fandom through an affnity or animosity toward a star image. Without the nomadic traveling of Food Network fans across and within the Food Network universe, Bobby Flay’s persona as a love-to-hate villain may not be as widely adopted; Alton Brown’s as-of-late “evilicious” image may not be perceptible as a character arc without extratextual knowledge of his shift from Good Eats to Cutthroat Kitchen; and, Guy Fieri’s celebrated role in meme culture may not have developed if his star image more closely ascribed to Food Network’s earlier informational and instructional aims. Each of these phenomena are predicated on the nomadic tendencies of the fandom across Food Network. As such, Food Network fandom appears to be largely inclusive and unwilling to defne parameters around qualifying objects. A connection to food culture and an acceptance of irreverent, self-aware humor is seemingly all it takes to be a part of the subcultural “food network.”

References Aspler, Sarah. “33 Times the Internet Roasted the Shit Out of Food Network.” Buzzfeed, September 25, 2017, ———. “33 Tumblr Posts that Prove ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’ Is the Best Show on Food Network.” Buzzfeed, November 6, 2017, -that-prove-cutthroat-kitchen-is-the-best. Beatty, Sally. “Cooking Up the Next Emeril: Cable TV’s Food Network Seeks Recipe for Winning More Viewers and Ads.” Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2000, p. B1. Becker, Annie. “Kicked Earlier a Notch.” Broadcasting & Cable, June 8, 2007, www.broadc Bury, Rhiannon, Ruth Deller, Adam Greenwood, and Bethan Jones. “From Usenet to Tumblr: The Challenging Role of Social Media.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2013, pp. 299–318. Contois, Emily. “Welcome to Flavortown: Guy Fieri’s Populist American Food Culture.” American Studies, vol. 57, no. 3, 2018, pp. 143–60.

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Denhart, Andy. “Can Food Network Survive in the Age of Netfix Cooking Shows.” GrubStreet, August 7, 2018, s-food-network.html. Food Network. Broadcasting & Cable, October 20, 1997, p. 39. Food Network. “Guy Fieri Bio.” Food, 2019, les/talent/guy-feri/bio. Gallo, Phil. “New Tastes on the Menu.” Variety, June 2, 2015, p. 84. Golder, Andy. “23 Tumblr Posts About Food Network That’ll Crack You Up.” Buzzfeed, September 13, 2016, Goldsmith, Jill. “Keeping the Food Network Cooking.” Variety, October 4, 2012, variety .com/2012/scene/markets-festivals/keeping-the-food-network-cooking-1118059798. Gray, Johnathan. “New Audiences, New Textualities: Anti-Fans and Non-Fans.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 1, 2003, pp. 64–81. Hayes, Dade. “Discover Closes $14.6B Acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive.” Deadline, March 6, 2018, -scripps-networks-interactive-1202312478. Hills, Matt. “From Dalek Half Balls to Daft Punk Helmets: Mimetic Fandom and the Crafting of Replicas.” Transformative Works & Cultures, vol. 16, 2014. /twc.2014.0531. Horst, Carole. “Guy Fieri Talks Walk of Fame Honor and Work that ‘Cuts Through All the Celebrity Bulls–.” Variety, May 22, 2019, alk-of-fame-food-network-interview-1203218907. Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. Updated twentieth anniversary ed., New York City: Routledge, 2013. Jenkins, Henry, William Proctor, Louisa Stein, Drew Davidson, Kristina Busse, and Karen Tongson. “Acafandom and Beyond: Concluding Thoughts.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan, October 22, 2011, .html. Jessell, Harry. “E.W. Scripps: Building, Growing with HGTV.” Broadcasting & Cable, March 2, 1998, 18–22. Ketchum, Cheri. “Tunnel Vision and Food: A Political-Economic Analysis of Food Network.” Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting, edited by Sarah BanetWeiser, Cynthia Chris, and Anthony Freitas, New York City: New York University Press, 2007, pp. 158–176. Littleton, Cynthia. “Food Network’s Lagasse Serves Up Ratings.” Broadcasting & Cable, October 21, 1996, p. 51. ———. “Food Network Bastes Its Brand for 20th Anni Year.” Variety, January 2, 2013, 118064132. ———. “Food Network Sets Broad TV Pact with Star Chef Bobby Flay (Exclusive).” Variety, December 3, 2018, ulti-year-deal-1203078175. Radway, Janice. “Reception Study: Ethnography and the Problems of Dispersed Audiences and Nomadic Subjects.” Cultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1988, pp. 359–76. Romano, Allison. “The Food Network Wants a Bigger Slice.” Broadcasting & Cable, September 6, 2004, pp. 10–11. Salkin, Allen. From Scratch: Inside the Food Network. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013. Stein, Louisa Ellen. “Tumblr Fan Aesthetics.” Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, edited by Melissa A. Click and Suzanne Scott, New York City: Routledge, 2018, pp. 86–97.

58 Steinhauer Szewczyk, Jesse. “24 Cooking Memes That Are Way Funnier Than They Should Be.” Buzzfeed, 2 March 2019, Williams, Rebecca. “Tumblr’s GIF Culture and the Infnite Image: Lone Fandom, Ruptures, and Working Through on a Microblogging Platform.” Transformative Works & Cultures, vol. 27, 2018. /1153/1687.


Food poisoning The Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce debacle and the temporalities of toxic fandom Suzanne Scott

Adult Swim’s cult animated series Rick and Morty (2013–present) chronicles the interdimensional adventures of Rick Sanchez, an abusive and substance abusing scientist, and his neurotic grandson, Morty Smith. The show has garnered a cult fan base that has only intensifed due to the increasingly long delays between seasons. This intensifcation was particularly the case between the October 2015 season two fnale (a cliffhanger episode in which Rick turned himself over to the authorities and was imprisoned) and season three, which dropped its premiere episode, “The Rickshank Redemption,” on April 1, 2017 (as an April Fool’s Day stunt) before airing the remaining episodes in July 2017. After a running gag in the season three premiere about Rick’s all-consuming affection for a discontinued McDonald’s McNugget dipping sauce, which had originally been produced as a cross-promotion for Disney’s Mulan (Barry Crook and Tony Bancroft, 1998), Rick and Morty fans gathered over forty-fve thousand signatures on a petition and fooded McDonald’s social media accounts demanding the return of Szechuan Sauce. Not one to pass up the opportunity for a PR stunt, McDonald’s agreed to stock the sauce in limited locations for one day only on October 7, 2017. McDonald’s radically underestimated demand, supplying only twenty to forty packets of Szechuan Sauce and a handful of commemorative posters to a select few chain locations, and empty-handed Rick and Morty fans promptly took their frustration out on McDonald’s corporate phone lines and social media accounts, as well as in person at various franchise locations, ultimately resulting in an apology from McDonald’s and a 20-million packet relaunch of the sauce in February 2018 (Taylor). The media widely reported on the incident in hyperbolic terms, with a few isolated incidents of so-called “rabid” fans chanting, pushing, and standing on counters broadly classifed as “riots” (see Browne; Rosenberg). The events have subsequently been held up by journalists and fans as one (if not the) prime example of how fan culture has grown increasingly “entitled” and “toxic” over the past several years (see Alexander; Muriel; Parker; Romano). Unlike other chapters in this collection, I am less interested in considering Rick and Morty fans as fans of food, as I would contend that Szechuan Sauce functions as a McGuffn within the diegesis of the episode as well as the fan fervor that followed. Rather, I aim to situate evolving debates

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around “toxic fan culture,” and specifcally how nostalgia is perceived to fuel this toxicity, within one detailed (para)textual analysis of a food-based instance of entitled fandom. Being mindful of the myriad corporate, producorial, textual, and fannish ingredients that converge to produce any given instance of “toxic” fandom, this chapter explores the temporalities of toxic fandom. While we absolutely cannot elide the fact that toxic fan culture is undergirded by more systemic and enduring biases along the lines of race, gender, nationality, or sexuality within the fan body politic, this chapter uses “food poisoning” as an allegorical analytic to consider how specifc instances of toxic fandom and the media coverage of them may be similarly highly conditional, contextual, and short-lived. Because toxic fandom has routinely been framed by media commentators as something that is alternately poisoning or consuming fan culture at large, this chapter offers a more holistic consideration of one incident that has been held up as emblematic of toxic fan culture. Just as food poisoning is often the product of particular environmental factors, it is vital that we consider the conditions that breed and brand “toxic fan” behavior.

Rick, Morty, and toxic geek masculinity Before delving into the fan backlash to McDonald’s failed PR stunt and broader linkages between food, nostalgia, and fandom, it is necessary to briefy contextualize how Rick Sanchez as a character specifcally and Rick and Morty fans more generally have come to be conceptually aligned with toxic geek masculinity. The character of Rick functions as a nihilistic takedown of benevolent “mad scientist” mentor fgures like Doc Brown from the Back to the Future franchise, and embodies the dark and absurdist humor that is frequently characterized as a core component of the show’s widespread appeal amongst millennial viewers (Koltun 112–18). The fact that “The Rickshank Redemption” appears to focus on a traumatic event from Rick’s past is signifcant, as it simultaneously explores and calls into question the veracity of memories regarding how he transitioned from struggling scientist and content family man to the hypermasculine and abusive patriarchal fgure featured on the show. As Anastasia Salter and Bridget Blodgett outline in Toxic Geek Masculinity, it is this “move from bullied to bullies” (12) that sits at the heart of toxic geek masculinity, and the episode (at least on the surface) claims to trace this narrative arc for Rick. The perceived rise of toxic masculinity in fan culture is often aligned with fans’ conficted relationship to the mainstreaming of geek culture, resulting in small collectives of white, cishet male fans claiming an outsider or oppressed status that doesn’t account for their own institutional power and privilege within fan culture and society at large (Scott 4). The fact that Rick, too, prides himself on his outsider status and reviles “any institution, even one consisting completely of infnite versions of himself” (Koltun 107), neatly aligns him with toxic geek masculinity. At the same time, it also makes his fetishization of McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce doubly ironic, as the dipping sauce is derived

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from a 1998 partnership between two corporate consumerist monoliths: the Walt Disney Company and McDonald’s. Whether Rick’s fannish obsession with Szechuan Sauce expressed in the episode is a genuine or empty gesture is somewhat beside the point. Much like Douglas Adams’ claim the meaning of the universe is forty-two in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, another infuential absurdist geek culture comedy text, the episode’s running gag about Szechuan Sauce is empty of real meaning by design, as much as its referent epitomizes empty calories. Nonetheless, numerous articles in the wake of the Szechuan Sauce debacle fxated on the fact that fans had fundamentally misunderstood the character and the episode’s implicit critique of Rick’s fandom when they stormed McDonald’s chains demanding Szechuan Sauce. Justly critiquing some fans’ mistreatment of McDonald’s employees, who bore the brunt of the corporation’s poor planning, one critic noted that “the fans don’t understand any level of what’s going on. If they understood Rick, they wouldn’t care about the sauce because no one in the show really cares about the sauce” (Kuchera). Indeed, tales of fans performatively echoing Rick’s single-minded fxation by trading their car for a packet of the sauce (Moye), or bidding hundreds of dollars for one of the limited packets on eBay (Taylor), were rife in the wake of the protests. Within the fctional world Rick and Morty, Szechuan Sauce may be a foating signifer, or merely emblematic of Rick’s unchecked id, but within Rick and Morty fandom it has become signifcant— in part because it is a (literally) consumable Earth-bound marker of affect for a show with few such tangible, mundane, or noninterdimensional consumable references. Without condoning the behavior of these fans (however overstated), or their expressions of frustration towards low-wage fast food workers (however misdirected), I would nonetheless contend that this perspective both trades in old fan pathologies about feebleminded and obsessive consumerism, and does not suffciently account for the role that both McDonald’s and Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland played in stoking this fan food fervor. Immediately after “The Rickshank Redemption” aired, the show’s offcial Twitter account broadcast the following message (presumably penned from Roiland’s frstperson perspective, whose own nostalgic fan affect for the sauce was the basis for the episode): “Please God, I don’t ask for much, please let us gain enough cultural infuence to force McDonald’s into bringing back that fucking sauce” (Rick and Morty). Roiland got his wish in July 2017, when McDonald’s sent him a jug of Szechuan Sauce along with a letter littered with fannish references to the show, including a customized label that read: For use only in McDonald’s restaurants (C-1998M) during limited promotional window, and then maybe again twenty years later. DO NOT SERVE to mad scientists travelling with their teenage grandson; potential non-scientist versions of mad scientists from an alternate dimension; and/ or Jerry. (Roiland)

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Roiland’s social media announcement about the delivery, and the food of enthusiastic coverage that followed, also served as an early indicator that McDonald’s was planning a cross-promotion, with their letter to Roiland containing the promise that “A few lucky fans will also get to experience the glory, but the frst bottle in this dimension is for you.” Thus, when McDonald’s announced the limited re-release of the sauce in early October 2017, fans were already primed for the event. Contra much of the reporting on fans’ vitriolic response to Szechuan Sauce shortages, I would suggest that the majority of fans likely both understood the show’s implicit critique of Rick and acknowledged how the show valorizes his character and worldview in a way both the show’s creators and network seem reticent to admit. These sorts of narratives about entitlement in fan culture both tend to obscure the more deeply rooted socio-cultural biases in fan culture that fuel fan toxicity generally, and they also fail to hold media texts, industries, and corporations accountable for the roles they frequently play in provoking specifc incidents. Though McDonald’s ultimately apologized for mishandling the PR stunt and attempted to make amends with a more expansive rollout of the sauce in February 2018, overwhelmingly the reporting of the incident focused on overzealous fans, placing little to no blame on the corporation. Adopting the attitude that there is no such thing as bad publicity, McDonald’s milked the controversy, releasing a true crime parody podcast, modeled off Serial. The Sauce claimed to offer a transparent look into the bungled initial rollout in a way that resonated with McDonald’s “fun,” “customer-frst” brand (Cabrera as quoted in Monllos). However, this true crime framing, coupled with the recuperative title of the frst episode (“Good Intentions”) and opening with an aural compilation of the most aggressive fan responses, primarily worked to paratextually situate McDonald’s as the victim of unrealistic fan expectations. A broader concern is that this overwhelming focus on “toxic” fan response to the scarcity of Szechuan Sauce ultimately overshadowed far more pernicious incidents of toxicity connected to Rick and Morty fandom during this period, namely the pervasive digital harassment of the frst four women to be hired as writers for the show’s third season (Barsanti; Shanley). The Rick and Morty episode that spawned the fannish fxation with the sauce and the season that followed was the frst to feature a gender-balanced (though still overwhelmingly white) writer’s room, a rarity at Adult Swim, which has a longstanding reputation for being reticent to diversify their creative rosters (Lange; Wright). As the Adult Swim brand, at both the creator and consumer level, is so conceptually and commercially aligned with white masculinity, it is perhaps signifcant to remember that the sauce at the center of the controversy was originally designed to promote one of Disney’s earliest efforts to center a woman of color, the Chinese heroine Hua Mulan, in their animated features. The Szechuan Sauce debacle has more or less conceptually erased its connection to Mulan, with the sauce now frmly ensconced as a Rick and Morty fan object for an imagined audience of predominantly young, white men.

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Nostalgia and fannish food poisoning Because contemporary toxic fan culture is so frequently perceived to be driven by and discursively aligned with white, male, cishet fans’ sense of ownership over media objects from their past, it is signifcant that studies of food fandom and studies of toxic fan culture are linked by nostalgia as a driving factor. Nostalgia is especially central to our cultural conceptualization of “comfort food.” Beyond Rick’s nostalgic affnity for McNuggets with Szechuan Sauce, it is also notable that the projected environment that Rick chooses to represent his mind in this episode is a family chain restaurant, Shoney’s. Just as comfort foods tend to be characterized as calorie rich foods that are “associated with childhood and/or home cooking” and “offer some sort of psychological, specifcally emotional, comfort” (Spence 105), the nostalgic presentation of comfort food and restaurant brands built around it within the episode are seemingly used to return to a past in which Rick’s relationship with his family was not dysfunctional. Szechuan Sauce may not be explicitly linked to Rick’s childhood, but is presented as symbolic of a more “innocent” time for the character (prior to the invention of his portal gun and his self-imposed alienation from his family), and the conceptual alignment with both a children’s media property and a fast food staple aimed at young consumers (the McDonald’s Happy Meal) strengthens these connections. Nostalgic consumption of food, and food trends that trade on nostalgia, frequently occur in moments of personal or cultural crisis (Stein), and this pattern aligns neatly with the positioning of nostalgic fan connections to food as a recurring theme within the episode. As Rick’s captor, who has forcibly invaded his mind to interrogate him, notes: “I can see why you chose this family friendly restaurant to represent your cerebellum. So safe. So comfortable. So Shoney’s” (00:03:00–00:03:05). The Inception-style reveal at the end of the episode, that Rick has been fabricating all of his memories to make his escape, however, punctures the idea that nostalgic connections to food are driven by desire for family and community, at least where Rick is concerned, and instead reinforces the ways in which nostalgic food consumption “strengthens and augments selfhood, it reduces sources of uncertainty, increases one’s ability to deal with the present and restores self-worth” (Vignolles and Pichon 229). Given Rick’s narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies, his selfhood and self-confdence hardly needed augmenting, but his Machiavellian projection of references to fast food and comfort food still speaks to his understanding of the power of food as a nostalgic or fan object. Similar to the ways in which nostalgia connected to food “often entails a double displacement,” wherein “discontent with the present disguises itself as yearning for the past” (Feng 58), Benjamin Woo has suggested that a fundamental tension within geek culture is its concurrent connection to the future and the past. Geeks and fans, in part due to their generic affnity for science fction, are “imagined as the sources of new things—of new technologies and new ideas” (198). This is certainly the case with the contemporary positioning

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of fans as pop culture tastemakers, and was undoubtedly part of the allure for McDonald’s in their strategic and unauthorized piggybacking on the Rick and Morty brand and its meme-savvy fan base. Simultaneously, though, geeks and fans are “defned by a particular relationship to the past—in particular, with their own pasts” (Woo 198). While nostalgia as a perceived driver of toxic fan culture will be discussed in more detail below, for now it is suffcient to note that Woo also acknowledges how the nostalgic dimensions of geek and fan culture are frequently wielded to characterize geeks as “emblematic of postmodern anomie and narcissism,” fxating on their “retreat into narrow enclaves based on lifestyles and hobbies” (199). Fannish forms of collection and curation, for example, are frequently framed through the lens of nostalgia, and “those who relive their childhood through consumption and nostalgia for a previous generation are predominantly men” (Geraghty 61), which thus reinforces connections to toxic geek masculinity. This depiction, and the accordant tensions of the “time trap” Woo describes as endemic to geek or fan identity, manifests explicitly in Rick’s maniacal monologue that closes the episode: Welcome to the darkest year of our adventures. […] A-and I-I’ll go out and fnd some more of that Mulan, Szechuan Teriyaki dipping sauce, Morty. Because that’s, that’s what this is all about Morty! That’s my onearmed man. I’m not driven by avenging my dead family, Morty, that was FAKE! I-I’m driven by fnding that, McNugget Sauce. I want that Mulan McNugget Sauce, Morty. That’s my series arc Morty! If it takes nine seasons, I WANT MY MCNUGGET DIPPING SAUCE SZECHUAN SAUCE MORTY! Th-that’s what’s gonna take us all the way to the end, Morty! Season—nine more seasons Morty! Nine more seasons until I get that dipping Szechuan sauce! FOR 97 MORE YEARS MORTY! I WANT THAT MCNUGGET SAUCE MORTY!!! (00:21:20 to 00:22:21) This meta rant, which gestures to the lengthy waits for fans between seasons (e.g. that this “series arc” will play out over nine more seasons spanning ninety-seven years), envisions the future wholly through a fxation with the past. It also visually represents how fannish nostalgia can turn toxic (or, alternately, infers that nostalgia is always already toxic), deploying extreme, canted angle close-ups of Rick, frothing at the mouth and aggressively grasping at Morty as he struggles to get away. In addition to the conventional protest tactics deployed by fans at various McDonald’s chain restaurants (e.g., chanting “We want the sauce,” holding up posters with slogans like “#giveusthesauce I don’t care if it takes 9 seasons,” and so on), the footage of “rioting” fans that circulated online often self-consciously mimicked Rick’s screed, functioning more as staged acts of fannish performance art rather than sincere acts of civil disobedience (Chairman Mar). However satirical the origins, this monologue clearly entrenched the sauce as a totemic object for both the character and, by extension, fans of the show.

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In moving toward an allegorical understanding of the Szechuan Sauce debacle as an incident of fannish food poisoning, William Proctor’s discussion of totemic nostalgia is especially useful. Proctor defnes totemic nostalgia as “a type of fan protectionism, which is not toxic, centered on an affective relationship with a fan-object, usually forged in childhood” (1122) that typically becomes the focus of both journalistic and fannish attention “when it mushrooms into harassment, bullying and other types of toxic fan practices” (1123). Addressing another highly publicized incident that has been held up as exemplary of contemporary “toxic fandom,” namely the racist and misogynist pushback to the female reboot of the Ghostbusters flm franchise in 2016, Proctor contends that having “a panoply of media reports indicate that totemic nostalgia is nothing but thinly veiled misogyny” (1129) did not adequately refect the array of fans’ nostalgic responses to news of the reboot. While I would disagree somewhat with Proctor’s claim, considering that misogyny has consistently proven itself to be a driving factor in many high-profle instances of toxic fandom, I would similarly offer a call for more nuanced and contextual analyses of instances of “toxic” fandom. Specifcally, I would suggest that the tendency to imagine toxic fan culture to be exclusively populated by straight, white men often erases the ways in which straight, white women can also engage in practices that alienate marginalized fans; see, for example, Rukmini Pande’s discussion of the “fandom killjoy” (12–13, 195). The primary issue with these totalizing views is that they too frequently fail to acknowledge that totemic fan nostalgia is not bound to a particular identity matrix, and they do not meaningfully grapple with the ways in which identity invariably shapes fans’ relationship to a totemic object. One could make an argument that age is the core identity marker shaping analyses of fans’ totemic nostalgia, though to do so means dangerously ignoring the ways in which historical, industrial, and cultural context shape a given media object. In other words, an all-female Ghostbusters flm would have likely been impossible without the unexpected success of director Paul Feig’s female ensemble comedy Bridesmaids (2011), and a more general investment in representational diversity in Hollywood over the past decade, much of it spurred on by various forms of fan activism. Szechuan Sauce is a unique totemic fan object for several reasons. The frst reason is because of how aggressively it was presented within the text as a totemic fan object of a fctional character who was already serving as an avatarial representation of toxic fandom for many. Second, fans’ nostalgia for Szechuan Sauce is largely only second hand. The show’s fanbase skews younger; indeed, Rick and Morty’s third season distinguished itself by becoming the highest rated comedy series on television for the eighteen to twenty-four and eighteen to thirty-four demographics (Sharf). Thus, it stands to reason that many of the fans clamoring for Szechuan Sauce were not old enough to remember, much less experience, its initial release. So, while nostalgia for particular foods can function as a way of revisiting one’s specifc memories of the past and shoring up a sense of one’s identity, it is important to remember

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nostalgia for food (not unlike nostalgia writ large) can also manifest as “a longing for times and places that one has never experienced” (Holtzman 367). In this sense, we might situate the Szechuan Sauce craze more generally within 1990s nostalgia among millennial and Gen Z fan consumers.

Contextualizing fannish food poisoning It is impossible to isolate a given fan object from myriad ecological conditions, or indeed to extricate “toxic fandom” from our broader political climate. Accordingly, it remains vital to differentiate between modes of fannish totemic “protectionism” that occur at the expense of marginalized constituencies (however unintentionally or indirectly) with those that take aim at corporations. Of course, cases like the one documented in this chapter exist that have elements of both. Likewise, it is entirely feasible that there is some overlap in the Venn diagram between toxic fans who were harassing Rick and Morty’s frst female writers in the months leading up to the third season (who, much like the fans discussed by Proctor, were invoking a protectionist stance over their totemic fan object and bemoaning the textual impact of these women before they had even seen their work) and the most aggressive or disruptive of the Szechuan Sauce fan protestors. Still, it is precisely because “toxicity” conceptually evokes the aftermath of poisoning that I wish to close with a consideration of what “food poisoning” allegorically offers when engaging isolated incidents such as fans protesting the lack of Szechuan Sauce, without discounting more systemic or undergirding considerations of “toxic fan culture.” Just as the symptoms of food poisoning can range from mild to severe, can be limited to one person or involve a mass outbreak, incidents of toxic fandom can be more or less noxious in their expression and can range in scope and scale. Incidents of food poisoning are also rarely fatal, and are often rooted in environmental factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that while incidents of food poisoning are common, with 48 million people a year suffering from some form of foodborne illness in the United States, only three thousand (or .006 percent) are severe enough to result in death. This prevalence is a useful reminder that while historical coverage of fan culture tends to focus on the most sensational of fan performances (with discussions of “toxic fandom” being one of the more visible contemporary instantiations of this tendency), it is a comparatively miniscule percentage of media fans that succumb. Still, just as environmental factors play a key role in determining the likelihood of food poisoning (including particular foods being more aligned with incidences), perhaps specifc demographic and textual conditions breed toxic fandom more effectively than others. In the same way that “normally nonpathogenic organisms, perhaps specifc types, may cause poisoning when present in massive numbers in food” (Meyer 844), normally nontoxic fans might be activated to perform toxic behaviors under specifc conditions. Most vitally, incidents of food poisoning are short in duration, both in terms of incubation period (typically eight to ten hours from the time of ingestion)

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and the experience of symptoms (the illness tends to last less than twenty-four hours, and no more than several days in the most severe cases). In part due to the clickbait content demands of social media and a twenty-four-hour news cycle, many incidents or expressions of toxic fandom, as well as media coverage of them, tend to spike dramatically and subside just as quickly. Of course, this is notably not the case for various “-gate” toxic fan campaigns (e.g. Gamer Gate, Comicsgate), which endure over months and years and are marked by systemic harassment of minority creators and fans; however, as we engage the temporal drivers of toxic fan culture (such as nostalgia), fan scholars need to be equally attentive to duration. Understanding incubation is equally essential, though potentially trickier: foods that are toxic often cannot be easily detected as such, and are only identifed after the illness has developed. A similar case occurred with Rick and Morty in the wake of the Szechuan Sauce debacle, with an array of think pieces retroactively condemning the text as both incubating and inciting the event. Utilizing food poisoning as an allegory to consider tainted incidents of industrial outreach to fans also resonates with Mel Stanfll’s use of domestication as a structuring metaphor in Exploiting Fandom: Just as livestock are bred to be bigger and more docile, industry’s invitation to fans seek to make them both more useful and more controllable, thus making fans a resource to exploit. However, exploitation is not the whole story. Livestock also lead safer, easier lives than their wild counterparts, protected from external threats. […] Moreover, if domestication suggests that fans are meat and milk, it also points to domesticity. (11) If the McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce promotion clearly represents an effort to industrially harness the digital and (sub)cultural capital of Rick and Morty fans, then those fans’ response to McDonald’s poor planning powerfully suggests that we might also need to consider how fans are being bred to exhibit toxic behavior. Fan toxicity is routinely painted as an internal threat, without suffcient consideration of the industrial conditions shaping these views, offering some fans more protection than others. Thus, while McDonald’s mea culpa of eventually sourcing a suffcient number of Szechuan Sauce packets to meet fan demand is one thing, giving Ghostbusters fans yet another reboot, this time with a male cast and aimed squarely at those harboring totemic nostalgia for the original flm (some of it actively spurred on by deeper patriarchal nostalgia), is another. Rather than simply categorize toxic fans as “spoiled” meat and milk, in both senses of the word (contaminated and entitled), fan scholars need to address who or what they are spoiled for and/or what spoiled them. When exploring fan/industry relations and power dynamics, fan scholars have frequently engaged the concept of a “moral economy.” Drawing on E. P. Thompson’s work on how communal consensus might be used to justify an uprising, fan scholars tend to use this term to address “the social expectations, emotional

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investments, and cultural transactions that create a shared understanding between all participants within an economic exchange” (Jenkins and Green 214). When confronting reactionary instances of “toxic fandom,” it is vital to consider what they are reacting to, as well as what expectations have been violated. In the case of toxic fan campaigns and culture undergirded by reactionary politics, expectations around and emotional investments in white male supremacy obviously need to be confronted and combatted. In cases of fannish “food poisoning,” it may be a more simplistic case of expectations around a particular transaction breaking down. While Thompson clearly never had Szechuan Sauce in mind when formulating this concept, a perceived violation of the moral economy nonetheless sits at the heart of Rick and Morty fans’ reaction to the chain of events that occurred. I would further contend that, beyond not delivering on the promise of their PR stunt, fans’ sense of betrayal (and, subsequently, the rationale for their “uprising”) was exacerbated by McDonald’s own brand identity. The fast food chain brand, which is synonymous with ubiquity, convenience, and speed, broke down entirely in their efforts to court a niche fan base with a promotion predicated on scarcity. Importantly, the key “element in the clinical evaluation of food poisoning is differential diagnosis with foodborne infection or intoxication” (Milaciu et al. 108). Just as doctors must distinguish between infections “caused by ingestion of food in which pathogenic organisms have multiplied,” and intoxication, which is “due to pathogens that multiply and produce toxins inside the human body” (Milaciu et al. 108), studies of toxic fan culture must be careful to demarcate between the very real and potentially viral biases that already exist within the fan body politic, and those that are circumstantially ingested. Much like cases of food poisoning, which may contain “common clinical elements to these pathological conditions” but where ultimately “management is different” (Milaciu et al. 108), considerations of how toxicity in fan culture originates and is cultivated are necessary if we are going to forward any real strategies for its management.

References @JustinRoiland. “Holy Shit.” Twitter, July 29, 2017, 9:52 p.m. /status/891521911460470784. @RickandMorty. “Please God, I Don’t Ask for Much, Please Let Us Gain Enough Cultural Infuence to Force McDonald’s into Bringing Back that Fucking Sauce.” Twitter, April 1, 2017, 7:02 p.m. Alexander, Julia. “Rick and Morty’s Toxicity Is Our Unescapable Story of 2017.” Polygon, December 26, 2017, city-fandom-season-3. Barsanti, Sam. “Dan Harmon Is Pissed at Rick and Morty Fans for Harassing Female Writers.” AV Club, September 21, 2017, ick-and-morty-fans-for-harassi-1818628816. Browne, Ryan. “McDonald’s Is Bringing Back a Sauce That Led to Riots.” CNBC, February 22, 2018, -after-rick-and-morty-fan-riots.html.

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Chairman Mar. “RICK AND MORTY MCDONALD’S SZECHUAN SAUCE FREAKOUT!!!! (ORIGINAL VIDEO).” YouTube, October 8, 2017, .com/watch?v=-GC5rAX0xHg. Feng, Jin. “Food Nostalgia and the Contested Time.” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, vol. 10, no. 1, 2014, pp. 58–85. Geraghty, Lincoln. Cult Collectors: Nostalgia, Fandom and Collecting in Popular Culture. New York City: Routledge, 2014. Holtzman, Jon D. “Food and Memory.” The Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 35, 2006, pp. 361–78. Jenkins, Henry, and Joshua Green. “The Moral Economy of Web 2.0.” Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method, edited by Jennifer Holt and Alisa Perren, New York City: Blackwell, 2009, pp. 213–25. Koltun, Kim. “Rick, Morty, and Absurdism: The Millennial Allure of Dark Humor.” The Forum Journal of History, vol. 10, no. 1, 2018, pp. 99–128. Kuchera, Ben. “The Szechuan Sauce Fiasco Proves Rick and Morty Fans Don’t Understand Rick and Morty.” Polygon, October 9, 2017, 7460/rick-and-morty-szechuan-sauce-mcdonalds-fans-anger. Lange, Ariane. “Adult Swim Executive’s Reddit Account Responds to Report on Lack of Women Creators.” Buzzfeed, September 30, 2016, dult-swim-women. Meyer, K. F. “Food Poisoning.” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 249, no. 21, 1953, pp. 843–52. Milaciu, Mircea V., Lorena Ciumărnean, Olga H. Orășan, Ioana Para, Teodora Alexescu, and Vasile Negrean. “Semiology of Food Poisoning.” Human & Veterinary Medicine, vol. 8, no. 2, 2016, pp. 108–13. Monllos, Kristina. “Inside McDonald’s New ‘Serial’-Style Podcast Telling Its Side of the Szechuan Sauce Story.” AdWeek, February 26, 2018, eting/inside-mcdonalds-new-serial-style-podcast-telling-its-side-of-the-szechuan-sauce -story. Moye, David. “Woman Trades Packet of McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce for Car.” Huffngton Post, October 13, 2017, nalds-car_n_59e11f43e4b0a52aca17f9af. Muriel, Sebastian. “Rick and Morty Toxic Fandom, Explained.” Medium, October 5, 2018, 868. Pande, Rukmini. Squee from the Margins: Fandom and Race. University of Iowa Press, 2018. Parker, James. “The Cartoon That Captures the Damaged American Male.” The Atlantic, October 2018, Proctor, William. “‘Bitches Ain’t Gonna Hunt No Ghosts’: Totemic Nostalgia, Toxic Fandom and the Ghostbusters Platonic.” Palabra Clave, vol. 20, no. 4, 2017, pp. 1105–41. Romano, Aja. “What Rick and Morty Fans’ Meltdown Over McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Says About Geek Culture.” Vox, October 10, 2017, /10/16448816/rick-and-morty-szechuan-sauce-backlash. Rosenberg, Adam. “McDonald’s Relents to Rabid ‘Rick and Morty’ Fans, Promises More Szechuan Sauce.” Mashable, October 8, 2017, uce-rick-and-morty-mcdonalds-winter. Salter, Anastasia, and Bridget Blodgett. Toxic Geek Masculinity in Media: Sexism, Trolling, and Identity Politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

70 Scott Scott, Suzanne. Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry. New York City: New York University Press, 2019. Shanley, Patrick. “Meet the Women Behind ‘Rick and Morty’s’ Third Season.” The Hollywood Reporter, August 11, 2017, -women-behind-rick-mortys-third-season-1028204. Sharf, Zack. “‘Rick and Morty’ Season 3 Made Adult Swim History as the Network’s Most Watched Series Ever.” Indiewire, October 4, 2017, -and-morty-breaks-records-most-watched-adult-swim-series-1201883690. Spence, Charles. “Comfort Food: A Review.” International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, vol. 9, 2017, pp. 105–09. Stanfll, Mel. Exploiting Fandom: How the Industry Seeks to Manipulate Fans. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2019. Stein, Karen. “Contemporary Comfort Foods: Bringing Back Old Favorites.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 108, 2008, pp. 412–14. Taylor, Kate. “McDonald’s Is Facing Backlash After Failing to Provide Enough Szechuan Sauce—Now Packets Are Selling for Hundreds of Dollars on eBay.” Business Insider, October 9, 2017, -200-on-ebay-2017-10. ———. “McDonald’s Is Bringing Szechuan Sauce Back to Every Location Across the US After Furious ‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Rioted.” Business Insider, February 26, 2018, www Thompson, E. P. “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century.” Past and Present, vol. 50, 1971, pp. 76–136. Vignolles, Alexandra, and Paul-Emmanuel Pichon. “A Taste of Nostalgia: Links Between Nostalgia and Food Consumption.” Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 17, no. 3, 2014, pp. 225–38. Woo, Benjamin. Getting A Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture. Montreal: McGillQueen’s University Press, 2018. Wright, Megh. “47 Men, 0 Women: Why Doesn’t Adult Swim Order Shows from Female Creators?” Vulture, June 14, 2016, hy-doesnt-adult-swim-order-shows-from-female-creators.html.


Learning how to cook without lifting a knife Food television, foodies, and food literacy CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Lauhona Ganguly

People tune in every week. They cheer for their favorites to win the cooking competition. They coo over their favorite celebrity chefs. They thrill over watching someone eat what looks odd or disgusting to them. They talk to other viewers about the show, both online and around the dining table. They are fans of shows that focus on cooking, eating, or traveling for food, but are they learning anything about food from watching? This chapter explores several aspects of fandom around food television shows. First, it presents research on if behaviors commonly associated with media fandom exist with self-identifed fans of food television shows. Given the specifc nature of such media products, we also explore if food television fans view themselves as fans of food, or foodies, to examine if these identities are interconnected. Finally, since food television shows serve as information sources about nutritious food, food preparation, and cultural cuisines, this chapter investigates how these identities relate to food literacies. This chapter explores a possible link between these identities and literacies because self-identifed fans may have more motivation to watch food television shows, which could drive repeated returns and continuous exposure to content that could help foster retention and understanding of nutrition, cooking, and cuisines. This potential connection matters as food literacy skills lead to a healthier life, but our contemporary “foodscape has changed dramatically in recent decades in terms of where, what, how and with whom we eat” (Slater et al. 547). Since the 1980s, fewer Americans cook meals at home, while more Americans prefer to watch food television shows (Kant and Graubard; Smith et al.). According to Joyce Slater et al., these changes led to less healthy food being prepared at home, which has meant that there were fewer people who could teach the younger generation important food literacy skills. In a sense, then, television shows that feature food could serve to fll these knowledge and skill gaps. If people learn from food television shows, their food literacy may improve the more they watch the content. As repeatedly returning to content is a sign of fandom, food television fandom could provide the information and skills necessary to improve health. Sociological readings of television have focused on that link between viewing and learning, with Toby Miller and Alec McHoul arguing for a study of the

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“pragmatics of everyday life” that focuses on the “templates of techniques that exist, that people know, for doing very ordinary things” (31). The particular site of empirical interest has been the household. Those working in the sociology of food and eating, and others studying media audiences, have pointed to the need for research that can chart the everyday of domestic social processes. Alan Beardsworth and Teresa Keil, for instance, suggested that changes in the domestic organization of eating are now key topics for sociological study. According to their research, the continued increase in using convenience foods, and the perceived decline in the culinary skills required for conventional forms of food preparation, invites research that examines daily domestic life at closer quarters. An understanding of routine patterns of food use in the home can thus help to illuminate the underlying social relationships that shape everyday experience. Food television shows could operate as part of the fan’s everyday life to improve their food literacy and thus their health and overall well-being. In this chapter, we present the results of a study that examined the relationships between being a fan of a food television show and learning about food because of watching that show. The study examines two distinct social identities of this audience: as a fan and as a foodie. This chapter presents what prompts people to consider themselves a fan and what they do as a fan of food shows. We initially thought that being a fan would lead individuals to engage in fan activities and learn about food, cooking, and food cultures. The analysis, however, did not fnd this predicted relationship. What it did fnd was a more complex series of relationships between food television shows and audience identities that indicates a possible pathway for fans to learn about food from watching such shows.

Food television shifts from instruction to fandom Scholarship on food-related television shows has been instrumental in educating people on how food television shapes our household routines and choices around food consumption, by tracing the sociocultural and historical transformations both on television (with different types of food shows appearing at different contexts in social history) as well as in our daily viewing and habits (Miller and McHoul 31). In 1947, NBC laid the foundations for cooking show formats on television with Dione Lucas’s cooking demonstrations (Collins “Kitchen”). Lucas’s knowledge of French cuisine sought to appeal to women’s bourgeois aspirations to elite European living, which, in turn, allowed them to impress their husbands and dinner party guests. Julia Child’s The French Chef, which ran from 1963 to 1973 on PBS, expanded the genre and inspired a cult following around the chef’s personality. The show was flmed “on a cozy set, resembling a domestic kitchen […] facing an eye-level, mostly stationary camera [and] engaged audiences directly (addressing them as ‘you’) with a relaxed manner and warm, friendly banter” (Oren 79). Refecting her personality and charisma, Child’s show democratized culinary knowledge, introducing new foods to the American dinner table.

How to cook without lifting a knife


Starting in 1990, Martha Stewart Living carried on the educational impact of cooking shows and merged American food traditions with “legitimate hierarchies of taste and privilege” (Botterill 409). Such “how-to-cook” shows became more than just learning about cooking; rather, they reinforced social distinction by educating viewers on how to build an upper-class, bourgeois lifestyle. Historically, this turn in cooking/lifestyle shows came at a “moment of neoliberalism’s intensifcation” that was “marked by desires for class mobility through material display and individualized accrual of wealth” (Ryan 97). The nonfction, DIY genre mirrored the neoliberal ideology of self-improvement through self-dependence and became increasingly popular by reframing cooking shows from humdrum learn-how-to-cook shows to self-aware statements of individualism, personal choice, and validation. Stewart played a pivotal role in changing the narrative of cooking shows toward entertainment and lifestyle shows that demonstrated the commercial viability of food television. Food Network’s launch in 1993 capitalized on the economic feasibility and proftability of such cooking-lifestyle shows (for more discussion on the cable network, see Steinhauer in this collection). It introduced the twenty-four-hour cable channel of food shows to television screens with a range of innovative programming, but it also necessitated an economic imperative to attract a wider audience (beyond the middle-class, older, suburban women viewership), prompting executive producer Erica Gruen to declare a new mission for the channel: “not just for people who loved cooking but for people who love eating” (quoted in Adema 105). The mandate required the network to appeal to younger, male, and low-income audiences and, as a result, introduced two separate sets of programming strategies: one, nurturing a celebrity chef culture based on the Hollywood handbook of star system; and, two, adapting reality television entertainment formats to food shows (see Bonner; Hansen; Ketchum). As reality television formats captured audiences’ imagination and networks’ programming over the world, cooking-reality formats offered an opportunity for US programmers to source international programming (e.g., Iron Chef from Japan ran with translations frst and then remade into Iron Chef USA); to look for emerging star chefs with winning on screen presence and contract them for television shows (e.g., Gordon Ramsay, Alton Brown); and, above all else, create low-cost shows (relative to drama series) that could, nonetheless, target increasingly fragmented audience groups in a multichannel television universe and merge with online content as well as provide opportunities for ancillary merchandize and services (e.g. Top Chef, MasterChef ). Food became about risk-taking and macho antics on television, aiming to appeal to male audiences with increasingly competitive, risky, and confictridden content (e.g., Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen or MasterChef). Even with these gendered and class-based changes, some traditions remained. Tasha Oren summarizes the shift in the food television as “gendered divisions around cooking remain largely over place and intention: women cook at home for their family and loved ones, men cook in public, for pay, and mostly for (adoring) strangers” (27). Production values also refected a gendered divide: male

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chefs worked in ostentatious settings with live studio interactions and celebrity guests while female chefs, referred to as cooks, remained in more domestic and everyday set designs. More men and lower-class audiences now watch food television shows, but gendered representations remain. The shift from women-led instructional cooking shows to men-led entertainment food shows is important to understand because it refects a broader shift in narratives around food: food became about fantasies, removed from the daily chores of living and placed in the world of aspirational, entertaining viewing (Collins, Watching 243–44). Audiences became acculturated on foodrelated lifestyles and products through targeted advertising and programming conventions (see Hills in this collection). Viewers could buy their favorite chef-endorsed books and product lines and participate in a range of commodity fantasies via material consumerism or vicariously by watching others cook. The more traditional how-to-cook formats continued but they targeted women, teaching them how to achieve domestic effciency (e.g., Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, Emeril Lagasse’s Essence of Emeril, Sara Moulton’s Sara’s Secrets). The more spectacular, and highly advertised, new brand of food shows, however, cater to vicarious pleasures of viewing and belonging—as fans—in the world of celebrity chefs or enjoying the thrill of dangerous, exotic foods via sensationalized food shows. In other words, food television shows moved away from catering to foodies and, instead, sought to widen its appeal to a cross-section of television audiences looking for some entertaining fare on their screens. Since the 1980s, foodies have been defned as food connoisseurs or everyday food enthusiasts who seek to learn about new and different cuisine or cooking, developing an obsession about recipes, restaurants, and ingredients (Yozukmaz, Bekar, and Kilic 172). Foodies have a passion for “eating and learning about food but who are not food professionals” and participate in a “foodie culture” that enjoys any food from “high-brow classics (e.g., duck à l’orange) to low-brow culinary treasures (e.g., handmade tacos)” (Cairns, Johnston, and Baumann 592, italics in original). Scholars and critics commonly use affective words like “passion,” “obsession,” “lover,” “pleasure” and even “fans” to describe foodies (Yozukmaz, Bekar, and Kilic 172–73). Given these descriptors, we see a “foodie” as someone who is a “fan of food,” and thus a foodie as a particular fan identity. The affective dimension appears important in defning a foodie, and it is also a primary characteristic of the fan. For this study, we defne a fan as a person with a positive attitude toward an object of affection: thus, a person’s fandom is a set of beliefs, positive evaluations, and intentions based around some object (Reinhard, Fractured Fandoms 4). Defning fandom at this level allows us to extend the defnition to more than just media objects. In this way, we seek to examine if the foodie label serves as a synonym for identifying someone as a fan of food. A foodie could be conceptualized as such by understanding their attitude toward food as similar to a fan’s attitude toward some popular culture text. Affect drives fan behaviors and activities, such as identifcation, discourse,

How to cook without lifting a knife


attendance, production, and performance (Reinhard, Fractured Fandoms 71–4). This study sought to add a potential activity to that list: learning about food. As being a fan involves, at the very least, repeatedly engaging with the object of affection, that means fans of these shows may be consistently exposed to information about food, cooking, and food cultures (Reinhard, “Repeatedly Returning”). Such exposure, when combined with their affect for the content, could enhance their ability to learn the information, retain the information, and utilize that information in their everyday lives. Different defnitions exist for food literacies. Primarily, food literacy concerns gaining and utilizing information to make healthy food choices (Krause et al. 382). From there, different approaches focus on different aspects, such as “skills and behaviours, food/health choices, culture, knowledge, emotions, and food systems” while often focusing on knowledge acquisition than functional skill development or health outcomes (Truman, Lane, and Elliott 367). Other food scholars have identifed planning and management, selection, preparation, and eating as fundamental to food literacy (Vidgen and Gallegos 55–7); or have categorized food literacy as involving food and nutrition skills, food skills, selfeffcacy and confdence, ecologic, and food decisions (Perry et al. 2409–11). Based on these taxonomies, this study utilizes three particular food literacies. “Food literacy” concerns learning information about food to aid people’s healthy eating decisions through gaining information about food, cooking, and food cultures (see Krause et al.; Slater et al.). In addition to learning about food, viewers may also learn how to prepare food to help them achieve this healthy lifestyle (Slater et al. 551–52; Vidgen and Gallegos 2410). Such “culinary literacy” is the apparent goal of instructional cooking shows, as the hosts present the food preparation process step-by-step, in a multimodal presentation format that allows a viewer to follow along in real time. The fnal literacy is less about the food’s health benefts or how to prepare it, and more about the cultures that surround it (Slater et al. 552). This “cuisine literacy” involves learning about ingredients, dishes, traditions and cultures different from the viewers, which may help them become comfortable engaging with these unfamiliar foods. Culinary tourism shows appear structured with this goal, but cooking competition shows may be as likely to lead to cuisine literacy and culinary literacy depending on the cultural background of the competitors. The study developed a questionnaire to understand how viewers saw themselves as fans and foodies as well as what they learned from their favorite food television show.

Food television fandom questionnaire We circulated an online questionnaire on social media (via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and WordPress) during March and April 2019. A total of 231 people began the questionnaire, but we only included in the sample those participants who completely answered every close-ended item in a serious manner. Thus, the fnal sample became 181 people. The average age of the participants

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was thirty-nine years, with a range of nineteen to seventy years. The sample consisted of 144 women, 27 men, and 10 nonbinary/queer. For the sample’s income levels, 30 percent reported themselves in the lowest income bracket (under $50,000 a year), 40 percent in the second bracket (under $100,000 a year), 17 percent in the third bracket (under $150,000 a year), and 13 percent in the highest bracket (over $150,000 a year). This sample refects a common understanding of foodies as “mostly female, at the ages between 30–55, [and] have a higher education and income level” (Yozukmaz, Bekar, and Kilic 176). We designed the questionnaire to ask participants about their favorite food television show and how they saw themselves in relation to it by developing items to measure the following areas. Food television shows. The questionnaire frst asked what subgenre of food television shows they prefer to watch: cooking instructional, culinary competition, and cuisine tourism. In the sample, culinary competition shows were most popular (81 percent), followed by cooking instructional shows (65 percent) and cuisine tourism shows (60 percent).1 Participants then selected their favorite show from a list of ffteen famous and popular food television shows that represented these genres of food television, as seen in Table 7.1. The questionnaire automatically used their chosen show for follow-up questions about how they engage with the show (primarily frequency and technology), their fan and foodie identities, and their food literacies. Identities. After being asked if they self-identifed as a fan, and given the space to explain their answer, fan activity items measured the extent to which the participants engaged in actions commonly researched in fan studies. These questions2 included measures of affection for the show (e.g. “I love seeing the people” and “… is important to me.”), their discussions about the show (e.g. “I talk to other fans of”, “I share information about,” and “I share what I have learned from”), and their activities to produce content in relation to the show (e.g. “I draw fan art about” or “I write fanfction about”). Participants also indicated if they saw themselves as a foodie, which was followed by an open-ended item to explain their answer. That self-identifcation question was followed by items measuring their foodie activities. Such items included if they saw themselves as a foodie before watching the series and then after watching it. Those two items led to measurements of specifc activities, from “I like to cook” to “I like to take pictures of the food I eat” to “I like to search for new places to eat.” Literacies. The items intended to measure the three types of literacy followed those activity and identity items. Food literacy items focused on understanding healthy eating, such as “I learned about eating healthy food,” “I can now read the ingredients on processed food,” and “I now know how to locally source my food.” Culinary literacy items focused on understanding how to cook, such as “I learned about different cooking techniques,” “I feel … helped me to prepare my own food,” and “I now can follow a recipe.” Cuisine literacy items focused on understanding food cultures, such as “I learned about different types of cuisines,” “I feel more confdent engaging with people from different cultures,” and “I can now better understand food traditions.”

How to cook without lifting a knife


Fan identity versus foodie identity As seen in Table 7.1, participants watched culinary competition shows the most, and indicated The Great British Bake-Off as their favorite show. The majority of the sample, 161 participants, considered themselves fans of their favorite show, while only fve said they were not, and the remaining ffteen said they may be. For analysis purposes, we grouped the “no” and “maybe” participants together, resulting in 161 people self-identifying as fans and 20 people self-identifying as nonfans or potential fans. According to their explanations, the 89 percent identifying as fans did so for a combination of fve reasons. Of this group, 44 percent defned their fandom based on their watching the show repeatedly, including watching every episode, and rewatching or binge-watching episodes (e.g. “I watch all the shows as they come out.”). For the second most common reason, 37 percent enjoyed the content, including loving the personalities, seeing new things, and having strong emotions and opinions (e.g. “I also like that even though it is a competition, the people on it are very supportive of each other.”). Third, 17 percent fans discussed engaging with the paratexts, or related mediated content, of the show, including following the show’s personalities on social media, reading news stories, and even reading fanfction (e.g. “I follow Tom and Padma on social media.”). Fourth, some 16 percent indicated feeling inspired by the content, including wanting to try the recipes themselves, and wanting to try the food they see (e.g. “So it give me inspiration and ideas of bakes to try that

Table 7.1 Frequencies of watching food-based television shows Food-Based Television Show # Regularly Watch # Indicated as Favorite Cooking Instructional The Galloping Gourmet The French Chef Barefoot Contessa Emeril Live Rachel Ray Good Eats America’s Test Kitchen Culinary Competition MasterChef Top Chef Iron Chef Chopped The Great British Bake-Off Cuisine Tourism No Reservations Bizarre Foods Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

2 4 44 4 25 68 38

1 0 9 0 5 19 4

56 66 72 106 115

10 12 2 29 67

58 27 80

11 3 9

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I had heard of but thought was too hard, or hadn’t heard of …”). Finally, only 6 percent described their fandom due to engaging with others about the show, including talking to fans and nonfans, even evangelizing the show (e.g. “I enjoy discussing the show with colleagues and friends.”). Of these, repeatedly returning to the show emerged as the most frequent answer, even for individuals who said they were maybe a fan but did not feel that their engagement went beyond the watching the show. Already these reasons align with previous conceptualizations of fan activities, and their answers to the scale items further demonstrated their fan activities, as portrayed in Table 7.2. Fans were more likely to indicate the show as important to them and loving the people in it, aligning with the affective aspect of fandom. Additionally, fan discourse activities were supported, while fan production activities did not show any signifcant difference between fans and nonfans or potential fans. Interestingly, fans did indicate more likelihood of being a foodie after watching the show, but their average response was rather noncommittal. More intriguingly, that relationship was stronger when fans agreed that they like to search for new places to eat. While not possible to determine a causal relationship, the strength of the relationship suggests a potential link between these identities. Table 7.2 ANOVAs with fan identity as comparison factor

Fan Activity My favorite show is important to me. I love seeing the people in my favorite show.# I share information about my favorite show through social media.# I talk to other fans of my favorite show. I try to convince others to watch my favorite show. I share what I have learned from my favorite show with others. Foodie Activity I consider myself a foodie after watching my favorite show. I like to search for new places to eat.



Nonfan or Maybe Fan


4.9 (s.d. = 1.5) 2.8 (s.d. = 1.2)

26.9 (df 1, 21.3)*** 6.4 (s.d. = 0.8) 5.1 (s.d. = 1.1) 11.3 (df 1, 28.7)**

3.5 (s.d. = 2.2) 2.2 (s.d. = 1.6)


4.7 (s.d. = 1.8) 2.7 (s.d. = 1.6)


4.9 (s.d. = 1.9) 3.0 (s.d. = 1.7)


5.3 (s.d. = 1.6) 4.2 (s.d. = 1.8)


4.3 (s.d. = 1.9) 3.4 (s.d. = 2.1)


6.2 (s.d. = 1.1) 5.4 (s.d. = 1.5)

Indicates Levene statistic used due to inability to assume homogeneity. All df (1, 180) unless otherwise indicated. *p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 ***p < 0.001


How to cook without lifting a knife


While the majority self-identifed as fans, they appeared less willing to do the same concerning being a foodie. Only sixty-six participants self-identifed as a foodie, while seventy-four said they were not certain if they were, leaving the remaining forty-one to answer negatively. Thus, 64 percent of the sample indicated a negative or uncertain view of themselves as a foodie. Indeed, according to the data, no direct relationship exists between these different identities in relation to the participants’ favorite shows.3 While many of those identifying as a fan also identifed as a foodie, this overlap did not occur more than expected. In other words, the results did not indicate a sizeable clustering of fan identity and foodie identity that would reveal that fans are more likely to be foodies, and vice versa. The explanation for this lack of a relationship may be found in their thoughts about being a foodie. Participants indicated eight overlapping reasons why they did not see themselves as a foodie. About 23 percent of the uncertain or nonfoodies described seeing foodies as snobs or elitists (e.g. “the word ‘foodie’ makes me think of people who are snobbish about food and disdainful of people who eat ‘junk food’”); this reason aligns with the common perception of a foodie as a gourmet and not just someone with an intense interest in food (Johnston and Baumann 13; Yozukmaz, Bekar, and Kilic 176). Indeed, people tend to use the identifcation label “foodie” to describe others that “they see as more of a ‘foodie’ than themselves” (Johnston and Baumann 49). Although foodies may not see themselves as gourmands, or may wish to downplay such food snobbery by emphasizing their interest in high-brow and low-brow cuisines, this general perception about foodies as elitist persists because foodies emphasize certain foods and in their silence denigrate other foods (Johnston and Baumann 173); whether they judge high-brow or low-brow food, the act of judging earns them this label. The high presence of this reason for not wishing to self-identify as a foodie indicates this perception remains prevalent in food television fandom. Following this explanation, 10 percent said food was not enough of a priority to them (e.g. “I think foodie implies higher and more discerning standards than I have about food”). In third place, 10 percent said they did not cook at a high enough level to qualify as a foodie (e.g. “Like good food and am knowledgeable, but I do not seek it out or cook.”). Another 7 percent indicated they had dietary restrictions or considered themselves too much of a selective eater (e.g. “I’m too picky to be a foodie.”). Around 5 percent said they lacked necessary resources (e.g. “I don’t have fnancial means to access a lot of the experiences that people seem to focus on.”); another 5 percent indicated not having enough knowledge about food (e.g. “I do enjoy cooking, but I’m no scientist like true foodies in Chicago.”); while a last 5 percent discussed being uncertain as to what defnes a foodie (e.g. “How do you defne foodie?”). Additionally, people who responded “no” more often discussed seeing foodies as elites or being a selective eater. If they answered “I don’t know,” they referred to not knowing the defnition or seeing foodies as elites. Those in the “maybe” category described traits that could be associated with being a foodie, as defned

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above, but also discussed not having the same level of priority for the cuisine or culinary techniques or seeing foodies as elites. Thus, the lack of a relationship may be due to the different perceptions of these identities, creating a disconnect between fan and foodie. Overall, the participants tended to feel that being a foodie was different than being a fan of a specifc food television show, suggesting that being a foodie is not a necessary condition for being a fan of such media content.

Identities and food literacies The disconnect between these two identities also applies to the three types of literacies. Fan identity did not relate to the literacies. Foodie identity did, as seen in Table 7.3, but more with cuisine literacies than culinary or food literacies. For most literacies, foodies indicated more agreement on those items, suggesting that watching the show does impact what they learned and felt about preparing food, sourcing food, and understanding different cultural cuisines. The higher presence of cuisine literacy suggests the foodie identity relates more to being inspired to try new cuisines by visiting restaurants than preparing food at home. In a sense, this fnding reinforces the view of foodies being more adventurous with the food they consume and to broaden their horizons by trying new food and new places. Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann argue that selfidentifed foodies are individuals who want “to learn about food, irrespective of their precise knowledge of specifc foods” and, perhaps more importantly, they have to “be interested in acquiring more food knowledge” (51). The relationships between this identity and these literacies support their assertion. Furthermore, in relation to foodie activities, foodies indicated more agreement than others.4 These foodie activities also resemble fan activities, especially in discussing food, and suggest that part of being a fan of food could be exploring cultural cuisines. However, foodie identity was not as predictive as expected. This lack of a relationship puzzled us, so we explored other factors that could explain this fnding. In doing additional analysis, we discovered the impact of the participant’s self-reported income level. Table 7.4 shows how predictive fan identity, foodie identity, and income level were for the different food literacies. These results plot the strength of each factor in predicting the outcome for that literacy. The results demonstrate how signifcant the participant’s income level proved to be in predicting if they learned from watching the series. Income level had the most impact on seventeen of the items, trailed by foodie identity with three impacts—and, interestingly enough, fan identity for one. To understand the relationship between income level and the literacies, we tested to see how the four income levels compared to each other. In doing so, we saw that individuals in the lowest income bracket tended to agree more to the literacy items than people in higher income levels (Table 7.5). Additionally, no signifcant relationship existed between income level and foodie or fan

4.2 (s.d. = 2.1) 3.9 (s.d. = 1.2)abc 3.2 (s.d. = 1.30)a

3.6 (s.d. = 2.1)

3.7 (s.d. = 1.1)d 3.7 (s.d. = 1.1) 3.5 (s.d. = 1.3)de 3.0 (s.d. = 1.3)de 3.4 (s.d. = 1.2)d 3.0 (s.d. = 1.2)d

3.3* 6.4**


4.6** 3.7* 4.3** 5.5** 4.0** 3.5*

2.2 (s.d. = 1.0)d

2.8 (s.d. = 1.1)

2.7 (s.d. = 1.1)d 2.1 (s.d. = 1.3)d

3.4 (s.d. = 1.20) 3.1 (s.d. = 1.3)

2.7 (s.d. = 1.9)

3.2 (s.d. = 2.1)

3.8 (s.d. = 0.95)d 3.4 (s.d. = 1.2)




Indicates Welch statistic used due to inability to assume homogeneity (df 3, 8). All other df (1, 177). *p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 ***p < 0.001 abc Indicates Games-Howell post-hoc signifcant. def Indicates Bonferroni post-hoc signifcant

Culinary Literacy I learned how to prepare different types of food. I can now make a dish completely from scratch. I feel more confdent trying new cooking techniques.# Food Literacy I now know how to locally source my food. Cuisine Literacy I learned about different types of cuisines. I learned about different cultures around the world. I feel more confdent trying new foods. I feel more confdent engaging with people from different cultures. I feel my favorite show helped me try new food. I feel my favorite show helped me to be comfortable with food from different cultures.

F-Statistic Foodie

Table 7.3 ANOVAs to compare foodie identity on literacy items Don’t Know

2.7 (s.d. = 2.0)

2.3 (s.d. = 1.6)

2.5 (s.d. = 1.3)

2.9 (s.d. = 1.2)

2.58 (s.d. = 1.31)

2.3 (s.d. = 1.4)d

2.9 (s.d. = 1.2)e 3.3 (s.d. = 1.2) 2.3 (s.d. = 1.3)e 3.1 (s.d. = 1.3)

3.2 (s.d. = 1.0)de 4.2 (s.d. = 0.94)e 2.9 (s.d. = 1.1)d 3.9 (s.d. = 1.1)d

2.7 (s.d. = 1.8)

3.3 (s.d. = 1.2)b 2.8 (s.d. = 0.72)c

3.6 (s.d. = 2.0)

3.3 (s.d. = 0.99)d 3.3 (s.d. = 1.1)


How to cook without lifting a knife 81

82 Reinhard and Ganguly Table 7.4 Hierarchical regression results using fan identity, foodie identity, and income level Model Culinary Literacy I learned how to prepare different types of food. I feel my favorite show helped me to prepare my own food. I now can follow a recipe.

Income 5.5* Foodie 8.1** Income 8.3**

Income Foodie I learned about different cooking Income Fan techniques. I can now make a dish completely from Income Foodie scratch. I feel more confdent trying new cooking Foodie techniques. Food Literacy I learned about eating healthy food. Income I can now make informed healthy choices Income for what I eat. I feel my favorite show helped me start Income eating healthier. I now understand the nutrition Income Foodie information on a label. I can now read the ingredients on Income Foodie processed food. I now know how to seek out information Income about different types of food. I can now tell if food is in season. Income Foodie I now know how to locally source my food. Income Foodie I now understand where meat comes from. Income Cuisine Literacy I feel more confdent trying new foods. Income Foodie I feel more confdent engaging with Income people from different cultures. I feel my favorite show helped me try Income Foodie new food. I feel my favorite show helped me to be Income comfortable with food from different Foodie cultures. I feel my favorite show helped me to be Income comfortable with people from different cultures. I can now better understand food Income Foodie traditions.

*p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 ***p < 0.001

ΔF-Statistic β Income β Foodie β Fan −0.18 −0.19 −0.26

12.5*** 5.7* 6.7* 4.2* 5.6* 6.7* 12.1***

−0.53 −0.55 −0.18 −0.20 −0.37 −0.39 −0.18

10.7*** 9.7**

−0.27 −0.46



11.3*** 4.0* 10.2** 4.6* 12.1***

−0.47 −0.48 −0.45 −0.46 −0.54

9.2** 5.6* 6.6* 9.6** 6.7*

−0.45 −0.47 −0.37 −0.38 −0.39

6.5* 5.5* 5.5*

−0.23 −0.24 −0.23

11.3** 11.4** 8.0** 4.8*

−0.29 −0.30 −0.26 −0.26



5.3* 3.9*

−0.33 −0.34


−0.36 −0.10 −0.40 −0.31

−0.28 −0.30

−0.35 −0.44


−0.28 −0.20



3.9 (s.d. = 2.0)

3.0 (s.d. = 1.4) 2.4 (s.d. = 1.3) 3.4 (s.d. = 1.1)de 2.9 (s.d. = 1.2) 3.0 (s.d. = 1.2)d 2.6 (s.d. = 1.3)

2.5 (s.d. = 1.3)d 1.9 (s.d. = 1.2)d 2.1 (s.d. = 1.2) 1.8 (s.d. = 0.90)

2.8* 4.2** 2.8* 3.3*


3.4 (s.d. = 2.1)

2.6 (s.d. = 1.4) 2.2 (s.d. = 1.2) 2.7 (s.d. = 1.1)d 2.6 (s.d. = 1.1)2 2.5 (s.d. = 1.2) 2.2 (s.d. = 1.2)d

2.8 (s.d. = 1.8) 2.6 (s.d. = 2.0)

1.6 (s.d. = 0.78)d 2.4 (s.d. = 1.6) 2.0 (s.d. = 1.7)b 2.1 (s.d. = 1.8)d 2.9 (s.d. = 2.1)e


1.8 (s.d. = 1.1) 2.3 (s.d. = 1.8)d 2.1 (s.d. = 1.5)a 2.3 (s.d. = 1.7) 2.9 (s.d. = 1.9)d

2.4 (s.d. = 1.2)d 3.6 (s.d. = 2.0)d 3.4 (s.d. = 2.0)ab 3.4 (s.d. = 2.0)d 4.4 (s.d. = 2.1)de

3.6** 3.6** 4.6** 3.5* 4.4**

2.0 (s.d. = 1.1) 3.0 (s.d. = 2.1) 2.9 (s.d. = 2.0) 2.8 (s.d. = 1.9) 3.3 (s.d. = 2.2)

2.8 (s.d. = 1.3) 2.6 (s.d. = 1.2) 4.0 (s.d. = 2.0)d 3.2 (s.d. = 2.1)

2.2 (s.d. = 1.0) 2.1 (s.d. = 1.1) 2.8 (s.d. = 2.1) 2.4 (s.d. = 1.6)d

Under $100,000 Under $150,000 Over $150,000

2.8* 4.4**

F-Statistic Under $50,000

Indicates Welch statistic used due to inability to assume homogeneity (df 3, 75.3). All other df (3, 177). *p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 ***p < 0.001 abc Indicates Games-Howell post-hoc signifcant. def Indicates Bonferroni post-hoc signifcant.

Culinary Literacy I feel my favorite show helped me to prepare my own food. I now can follow a recipe. Food Literacy I learned about eating healthy food. I can now make informed healthy choices for what I eat. I now understand the nutrition information on a label.* I can now read the ingredients on processed food. I now know how to seek out information about different types of food. I can now tell if food is in season. Cuisine Literacy I feel more confdent engaging with people from different cultures. I feel my favorite show helped me try new food. I feel my favorite show helped me to be comfortable with food from different cultures. I feel my favorite show helped me to be comfortable with people from different cultures.

Table 7.5 ANOVAs to compare income levels on literacy items

How to cook without lifting a knife 83

84 Reinhard and Ganguly

identities. While the sample included more fans and foodies at the lower two brackets, there were not more than expected.5 Lower-, middle-, and upperclass participants showed no differences in self-identifying as a fan or foodie. Thus, while fan identity may relate to fan activities, and foodie identity relates to foodie and some food literacy activities, income level appears more important to consider when examining what viewers learned from food television shows. Thus, this literacy relationship is less about how people perceive themselves as a fan or foodie and more about the material conditions of their lives.

Discussion Foodie and fan identities appear not related due to different interpretations of those identities, yet overlaps appear to exist in the activities associated with each. Fan identity only related to common fan activities, suggesting people are fans of the show but being a fan is not related to learning from the show. Similarly, someone viewing themselves as a fan did not also see themselves as a foodie, suggesting that even if a foodie can be classifed as a fan of food, those fan identities may not overlap. Additionally, repeatedly returning to the media content by itself does not appear suffcient to learn from that content but instead needs to be moderated by people’s income and real-life exposure to food. On the one hand, the shows provide exposure to and learning about food, cooking, and food cultures, especially for lower income fans who might have less opportunities for travel or eating at cuisine specifc restaurants. But, on the other hand, the results suggest a distinct cultural divide between actively being a “foodie” versus more passively watching the food television show as a fan of an entertaining show. Although the results here did not suggest a relationship between fan and foodie identities, designating a series as a “favorite” potentially meant the participants at least repeatedly returned to the series, providing for learning about food, culinary techniques, and cuisines. This possibility can be seen in the fnding regarding seeing oneself as a foodie after watching the series: fans were slightly more likely to agree to that idea. That relationship suggests repeatedly watching the show can lead to a foodie identity, but such self-identifcation appears blocked by the elitism associated with the foodie identity. Moreover, food literacies appear due more to someone’s foodie identity and income, with income the more important of the two. Higher income levels can materially provide more access to different cuisines, culinary techniques and healthy food choices. Being at a lower income level means potentially learning from mediated experiences because the show presents information they had not previously experienced. Overall, the fndings indicate that food television shows can help overcome food literacy gaps due to matters related to class. Considering these results suggests a pathway whereby a fan can learn from these shows. Being a fan drives watching the show. Being a foodie means being emotionally invested in food and able to do so fnancially. Being a fan can lead to being a foodie, but perhaps

How to cook without lifting a knife


that “becoming” only occurs when learning about food occurs, and being a fan is not enough to drive such learning. Perhaps fans need both the emotional and fnancial investment and the gap between lived and mediated experiences to apply what they saw in the show to their own life. This fnding proposes that shows can help spread literacies, but only if the gap, desire, and ability to overcome the gap exists. This fnding also aligns with Kathleen Collins’ argument on how food remains classist as it operates more on aspiration for higher sociocultural status than inspiration for food literacy (“Cooking Class” 271). At the same time, however, that aspiration may foster inspiration: being a fan from a lower income level can help an individual learn the different literacies since they aspire to higher statuses, and perhaps over time they would view themselves as a foodie as a result of learning from the show, which further reinforces this learning. Then, when their everyday lived conditions allow, they could enact what they learned.

Conclusion The impact of food television shows on food literacies, how viewers relate to their food consumption habits, and how they identify themselves in relation to discourses on food culture are all unmistakable and yet incongruous. On the one hand, these shows have opened the kitchen—the art of cooking and eating well—to a cross-section of viewers, making food culture fun, accessible, and a valid space for pleasure. And yet there is a distinct differentiation between those who watch food shows for entertainment purposes only, participating in the food culture vicariously as a fan of a particular show, and those who identify themselves as foodies and actively engage in food cooking, learning about healthy and different types of foods and exploring new cuisines and food cultures. Fans of these food television shows indicated engaging in activities common for media fandoms but not engaging in activities that would suggest healthier or more adventurous experiences with food. In other words, these fans engage in what Collins sees as the entertainment over education engagement with food television shows, as such content “feeds a hunger for emotional and physical pleasures vicariously” for an overworked, stressed audience (Watching 235). Although studies like Lizzy Pope, Lara Latimer, and Brian Wansink have illustrated this gap between the “doers versus viewers,” our contribution is that we clarify the two key variables that inform the categorizations—income and self-identity perceptions and associations—and how it affects the fan/foodie or doer/viewer binaries. As such we pave the way for future possibilities: one, in terms of new programming initiatives, setting up directions for innovative and entertaining shows that can directly address and engage these dichotomies of fans/foodies or mass entertainment/elitist food literacies, and thus fll the gaps; and two, in terms of highlighting the need for more qualitative and ethnographic explorations (beyond the behavioral choices) to understand the meaning-making practices and everyday lived experiences of viewing food

86 Reinhard and Ganguly

television. Doing so will, we argue, allow us to move beyond the binaries of fan/foodie or doer/viewer categories and draw more nuanced connections between the mass entertainment driven viewing fans and the income-privileged and self-identifying foodies. Our study highlights the need and the possibility of creating a more informed and engaged audience community that is more literate in television, food, and health choices, without undermining the leisure and entertainment aspects of food television. While we learned about various relationships from this study, more work needs to be done to further our understanding of the connections between the content of food shows with the way people engage with them. To begin with, we need to better develop the scales used to measure the fan activities, foodie activities, and three types of literacies. Additionally, a wider range of shows need to be studied, as some shows on our list are so old that fnding current fans of them may have been nearly impossible. Allowing the person to selfidentify the show they are a fan of, with more qualitative investigation, would help us better understand what drives their fandom. The interesting relationships between fan identity, foodie identity, and income level require more investigation to better understand how they relate to the impacts of watching such popular culture texts. Restricting the study to just fans may improve this model development, and more in-depth qualitative exploration would provide better insights into the phenomenological and sense-making work of the fans. In the end, it appears that fans of food television shows will engage in fan activities around the show, but just being a fan is not enough to suggest they will learn from watching the show. Additionally, the link between being a fan and being a foodie is seemingly absent given the perceptions of foodies as elitist. This issue with class could also explain why income level predicted literacies to the extent that it did, as lower-class people may have less experiences with healthy food, culinary techniques, and cuisines and thus more potential to learn from these shows. At the same time, the fndings suggest a pathway to explain how being a fan can lead to these literacies. Further testing will improve this model and help us better understand how issues of class intersect with proft-driven portrayals of food on television.

Notes 1 Percentages do not tally to 100 percent as participants could select as many genres and shows from the list of ffteen as they wanted to refect what they watch. 2 Fan activity, foodie activity, and food literacy questions were Likert scale items (scale of 1–7, 1 being the lowest, 7 the highest). 3 Not signifcant Chi-Square result (χ2 = 1.298, df = 3, p = 0.73). 4 Like Try New Food:Welch = 26.7, df = 3, 40.2, p < 0.000, Foodie (m = 6.9, s.d. = 0.35), Nonfoodie (m = 5.3, s.d. = 1.6); Like Talk Food:Welch = 20.5, df = 3, 41.7, p < 0.000, Foodie (m = 6.6, s.d. = 0.62), Nonfoodie (m = 5.3, s.d. = 1.4); Like New Places: Welch = 16.0, df = 3, 42.3, p < 0.000, Foodie (m = 6.7, s.d. = 0.64), Nonfoodie (m = 5.3, s.d. = 1.6). 5 Fan and income levels χ2 = 2.7, df = 3, p = 0.44; foodie and income level χ2 = 6.2, df = 9, p = 0.72.

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References Adema, Pauline. “Vicarious Consumption: Food, Television and the Ambiguity of Modernity.” Journal of American and Comparative Cultures, vol. 23, no. 3, 2000, pp. 113–23. Beardsworth, Alan, and Teresa Keil. Sociology on the Menu: An Invitation to the Study of Food and Society. New York City: Routledge, 1997. Bonner, Frances. “Early Multi-Platforming: Television Food Programmes, Cookbooks and Other Print Spin-Offs.” Media History, vol. 15, no. 3, 2009, pp. 345–58. Botterill, Jacqueline. “Innovation and Derivation in Canadian Food Television Programming.” Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 52, no. 2, 2018, pp. 404–26. Cairns, Kate, Josée Johnston, and Shyon Baumann. “Caring about food: Doing gender in the foodie kitchen,” Gender & Society, vol. 24, no. 5, 2010, 591–615. Collins, Kathleen. Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows. New York City: Continuum, 2009. ———. “A Kitchen of One’s Own: The Paradox of Dione Lucas.” Camera Obscura, vol. 27, no. 2, 2012, pp. 1–23. ———. “Cooking Class: The Rise of the ‘Foodie’ and the Role of Mass Media.” The Routledge History of Food, edited by Carol Helstosky, New York City: Routledge, 2015, pp. 270–90. Hansen, Signe. “Society of the Appetite.” Food, Culture and Society, vol. 11, no. 1, 2008, pp. 49–67. Johnston, Josée, and Shyon Baumann. Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape (2nd ed). New York City: Routledge, 2015. Kant, Ashima K., and Barry I. Graubard. “Eating Out in America, 1987–2000. Trends and Nutritional Correlates.” Preventive Medicine, vol. 38, no. 2, 2004, pp. 243–9. Ketchum, Cheri. 2005. “The Essence of Cooking Shows: How the Food Network Constructs Consumer Fantasies.” Journal of Communication Inquiry, vol. 29, no. 3, 2005, pp. 217–34. Krause, Corinna, Kathrin Sommerhalder, Sigrid Beer-Borst, and Thomas Abel. “Just a Subtle Difference? Findings from a Systematic Review on Defnitions of Nutrition Literacy and Food Literacy.” Health Promotion International, vol. 33, 2016, pp. 378–89. Miller, Toby, and Alec McHoul. Popular Culture and Everyday Life. Los Angeles: Sage, 1998. Oren, Tasha. “On the Line: Format, Cooking and Competition as Television Values.” Critical Studies in Television, vol. 8, no. 2, 2013, pp. 20–35. Perry, Elsie Azevedo, Heather Thomas, H. Ruby Samra, Shannon Edmonstone, Lyndsay Davidson, Amy Faulkner, Lisa Petermann, Elizabeth Manafò and Sharon I. Kirkpatrick. “Identifying Attributes of Food Literacy: A Scoping Review.” Public Health Nutrition 20, 13, 2017, pp. 2406–15. Pope, Lizzy, Lara Latimer, and Brian Wansink. “Viewers vs. Doers. The Relationship Between Watching Food Television and BMI.” Appetite, vol. 90, 2015, pp. 131–35. Reinhard, CarrieLynn D. Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018. ———. “Repeatedly Returning to What Matters Most: Applying Brenda Dervin’s SenseMaking Methodology to Fan Studies.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 33, 2020, Ryan, Maureen. “Entertaining Fantasies: Lifestyle and Social Life in 1980s America.” Journal of Communication Inquiry, vol. 39, no. 1, 2015, pp. 82–101.

88 Reinhard and Ganguly Slater, Joyce, Thomas Falkenberg, Jessica Rutherford, and Sarah Colatruglio. “Food Literacy Competencies: A Conceptual Framework for Youth Transitioning to Adulthood.” International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol. 42, 2018, pp. 547–56. Smith, Lindsey P., Shu Wen Ng, and Barry M. Popkin. “Trends in US Home Food Preparation and Consumption: Analysis of National Nutrition Surveys and Time Use Studies from 1965–1966 to 2007–2008.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 12, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1–10. Truman, Emily, Daniel Lane, and Charlene Elliott. “Defning Food Literacy: A Scoping Review.” Appetite, vol. 116, 2017, pp. 365–71. Vidgen, Helen Anna, and Gallagos, Danielle. “Defning Food Literacy and Its Components.” Appetite, vol. 76, 2014, pp. 50–59. Yozukmaz, Nisan, Aydan Bekar, and Burhan Kiliç. “A Conceptual Review of ‘Foodies’ in Tourism.” Journal of Tourism and Gastronomy Studies, vol. 5, no. 4, 2017, pp. 170–79.


A layover of food Understanding Anthony Bourdain’s approach of describing cultures through culinary interactions and journalism Shane Tilton “Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” —Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was an adventurer, creative force, writer, and, most importantly, a chef. In this last role, he explored cultures through the mediated framing and mindset of a cook. Bourdain explained the commonalities between the people and locations to those audiences that enjoyed his programming. He granted access to the viewer to the mostly unknown world of professional restaurant kitchens. Many of his shows gave an education of what it took to create meals that people would travel miles to experience. Bourdain’s examination of the role of immigrants in the kitchen as they prepared those memorable dishes helped provide a humanistic angle to the narratives associated with the issues that these workers faced in terms of social class issues, being a foreigner, and being a shadow member of a community. His death in June 2018 diminished these crucial conversations. One of the common responses of those who paid tribute to Bourdain’s life was his willingness to listen to and understand other people’s and different cultures’ stories. Gustavo Arellano, a well-known writer and media personality, noted this willingness by saying “from the felds to the slaughterhouses to the lines to the people who are waiters to the people who wash dishes every night, he spoke again and again about their dignity” (as quoted in Hampton). Viewers of Bourdain’s shows would recognize that he connected best with people and cultures through the locations that he knew best, mainly kitchens and restaurants. While perhaps cliché to say these minor interactions with a diversity of individuals helped his audience explore the world, the more signifcant takeaway exists in noting how his fans gained a sense of empathy for other cultures traditionally not shown in the media coverage of international news organizations (Golan et al.). Bourdain humanized others through mediated narrative constructions that allowed his audience and fans a sense of place that was outside their comfort zones of existence. This acquired empathy was noted by Jacob Henry in The Conversation when he wrote:

90 Tilton

The greatest strength of Parts Unknown was its comfort with unknowns remaining unknown—its resistance to arriving at singular truths about complex places. Bourdain never claimed that the “artifce of making television”—as he called it—allowed more than “one window, his window.” Yet it was an open window, a critical lens that helped his large audience disentangle the tropes so often served up by popular media. Bourdain was critical of the single story, critical of widely held stereotypes and perhaps most critical of his own position as a masterful storyteller. Bourdain’s storytelling style throughout his various shows and books foated between: a correspondent that knows one or several people everywhere in the world; the bon vivant that enjoyed a perfect meal and wanted to share that experience with his friends; and, a scholar of world affairs that understood the impact that he, and by extension Western society, has had on the rest of the world. Fans of Bourdain were lucky enough to tag along to see the world from his perspective through his shows. Bourdain’s life, work in food, and food journalism inspired many celebrity outpourings of mourning and remembrance of the man (Nyren). However, lost in the platitudes in the years since Bourdain’s death has been a careful refection of his fan community’s take on what the chef’s life has meant to those dedicated viewers of his work. This chapter attempts to analyze Bourdain’s technique when it came to explaining locations and food cultures that were foreign or unfamiliar to his audience from the vantage point of what the fans took away from watching, reading, and listening about Bourdain’s various travels across the world. Three sets of themes emerge from discussions with fans regarding Bourdain’s mediated interactions: specifcally, the displaying of food and food preparation, how Bourdain described his guests and the locations he visited, and the narration and imagery he used when presenting the local food culture. All three of the themes were present in Bourdain’s work through his careful manipulation and reimagining of the food show format.

Food show as format One of the norms of television programs over the past sixty years has been the cooking show. Four types of food programming typically dominate US television: traditional domestic instructional cooking, personality-driven domestic cooking, food travel programs, and avant-garde programming (Ketchum). Bourdain’s media work would be the latter two of the four categories as Bourdain was rarely shown in the kitchen (and therefore not a traditional domestic instructional cooking show in the spirit of Julia Child’s Joy of Cooking or personality-driven domestic cooking in the spirit of Emeril Live). It would be fair to argue that Bourdain’s work aligned more with food journalism as the work is more than just a simple food travel show (in the spirit of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) or pushing the avant-garde (in the spirit Alton Brown’s Good Eats).

A layover of food


Susanne Freidberg noted that his work broke with the past conventions of what fans would consider a food show: “Whereas Britain’s Nigella Lawson and Jamie Olivers’s Naked Chef has cornered the cooking-as-sexy-and-fun market in cookbooks and TV shows, Bourdain’s writing is all about food as deathdefying adventure” (3). His writing (and by extension the rest of his media work) attempted to deconstruct the typical food/cooking program and travel show beyond the scope of the sterile kitchen television studio or the prepackaged travelogue experience. Jacqui Kong noted that Bourdain was one of the frst to break the mold of the traditional food program as he “set out to discover and uncover different food cultures and communities” (52). Kong also noted: Bourdain goes against the grain by not merely presenting the Native in his/her “natural” […] environment. He also does not offer backhanded compliments or exoticize the Other as a way of dealing with “difference.” Bourdain does not use exoticizing language to introduce such indigenous peoples—for example, through words such as “pure,” “exotic,” or “untouched”—instead, he acknowledges the artifce and “performativity” of the entire endeavor, that the indigenous people are there “recreat[ing] the past for display purposes” and that the “invaders” will pay good money for it. (47) Bourdain could have crafted shows based on the previous templates in the genre, but they might have been nothing more than an oversimplifcation of the people and cultures shown in the series.

A parasocial relationship with Bourdain Arguably, fans love Bourdain’s work because he avoided the tropic mode of food programming to present the world as complicated, where the metaphor of the world of the kitchen provided a model to help his audience better connect with others. Fans of Bourdain, through their virtual engagement of the show, potentially experience a parasocial relationship with Anthony. The term parasocial relationship is grounded in the idea that fans of a show can feel that they are actually interacting with the characters they see on the screen as those characters are part of the daily routines of fans (Horton and Wohl). Those characters are “in the houses” (electronically speaking) of fans on a regular basis. Often, these relationships are built on real fans feeling parasocial relationships with fctional characters (Daniel Jr. and Westerman). These parasocial relationships that fans experience with Bourdain are worth examining because explaining those perceived relationships can help describe how fans of Bourdain use those relationships to better understand other cultures. Parasocial relationships with mediated fgures are grounded heavily in the emotional bonds that fans develop about those they see in the media. Some of that emotional grounding comes in the form of wishful identifcation or the desire of an individual to be more like the fgures they see in the media

92 Tilton

(Bond and Drogos; Cohen; Hoffner). Others simply develop this parasocial relationship via a quasi-mutual awareness and quasi-mutual adjustment (in the form of behavior adjustment in the fan) through the verbal addressing of the mediated fgure to the fans via the channel of communication. Tilo Hartmann and Charlotte Goldhoorn showed that “viewers that are directly addressed by a TV performer on a verbal level report a more intense parasocial experience than viewers that are not addressed on a verbal level” (1108). Bourdain’s interactions with the camera and off-camera narration plays the role of this verbal addressing to the fans. The parasocial relationship between Bourdain and his fans forms one of the avenues worth study in this chapter to understand how Bourdain impacted his fans.

Method and data analysis A questionnaire focused on revealing central themes that the fans believe about Anthony Bourdain’s impact on food journalism throughout the world. The participants discussed their favorite Bourdain series, favorite episodes from those series, an episode that the person felt would best explain that series to another person, and their favorite dish from that episode. Questions also focused on food preparation, locations, and the people shown in each episode. The informants typed in their favorite Bourdain quote to conclude the questionnaire. Sixty-two informants submitted questionnaires before the end of the deadline. The majority of the informants came from two Facebook groups: “Anthony Bourdain Appreciation Society (ABAS)” and “Remembering Anthony Bourdain.” This chapter only exists because of these two fan communities’ support and guidance. The answers to the questionnaires became 284 individual artifacts. A two-cycle system transformed those artifacts into four themes (Saldaña). Some artifacts are placed in context with the more public tributes of Bourdain to show how these themes connect the fan community and the more public tributes. Also, some of the artifacts are in the context of the episodes that the individual informant discussed in the questionnaire as a means to either explain the answer given by the informant or attempt to clarify what the informant is discussing. The theme that both the fan communities and public tributes denoted about Bourdain was his ability to cover food culture from around the world with the focus of a journalist.

Bourdain as the curious food journalist Informants emphatically noted that Anthony Bourdain represented good food journalism because his programming went beyond simple food education and moved to the fner points of the regional cultures selected for each episode of his various shows. He used food and music of the regions he was visiting to introduce a type of cultural awareness to his audience that would allow his viewers to be more introspective about their own culture. Forty-three artifacts

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were given among twenty-six informants that described the aspects of this thematic element. This theme was described by one of the informants1 when they discussed why they enjoyed watching Parts Unknown: “He was venturing about the world, experiencing different cultures, their way of life, beliefs and of course, their food.” The episode that most informants felt represented Bourdain’s ability to transition from the food to the more signifcant cultural and societal representation of a given location was during the seventh episode of the eighth season of Parts Unknown (“Japan with Masa”). Bourdain begins the Japanese experience with a visit to the Omicho Market in Kanazawa. The focus early on was Japanese chef Masa Takayama and Bourdain enjoying the fresh seafood in the market, but the episode turned quickly to the overall experience of the market. A forty-year-old white male informant from a suburban community noted this scene by saying, “It told the story by exploring the culture and the food of Japan within this one scene.” The show manages to capture slices of life that a person would see if they visited the Omicho Market. Shells of the oysters contrast with a seller organizing their money. Another informant pointed to this scene when she wrote, “It felt very ordinary. It was just a market and people were going on with their everyday lives.” Bourdain ate freshly cooked fsh on a stick, followed by the image of a Japanese woman with a surgical mask on her face observing others in the market. The visual rhetoric of the scene is clear. Life in the market is a rich cultural experience. A ffty-three-year-old white male from the suburbs described that it felt like he was “transported to Japan and getting ready to enjoy a good meal.” The market scene fades out to show Fujinoya, a traditional tea house with Geisha performances, and then Yamanoo, traditional kaiseki (multi-course) restaurant. Bourdain explains in great detail the meal, the meal’s cultural signifcance, and the presentation of the food. A forty-fouryear-old white male informant noted this meal by stating, “It seems like the chefs were really just interested in trying something new and taking a chance on unconventional ingredients, so it seems like the preparation revolved around curiosity and experimentation.” That sense of curiosity refected Bourdain’s approach to telling culinary stories on the show and, by extension, the cultural stories from the regions he covered. Laura Bradley wrote about Bourdain’s curiosity for cultural stories for Vanity Fair: “The legacy he left behind is both tremendous and beautiful: he inspired people to introduce themselves to one another, sit down for a meal, and ask questions.” A ffty-two-year-old Latina informant from the suburbs also noted this curiosity that Bourdain had in his various shows: “They all have a common thread: delve into the culture, ask real questions, share native food/experiences.” This curiosity fueled Bourdain’s willingness to share what he knew about a culture joyfully. One of the forty-fve-year-old male suburban informants felt that the Japanese episode with Masa was an example of Bourdain showing this playful sharing of knowledge with his audience by saying the episode “demonstrates the series’ mission statement of thoughtfully introducing

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viewers to a culture and its food, but also shows the playful side of the series.” This playfulness often worked in balance with another theme that fans picked up on with regards to Bourdain’s storytelling style. His fans noted his ability to connect to others’ humanity through pathos-driven interactions with others.

Bourdain as the presenter of the humanity of other cultures through food Anthony Bourdain was able to use the central premise of his show—visiting locations to explore other people’s food and culture—and expand on it by getting to the humanity of different cultures through a sense of relatable pathos. According to the informants’ comments, this emotional connection with other places and cultures had the by-product of inspiring his fans to travel and see the world. His presentation of the world encouraged his supporters to be less afraid of others and feel more connected with the everyday lives of others throughout the globe. This thematic presented itself in the most selected favorite Bourdain quote among the fans. Nine of the sixty-two informants selected “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent that you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody” (00:42:02–00:42:18) This quote was the parting words that he gave during his fnal episode of No Reservations. This quote showed up in the fnal coda of the series that began with the interior of one of the most famous delis in Brooklyn: Jay and Lloyd’s. Bourdain ordered a chopped liver and a pastrami on rye with a Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda as the proper last meal for the show. Bourdain even notes “This is why I couldn’t live in California” (00:40:58–00:41:00) as they have nothing that approaches this experience. The episode then fows into a montage of the various highlights from the past eight years of episodes balanced with the highlights from the fnal Brooklyn episode. One of the informants (a forty-fve-year-old white male from a suburban community) presented a strong rationale for why this was his favorite quote: “Travel is vital because it is the only way to understand others and ourselves truly. It gives us a better view of other cultures. This quote gets at the heart of that idea.” A thirty-seven-year-old white female from an urban community was more direct in her rationale: “It humanizes us all.” The episode that was most picked by the informant as the best episode to explain an Anthony Bourdain series was the thirteenth episode in the second season, “Anthony Bourdain in Beirut.” The show is almost a debriefng of the nine days that Bourdain and his crew spent in Lebanon. The beginning of most No Reservations episodes uses a relatively joyous or emotionally neutral standard opening that shows Bourdain and a group of locals candidly interacting with cultural touchstone of the location (e.g., Bourdain attempting to imitate Ingmar Bergman’s flm in that season’s episode on Sweden), highlighting a culinary spot (e.g., Bourdain going to a pub in that season’s episode on Ireland), or explaining the rationale for visiting a location (e.g., introducing

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Nari tempting Bourdain with all of the dishes from her homeland in that season’s episode on Korea), accompanied by Bourdain providing some form of voiceover. The introduction for this episode is starker as it shows no food, but rather the military and riots in the streets of Beirut. The episode was supposed to be in Bourdain’s words “about food and people and faraway places and how those subjects intersected” (00:01:20–00:01:24), specifcally about Beirut and its almost party-like reputation in the Middle East. The “happy food and travel show about a resurgent country, a newly refurbished, reconstructed city” (00:01:30–00:01:40) became a war documentary after Hezbollah kidnapped three Israeli soldiers, and Israel destroyed the airport in retaliation. Bourdain was able to show a little bit of the food and culture from this part of the world. His crew could only show cooking at their secure hotel after the bombing. One of the more memorable scenes during this episode is when Bourdain cooks for his show staff from the hotel kitchen. He was able to use food as a means of providing comfort to his crew. The use of comfort food is repeated at the end of the episode when his crew is on the Nashville (a US Navy ship) heading home. He remarks “I would like to see macaroni and cheese and tuna noodle casserole … [those dishes] has never tasted so good as on the Nashville” (00:39:02–00:39:14). The best description of why this episode struck a humanistic tone with his fans came from a forty-four-year-old white female from a rural community: The Beirut episode was defnitely the turning point for Anthony Bourdain. It not only demonstrated his ability to connect us with the Lebanese people, their culture, and food. … Bourdain used the opportunity to flm how diffcult it is to evacuate a war zone, and he did not hesitate to show the horrors of his time there. That’s classic Bourdain right there—connecting people on a very human level. This description was also echoed in the professional media by Kim Ghattas when she wrote in The Atlantic: I suspect people in other countries Bourdain visited felt he understood them too, spoke for them, and saw them for who they were: ordinary people with real names, lives flled with hope, love stories, heartbreak, and laughter. He cared about people outside the lens of violence, beyond the headlines and the reductionist clichés. He broke down the barrier of the other, especially in countries with long-standing political enmity with the United States, like Iran and Cuba. Americans probably learned more about the world watching his shows than any news programs. From her perspective, that episode impacted Bourdain’s ability to approach stories like Beirut and humanize those stories for his fans. Another episode that was referenced often by the informants with regards to Bourdain’s ability to get to the humanity of a location through its food was

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the frst episode of the eighth season of Parts Unknown. The episode was notable for who joined Bourdain on location in Hanoi: President Barack Obama ate Bun Cha noodles and drank cold Hanoi beer at Bun Cha Huong Lien. Bourdain’s interactions with both the President and the staff of the restaurant showed he cared for all he interacted with while on the road. A thirtynine-year-old white female from a suburban community noted this level of care when she wrote: “there was a joy in the way he talked to anybody in that episode. He was able to get to a truth that all people like a good meal, warm friends, and a community. Tony showed that no matter if you are the President [of the United States] or a waiter in a restaurant that we all need these things to be human.” It seems fair to argue that Bourdain’s technique in explaining cultures and cultural differences introduced a level of pathos within the presentation of culinary areas of other cultures without devolving to stereotyping of those same cultures. Chuck Kleinhans explains how Bourdain interjects pathos into his programming: “While presenting himself as a Romantic hero adventurer, Bourdain tempers the imperial visitor to the exotic Other theme by selfmocking his persona and genuinely appreciating his hosts in their own terms.” Kleinhans recounts an episode where Bourdain met “tribal people in Nambia and goes on a hunt that ends in eating warthog rectum.” Bourdain could have positioned himself as the typical American food host and treated this experience with disgust as an American audience would likely do. He could have also “gone native” and acted the role of die-hard adventurer, eating the rectum with zeal. Bourdain chose neither and stayed true to himself. Kleinhans noted this more complex representation: “Always the adventurer, Bourdain tries it, but reports it was very repulsive. At the same time, he clearly respects the local hunters as valiantly pursuing self-suffciency in the face of an incredibly hard life.” Both Kleinhans and Bourdain understood that cultural differences exist based on the power differential between the culture observed and the visitor to this culture. Bourdain placed himself within this differential as a cool and iconic chef that would ft in well in any kitchen throughout the world.

Bourdain as the eternally cool and iconic chef One of the collective descriptions about Bourdain from the various tributes was the idea that he was the culinary ambassador of coolness. Noah Rothbaum highlighted this description for The Daily Beast when he wrote: His approach to blending food and travel, as simple as it seems, is now so familiar and pervasive, it’s hard to properly give it the due it deserves. … Bourdain made cooking cool, sexy, a little dangerous and, most important, a means to understand the world. His insider perspectives and engaging writing style made him an instant celebrity.

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It seems that this statement falls in line with the fans’ impression of Bourdain. The fans noted in the questionnaires that Anthony Bourdain was a unique media personality because he was able to craft his worldly, calm chef persona into a passionate ambassador for the locations he visited and the kitchen staff he was able to interact with during his shows. Bourdain’s coolness was noted by a forty-three-year-old white rural female when she wrote: I was introduced to Anthony Bourdain one night in fall 2002 when I came across this tall, thin, punk rock star-like guy in jeans, a t-shirt, and leather jacket trotting around a country I’ve had only recently learned of called Uzbekistan. I was immediately drawn in by his charm, wit, and constant thirst to expand his knowledge of the world’s cuisines. This coolness on the screen grounded the concept that he was connected to the real world, as was described by one of the informants when they noted: “I enjoyed Bourdain’s worldliness—he had an Everyman quality that was at once politically aware and culturally elevated.” Another informant explained that his Everyman approach to food made No Reservations appealing. “It highlighted the importance of simple food and amplifed his philosophy of having an honest relationship with the source of that which we eat.” One episode that the fans noted as one of the best representations of Bourdain being a cool icon of food was the frst episode of the ninth and fnal season of No Reservations, when he traveled to Austin, Texas, during Southby-Southwest in March 2012. A ffty-six-year-old white rural female described this episode as one of the times that she felt like “Bourdain was my cool friend and got me into the VIP area of the hottest night club of Austin during one of the hippest festivals in America.” An eighteen-year-old white urban male remarked on Bourdain eating at J Mueller while in Austin, and he noted that Bourdain refected the coolness of the situation: It was J Mueller BBQ in Austin during SXSW. The line was around the building! He just looked like he was in his element. … It was a small walkin building with limited seating inside and more seating outside where people would congregate and talk. There was all of this chaos and Tony was in the middle talking to anybody that was near him. Beyond the simple visual framing of this shot, the scene refers to the idea that Bourdain had this approachable coolness that wasn’t removed when he was with the general public. A ffty-year-old white suburban female described Bourdain’s coolness through being a passionate ambassador of Vietnam during the tenth episode of the ffth season of No Reservations. He could show his “love of the people, food, and culture of Vietnam” by enjoying “a spicy soup that he had for breakfast that looked amazing. The colors were so appealing and his description was so thorough that I could imagine exactly how it tasted.” Bourdain performed

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in this scene as a passionate ambassador of Vietnam. He would show in the scene “an old woman cooked it in a small kitchen, cutting the vegetables by hand” juxtaposed with Bourdain eating at an outside table under an awning. The episode would serve as an excellent promotion for the Vietnamese tourism bureau. That point was reinforced by the informant when she wrote: “It’s the only episode where, by the end of the show, I was ready to book a fight and go!” The fnal episode that points to his cool factor, and the episode that two of his fans called “quintessential Bourdain,” came from the thirteenth episode of the seventh season of No Reservations. In this episode Bourdain visited the deserts of Northern California. He enjoys an old school Mason jar of tequila with rock stars while visiting an old school roadhouse with a head of security that could have beat down Patrick Swayze and all of his friends. He drives around in classic cars and trucks with the desert dust fying in the background, buying decorative heads at a local fea market, and listening to a real rock recording session in an old adobe rancho style house. At the same time, he cooks an old school pasta dish. The audio and visuals of the episode reinforce the “Tony as a rock star” narrative. A twenty-one-year-old white urban male summed up the episode best: “It was fresh, new, and had an overall sunnier, happier feel while maintaining its realness. Bourdain swore more and used non royalty free music, introducing me to a lot of new artists.” This perceived coolness of Bourdain tied into another trait that the fans noted in the questionnaire; he often presented a rawness in front of the cameras that his audience felt was the “true” Anthony Bourdain. His fans would argue that the idea of No Reservations meant no flter or no fakeness. Anthony Bourdain’s fnal connection with the fans was as a real, unscripted, and authentic person who was able to show what he thought about the current state of the world.

Bourdain as the authentic, thoughtful presenter Many of the fans noted that Bourdain’s frst network series, No Reservations, was the show that allowed him to develop his style of exploring the world on television without the “sugarcoating” that most travel shows used to present the various locations. This honesty was expressed in one of the informants when they wrote, “Being in Australia, we did not get to see a lot of other shows. I loved this one because it was honest had humour, and Anthony was just being himself. No television cooks did what he did.” It was through No Reservations that Bourdain’s fans believed him to an authentic, thoughtful individual whose ideology helped him frame most human interaction from his time in the kitchens of New York. Bourdain was his best at this role anytime he was in New York. Several informants noted one of their favorite locations that Bourdain’s highlighted in New York was Katz’s Delicatessen. This iconic New York location was the opening shot in the ffth season No Reservations during the eighth episode titled “Disappearing Manhattan.” The opening scene involves a series

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of cuts between the outside and inside of the restaurant juxtaposed with a 35 mm flm of classic views of the 1950s to 1970s New York City. The centerpiece of the scene is steam rising for a warm pastrami sandwich on a white plate. A thirty-seven-year-old urban female informant described this scene as “iconic, very New York, busy, diverse. … Quintessential New Yorkers with a side helping of tourists.” The critical element in this authentic representation of his beloved New York City was having “gatekeepers” within the neighborhoods that acted as the “real characters” of any city Bourdain presented via his show. Frequently, the various guests that joined Bourdain could help him express an experience that he was not able to fully articulate. The best example of how gatekeeping colored an episode was during the eighth episode of the ffth season of No Reservations entitled “Disappearing Manhattan” with Michael Lomonaco. Lomonaco walks with Bourdain through Hell’s Kitchen and comments on the various shops and areas for sale throughout the neighborhood. Bourdain remarks, “They are taking the hells out of Hell’s Kitchen,” to which Lomonaco replies, “I love that” (00:03:09–00:03:14). They come across the Holland Bar—“the last dive bar in New York,” Bourdain exclaims (00:03:42–00:03:45)—permanently closed. Lomonaco offers a bit of wisdom seeing the state of the bar: “When a place like this disappears, you really got to wonder what that says about our society” (00:03:49–00:03:53). The duo then grabs lunch at Manganaro’s. The episode cuts to an older man slicing meats and working the store. The audience learns his name is Sal Delordo, and he has been working at Manganaro’s “since he was a little boy” (00:05:05–00:05:07). The interview is intercut with older images from the 1920s and 1930s of what the store was like at that time. The walking commentary continues with Bourdain stating, “How could you not love everything about this place? Just the foorboards feel like I want to curl up on them right away” (00:05:19–00:05:26). Lomonaco notes a little later in the episode, “The lasagna looks really good today. That’s the kind of home cooking you’ve got to love the most. Where somebody is standing there, and they made it” (00:06:02–00:06:10). One informant used this exchange as an example of how and why Bourdain was an authentic, thoughtful presenter: “It was raw, and I believe this was when he was being himself the most.” The informant believed that these episodes grounded Tony in the reality of the day-to-day because, as they noted, “Tony is Tony because of New York.” It would be easy to argue that Bourdain was fetishizing the food through his shows as he presented the classic “food as comfort” trope multiple times across the various episodes he has produced throughout the years. These mediated constructions would also counter his authentic, thoughtful presenter vibe as it is just an act to represent a false narrative around the power of food through a series of pathos-driven segments within his shows. He deconstructs that argument in another episode of the sixth season of No Reservations called “Food Porn,” where he shows the sexualization of food preparation on television via cooking shows. It is easy to argue that the “Food Porn” episode is one of his

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most authentic as he pulls back the facade of most food shows (including at times his own) to explain how food and cooking shows borrow some of their narrative constructions from pornographic flms. Often the food and cooking techniques presented in this genre of television are unrealistic, fanciful, and, “beautifully executed.” Ariane Cruz both theorized this co-construction of the food/cooking show genre and as an explanation of how Bourdain presented himself as an authentic, thoughtful presenter of other food cultures: Accordingly, though we may desire and attempt to mimic the performances, both culinary and sexual, that we consume in print and on screen, [Bourdain recognized] we have no intention of truly replicating such grand endeavors in the privacy of our own kitchens and bedrooms. Fans would experience a series of parasocial interactions in this episode of No Reservations as Bourdain treats his audience as intelligent, “co-participants”2 that were able to travel with him to the various locations and understand those cultures better via the interaction between Bourdain and his guests. It is not surprising that Bourdain would explore this fetishizing of food on television and the media. He wrote about this problem in 2001 before becoming a television food personality. Bourdain noted how, months after September 11, “A $600 bottle of wine with dinner, once a pleasurable indulgence (if one could afford it), becomes an obscenity when thousands still lie under rubble a few blocks away.” The “glorifcation of food as a substitute for sex” speaks to a false representation of food and its relationship to society. He shows the false representation of the enjoyment of food replacing enjoying a meal. The meal represents more than the food; it also involves the social interactions that occur during the meal. This authentic meal theme refected itself in a favorite Bourdain quote selected by a ffty-two-year-old rural male fan: “Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.” This authentic experience of food culture that Bourdain showed in his programming and explained by his fans in this study is perhaps best expressed by Dave Haeselin: Foodie culture is often speared as elitist, white, and precious. And this is too often true. It doesn’t have to be that way. All food work offers the promise of intimate experience. Digging with hand tools in my backyard to plant heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes is authentic. Driving a quadaxle diesel Freightliner truck overfowing with genetically modifed cash crops linked to ill health across the world is authentic, too. Both acts tap into the same reservoir of meaning because authenticity is a feeling, not a stable state of being. Engaging with artifcial food can be authentic, because that action connects with present-day standards of the world. Pure authenticity is a farce, but the quest for it is anything but. (63, italics in original)

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Bourdain’s presentation of this connection between food and society was the quest for authenticity in the world through his thoughtful examination of the food and food culture as it was not as we wished it to be. According to the themes identifed in this study, his fans appreciated this authentic presentation, from the dishes, to the culture, and to the man himself.

Conclusion It seems fair to conclude the fans viewed Anthony Bourdain as a food journalist through the lens of how Bourdain and his production company, Zero Point Zero, produced his programming. In other words, his fans appear to align with the mediated presentation Bourdain and his producers constructed. Bourdain was able to use food as a framing tool to create more than just a food show. The writing and production values of his various programs allowed him to touch some central truths of the human condition. A thirty-three-yearold urban female fan of Bourdain hits on this point when discussing the second episode of the seventh season of No Reservation where Bourdain travels to Cambodia: “It demonstrates the depth to which Bourdain tried to understand the countries and people he was visiting.” As he did elsewhere in No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Bourdain crafts a careful yet complex balance between showing the relative calm of the preparation of a meal with the scars of a long-ended war in the countryside of Cambodia. The Cambodia episode is one of many examples that fans discussed in the questionnaire that was related to the production choices in the various episodes and how those choices drew the fans into the overarching thematic narratives of Bourdain’s media career. Bourdain’s attention to detail from his years of working in the kitchen meant that he could use the preparation of the food as a means of examining the day-to-day lives of those that live in Cambodia and present their culture with the intent of humanizing the actions of the people that live in that part of the world. Bourdain’s examination of Cambodia was more than a simple presentation of mediated artifacts to archive his experiences in the country nor was the video souvenirs of a tourist to that land (Tilton). Rather, this episode (as many of his other episodes do) acts as a means to expose this culture through the framework of culinary interactions for the purpose of educating his audience about the day-to-day reality of those that lived there. Téwodros W. Workneh and H. Leslie Steeves argue that Bourdain’s style of culinary journalism was built on the development of “counterhegemonic global journalism frames” (5527). Bourdain’s framing of world cultures throughout his various series attempted to educate his viewers to the reality of those cultures and exposed false narratives about other cultures for the fctions that they are. To accomplish this, Bourdain “accessed, understood, and engaged” (Workneh and Steeves 5533) with the natives through a series of cultural brokers in each of the locations he was at; professed “his vulnerability and authentic desire to learn, thus appearing, at least symbolically, to relinquish his privileged status” through the act of “going native” (5537), and he critically

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analyzed the “discourse on colonization” to explain how “colonial nostalgia” still impacts the “livelihoods, identities, and cultural expressions of Africans” (5539) to this very day. These three points were discussed often by the informants of this project and shown in the various artifacts discussed in this chapter. From this study, and from the public tributes, Bourdain’s fans believe that the nature of food culture is related to the more substantial complex nature of how people work together to produce a meal and how the culture surrounding the place where food is prepared infuences food culture. In the viewpoint of the fans that completed the questionnaire, Bourdain’s series managed to go beyond the clichés of food shows in the past and carefully examined the social and cultural infuence of the food we eat without being sterile or void of the reality of food production throughout the world. Bourdain’s curiosity allowed him to dig deeper past the assumptions of food culture and gave the viewers of his programing a thoughtful, authentic presentation of the connection between food and people from the vantage point of the “eternally cool chef” that has experienced the world through his travels and his life in the kitchen.

Notes 1 Some of the informants did not give demographic information when completing the questionnaire. 2 Even though a vast majority of the fans of Bourdain would not meet or even interact with Bourdain, his on-camera personality allowed the fans to feel that Bourdain was providing the tour of the various cultures through his narration throughout the various series (Potts).

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Freidberg, Susanne. “Not All Sweetness and Light: New Cultural Geographies of Food.” Social & Cultural Geography, vol. 4, no. 1, 2003, pp. 3–6. Ghattas, Kim. “How Lebanon Transformed Anthony Bourdain.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, June 9, 2018, how-lebanon-transformed-anthony-bourdain/562484. Golan, Guy J., Thomas Johnson, and Wayne Wanta (eds). International Media Communication in a Global Age. London: Routledge, 2010. Haeselin, David. “Digging In.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, 2019, pp. 55–64. Hampton, Rachelle. “‘He Never Once Exotifed Anyone’: A Latino Food Writer on Why Bourdain Meant so Much to His Community.” Slate Magazine, June 11, 2018, slate .com/human-interest/2018/06/latino-food-writer-gustavo-arellano-on-why-anthony -bourdain-meant-so-much-to-marginalized-communities.html. Hartmann, Tilo, and Charlotte Goldhoorn. “Horton and Wohl Revisited: Exploring Viewers Experience of Parasocial Interaction.” Journal of Communication, vol. 61, no. 6, 2011, pp. 1104–21. Henry, Jacob. “‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’ Did What Most Travel Shows Fail To—Give a Nuanced View of Africa.”, June 15, 2018, anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown-did-what-most-travel-shows-fail-to-give-a-nuanced -view-of-africa. Hoffner, Cynthia. “Children’s Wishful Identifcation and Parasocial Interaction with Favorite Television Characters.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 40, no. 3, 1996, pp. 389–402. Horton, Donald, and R. Richard Wohl. “Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance.” Psychiatry, vol. 19, no. 3, 1956, pp. 215–29. Ketchum, Cheri. “The Essence of Cooking Shows: How the Food Network Constructs Consumer Fantasies.” Journal of Communication Inquiry, vol. 29, no. 3, 2005, pp. 217–34. Kleinhans, Chuck. “Cross-Cultural Disgust: Some Problems in the Analysis of Contemporary Horror Cinema.” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, vol. 51, 2009, www.e Kong, Jacqui. “Feasting with ‘the Other’: Transforming the Self in Food Adventuring Programs.” SJSU ScholarWorks, 2011, Nyren, Erin. “Anthony Bourdain’s Former New York Restaurant Les Halles Turned into Memorial.” Variety, June 12, 2018, -dead-celebrities-react-1202837297. Potts, Rolf. “Performing Travel: Around the World in Eighty Hours (of Travel TV).” Indiana Review, vol. 36, no. 2, 2014, pp. 52–72. Rothbaum, Noah. “Anthony Bourdain’s Transformation from Journeyman Chef to Food Icon.” The Daily Beast, June 10, 2018, Tilton, Shane. “Mobile Public Memory: The (Digital/Physical)(Artifacts/Souvenirs) of the (Archiver/Tourist).” SAGE Open vol. 4, no. 3, 2014, 4547324. Workneh, Téwodros W., and H. Leslie Steeves. “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in Africa: Cultural Brokerage, Going Native, Colonial Nostalgia.” International Journal of Communication, vol. 13, 2019, pp. 5525–47. “Anthony Bourdain in Beirut.” Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 2, episode 14, Travel Channel, August 21, 2006.

104 Tilton “Disappearing Manhattan.” Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 5, episode 8, Travel Channel, February 23, 2009. “Vietnam: There’s No Place Like Home.” Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 5, episode 10, Travel Channel, March 9, 2009. “Cambodia.” Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 7, episode 2, Travel Channel, March 7, 2011. “Austin.” Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 9, episode 1, Travel Channel, September 3, 2012. “Brooklyn.” Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, season 9, episode 10, Travel Channel, November 5, 2012. “Hanoi.” Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, season 8, episode 1, CNN, September 25, 2016. “Japan with Masa.” Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, season 8, episode 6, CNN, November 13, 2016.


Consuming butlers and curry buns Cooking, becoming, and desiring with Black Butler Sarah F. McGinley

Preparing recipes allows fans to insert themselves into fctional worlds in an immersive, sensory way. Culinary participatory culture allows a combination of affect and embodiment to reify fctional forms of desire, and for fans to materially experience an aspect of what characters feel. While fans cannot share the characters’ erotic moment, they can share and recreate their food and sensory reactions to it. Unlike many attempts to inhabit a text, this quest falls within the bounds of the achievable. The characters’ lives and desires often lie tantalizingly out of reach; sharing their food offers a tangible, albeit transitory, moment. If fans fgure out the recipe’s mystery, they unlock access to the character’s tastes, and, if fans successfully create that food, fans can replicate the character’s gustatory moment. The quest for making imaginary recipes real is also a drive to enhance the sensual bond many fans feel for characters. Cosplay and other forms of participatory culture are arguably attempts to be closer to characters or inhabit their reality, and fans can literally consume aspects of the text by replicating the characters’ foods. As a form of participatory culture, reproducing edible aspects of the text is a potent combination of affective and sensory experience. This participatory culture is further built by fans’ online activity as they document their experiences with these foods and build YouTube channels specializing in re-creations for other fans to either learn recipes or simply watch as another form of food fantasy. This chapter uses Black Butler and its fans as a case study. A confection of Japan and Victorian England, with a garnish of imperial critique that recalls The Mikado, is one way to describe Yana Toboso’s on-going series, Black Butler (BB), which presents a highly fctionalized version of London. Here, demon butlers serve tea to their child masters, Jack the Ripper consumes souls, and Queen Victoria preserves her empire with secret societies. French, Japanese, Indian, and English cuisines are integral to the plot, and multiple scenes describe these meals’ creation and consumption. The text offers an idiosyncratic view of aristocratic life and privileged childhood, where concerns of nation, security, and order permeate the narrative in seemingly frivolous ways, such as preparing apricot-and-green-tea mille-feuille or selecting the right outft for a ball, and in consequential ways, such as securing the safety of travelers returning from India or investigating child abductions and labor.

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The characters are also literally seen as food both in the text and by fans, and Toboso positions young Earl Ciel Phantomhive as a confection to be consumed. Ciel has inherited a massive commercial concern, The Phantomhive Company, with ties to both domestic industrialism (toy and chocolate factories) and imperial imports. Ciel’s day, as well as the narrative, is structured by the ritual of his meals which are described minutely down to the china used for decadent pastries and the tea plantation of that day’s blend. The introduction of a desired food, a mealtime dilemma, or the importing of an ingredient situate Ciel’s visitors and story arcs. One particular story arc draws together these themes, and its central recipe is a fan favorite and the focus of this chapter: curry buns. This chapter analyzes how fans engage with the text and each other in the quest for an authentic re-creation of the fctionalized food.

Corporate positioning Funimation, BB’s licensee in the United States, runs a Tumblr account that uses Sebastian’s Very Own Cookbook (SVOC) to position fans as lusting for both Sebastian and the food. It begins “[a]s the offcial provider of the English language Black Butler anime, we are here to satisfy your devilish cravings for more Black Butler,” and continues to frame the site visitors as voracious fans who desire the characters and more content, and as literal consumers. The cookbook introduction doesn’t mince words: “When watching Sebastian make all of those yummy and delectable dishes, doesn’t it make you want to devour them? (And maybe him as well? Teehee.)” (Funimation). The hungry, and horny reader, is addressed in a conspiratorial tone and the “very own” implies insider access. Each recipe is introduced in a similar manner: framing consumption of food and bodies, mixing an imagined fan’s reaction and anticipating their desires, and shaping and modeling how fans should react to the specifc post and series in general. Occasionally veering close to parody, the page addresses the scenario of a fan wanting Sebastian both as butler and lover: “Let’s be honest here. Who wouldn’t like to wake up to the scent of pie in the air and a certain butler baking in your kitchen? *let the fantasies begin* …. Are you back from that fantasy yet?” (Funimation, italics in original). The site presents the actual recipes straightforwardly, but all begin with a prose tease and screenshot of the anime food rather than the black-and-white manga art. Sometimes a closing tease follows the recipe. Measured by likes and shares, the curry buns recipe is the cookbook’s most popular. The page does not allow comments, but the recipe has been tagged by fans 1,428 times between 2013–2019. The next favorite, blackberry-and-pear cornmeal cake, has 971, a refection of the comparative popularity of the dishes in blogs and fan sites. The curry bun is so popular, in part, because it is a dish that is both exotic and homely, and readily achievable by most cooks in contrast to Sebastian’s elaborate confections. Kare pan or curry bun is a common lunch snack or street food of Japanese-style curry surrounded by deep-fried dough. Another reason for the bun’s popularity as a recipe and re-creation is

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anchored in its core position in one of the frst complex arcs in the series that introduces several popular characters and showcases Sebastian’s skills. Mangaka (author) Toboso imagines Sebastian originating the dish in a curry competition. The Phantomhive Company has entered the contest attempting to obtain a Royal Warrant and fush out murderers of Anglo-Indians. In a series of entwined plots spanning several volumes, the manga critiques the British Empire’s treatment of its subjects yet holds the aristocracy and the culinary results of empire in esteem. A further reason for the curry bun’s popularity is that it’s a genuinely transcultural food, as one poster at Feast of Fiction (FoF) notes, “I love how this dish incorporates cooking styles from so many different cultures, food inspired by a [J]apanese anime, set in [E]ngland, attempting to cook [I]ndian curry, placing it in a [C]hinese bun, and deep frying it like [UK/ US]” (billiesbiggesfan). The Funimation cookbook bun reads well as a recipe, but, to a fan, it is fawed. The tweak that helped the curry bun become a prizewinning recipe is Ciel’s company’s chocolate, and it is missing from the SVOC. Fans may be making a fctional recipe, but issues of verisimilitude and accuracy are crucial to them. Their quest to join the story world through consuming the same foods as the characters depends on authenticity. Their attempts parallel both Sebastian’s attempt to recreate the curry that Prince Soma remembers from India and the attempts of cooks around the world to deal with what Delia Chiaro calls the problem of translocation and transcreation (197). Chiaro argues that a loss of equivalence is inevitable as people try to cook foods from other cultures. Even with a global market for ingredients, people must often substitute as they cook, and they often fail in our roles as “food translator” or may even “feel that self-censorship must be applied if a certain taste, or combination of foods, does not meet with the approval of recipients” (Chiaro 196). Recreators of fctional food struggle with this as often a dish is not real in the frst place (e.g., Klingon gagh or Harry Potter butterbeer), or fans have predefned ideas of the end result. What follows, then, are fans attempting to produce the “real” dish.

YouTube re-creations Fan food re-creation has its own stars. The FoF and Anime Eats YouTube channels occupy an increasingly common space in fandom: the professional fan space of people who are not offcial franchise employees, but who have their own fan base and standing, and manage their personal brand as fans. They are between the franchise and the regular fans; although positioned as fans, they approach the project as more than a hobby. Of course, the intersection of fandom and fan labor, and whether fandom’s creations should be monetized is a key debate in fandom and fan studies. As Kristina Busse notes, this coalesces around whether fans see themselves as participating in a gift exchange economy where labor is an offshoot of love, or whether one sees fan creations and labor as part of a market economy (113). Further, the fandoms dominated by men are more likely to monetize their activities while female dominated

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ones do not (Busse 114). The BB fandom is predominately female and Busse’s point holds true here. While this study is limited in scope to BB, the one object of study here that has monetized, aside from the corporate attempts to engage fans, is FoF which engages a broader fandom via its model of recreating popular culture food. It is notably the only one with a male fan driving the output (as far as can be discerned from Internet names). FoF’s mission is to act as food translators of fctional food; in fact, some commenters objected to their curry bun episode since kare pan is a real dish and thus disqualifed as a fctional food: “curry pan isn’t fctional but whatever” (Fiinsk). FoF focuses on foods from a variety of sources such as Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, and the hosts are not necessarily members of specifc fandoms. In contrast to the Funimation site, FoF does allow comments (over 6,000 on the curry bun episode), it tells us how to make the curry, and it includes the chocolate. The comments on the episode fall into two broad categories: those about the YouTube episode/show or recipe in general, and those about BB. The episode/show comments focus on the cuteness of the hosts, questions about FoF, recipe requests, questions about the recipe, and statements about planning to make the recipe. The tone is generally positive, but expressions of horror about the chocolate as an ingredient marks them as originating from non-BB fans. Comments showing up in both categories were food focused and centered around translocation and transcreation. Can they still make this recipe with their resources, have it work, and still be Sebastian’s curry buns? They worry about what chocolate to use—a challenge since no one knows what Funtom chocolate is like—and whether making it vegetarian would be okay. FoF (but not BB) uses red wine and younger commenters fret about legality or asking parents to cook. The BB fans engage with the BB aspect as the food and primarily discuss the food through the lens of the manga. Their questions and critiques about the bun recipe and technique focus on achieving authenticity in terms of the text and not the actual Japanese cuisine. Their comments tend to be more pointed as a result. A key source of anger is about the use of curry powder. Not only is that seen as a shortcut, but two key plot points involve Sebastian learning to blend his own spices and achieving the elimination of a lesser competitor for the use of curry powder. One fan notes: “OBJECTION! Sebastian actually didn’t use curry powder, cause it technically doesn’t count as ‘real curry’ like the judges said with the other beef curry” (Konato). Other comments are angry on the behalf of characters as Prince Soma and Agni would not be able to eat this version because it is beef and not chicken as in the manga. Most comments, however, are thrilled by the recipe, specifcally by the inclusion of chocolate: “I fangirled so hard. YOU GUYS LITERALLY PUT CHOCOLATE IN THE CURRY!!! CIEL TAUGHT YOU WELL I CRY” (Single Fucc). The BB fans in general are very excited. Their comments also express gratitude for their obsessive quest for the recipe being ended, “I CAN DIE IN PEACE NOW….” (Green), as well as general excitement about anything BB related. Many comments treat the characters as if they were real or involved

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with the YouTube episode/show creator, frequently confating the deliciousness of the food with Sebastian: “I wanna eat the screen because of Bassy and the buns...” (jimins_ mp3). Some fans are not specifcally interested in the food but in the fandom, and their comments focus more on showing fandom knowledge, such as calling the show by its Japanese name, Kuroshitsuji, or discussing the characters. Comments in this category tend to be in-jokes about characters or involve a variation Sebastian’s catchphrase “I’m simply one hell of a butler.” FoF occupies a professional and monetized space in fandom, and its production values position it closer to television cooking shows than to an amateur fan production. In this context, it functions similarly to a traditional cooking instruction show, specifcally in the way it frames its audience (Newman 332). Certainly, viewers are consumers, but they are also “subjects submitting to fantasies of sensual experience” and while they may be learning how to cook, they are also being shown “a vision of good taste, presenting a model of how to live that we might attain but more likely merely aspire to” (Newman 332). BB fans know they will never have a demon butler or be a Victorian earl, but they can aspire to be served by a human butler or eat like an earl. A similar impulse may drive most food re-creations, but the more polished the show, the more aspirational the tone becomes. As with other cooking instruction shows, part of BB’s fantasy involves having the resources to live and cook in such a manner—and to also be the kind of skilled and calm cook who can produce such results. “The fantasy is not merely of having [the host’s] knowledge and skill, but the time, freedom, counterspace, equipment, and grocery budget to indulge in the kind of gustatory pleasures represented” (Newman 333). For some of Sebastian’s creations, one needs to be a demon and have kitchens and staff akin to Downton Abbey’s. His life-size chocolate sculptures of a Phantomhive on horseback are beyond aspirational. Fans turn to homelier re-creations and save the other dishes for fantasies of being served. Fans have to be Sebastians for themselves to eat like Ciel. BB and FoF may show that quotidian food, carefully prepared, is a worthy end, but their true function is “an escape from social realities into a fantasy realm of sensual pleasures” (Newman 332). In contrast to FoF’s live action cooking tutorial, Anime Eats (AE) is focused on eating the food. Host Sylvia Wakana prepares the food off camera and eats it on camera. Wakana’s channel focuses only on anime and manga, her specifc fandom choices are personal, and her knowledge of the shows is organic. She knows who Sebastian and Ciel are (as opposed to having researched it for the episode as done in FOF), and accurately refers to BB as a revenge story. She displays her fandom capital by using the Japanese title, Kuroshitsuji, and she further ramps up her capital by stressing her Japanese heritage in her bio. Wakana’s general premise is that “food in anime always looks so delicious so I fgure, might as well make it and actually eat it!” and this episode’s focus is that “Sebastian makes Ciel all sorts of amazing tea and desserts so I thought it would be fun to combine the things he made into an English high tea” (AE). Unlike

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FoF, she does not reverse engineer the recipes herself, but searches out existing recipes or close analogs. For “Gothic High Tea (Kuroshitsuji/BB)” she makes the fan favorites curry buns and blackberry-and-pear cornmeal cakes by using the recipes from the SVOC. However, neither she, her guest, nor her commenters note the lack of chocolate in the buns. Despite this, her attention to detail is strong as she includes several less common recipes and shares her sources: English-style scones (from the BBC website), poached salmon on toast, Eton Mess (Funimation recipe), and gateau chocolat. She also has paid attention to careful plating and to tea choices as Sebastian would do. A key slip in verisimilitude happens when she calls the meal “high tea”—a faux pas Sebastian would never make since high tea is a working-class early dinner usually served at six (rather than four) and flled with hearty offerings. Indeed, in her end notes to BB volume one, Toboso remarks that Ciel uses the term “high tea” to impugn another character’s social standing (192). Wakana has apparently fallen prey to the common misperception that “high” means upper class or elegant, and indeed many English tourist areas now perpetuate the misuse as a marketing artifact—an instance of fction and fantasy overwriting reality. While the video has had just over 5,200 views between July 2017 and May 2019, few comments exist, and they focus as much on the delicious appearance of the food as they do on BB. While the AE series clearly attracts views, it does not engender fan engagement in the same way that FoF does in their massive comments thread. AE is certainly more fannish and more engaged with the series, but the focus on consuming rather than creating gives less to respond to. Further, Wakana and her guest focus mostly on their own reactions of how the food turned out and whether they like it with little communication of how it tastes, smells, or feels. The video’s sensory experience of the food is primarily visual and the show itself is not kinetic; thus, the video does not engage viewers in the virtual haptics of an imaginary performance of culinary steps as when they follow along with the FoF cooks. The episode is a work of careful fandom and cooking, but, missing both the pedagogy of a cooking show and exaggerated performative reactions of consumption, the sincerity of Anime Eats does not translate to a sensual experience or assist in an affective reaction to the characters. Paradoxically, this reduced engagement is a result of the authenticity of the show’s engagement with the specifc fandom and lesser focus on production values, while FoF’s opposite mixture presses the emotive and erotic buttons more effectively.

Anime food blogs Two fan blogs, Real Anime Food (RAF) and Anime B&B (ABB), test this paradox between authenticity and fan engagement. RAF is a Tumblr account that publishes tutorials using kitchen photos, while ABB uses a WordPress account to discuss anime food using screenshots. Again, the split is between culinary pedagogy and appreciation.

Consuming butlers and curry buns


RAF’s mission is “about helping you to recreate your favorite anime dishes.” Accordingly, a high level of attention to detail exists as well as a desire to have it taste good. The recipe for Sebastian’s curry buns is straightforward and, although it does include chocolate, it is close to the offcial Funimation offering, including the instruction to use one’s own preferred curry. The blog is free of squee (fannish squeals of excitement and thus an overtly emotional expression of fandom), although it mentions being inspired to make the buns by seeing the episode (as opposed to FoF’s in response to fan requests) and is a straightforward tutorial with practical hints. The photos are good quality closeups of the kitchen workspace but are devoid of non-culinary details. The page only notes likes and reblogs: 775 between February 2013 and May 2019. The static and, appropriately-for-food-preparation, sterile nature of the shots as well as the minimal commentary about how the food tastes means that the blog has the same lack of sensory excitement seen in the AE comments. ABB has a stronger focus on anime-as-visual-experience with food screenshots from shows. The entry for BB begins with a review of the anime, giving it a 7/10 primarily for the “wonderful use of visuals to convince me of the setting and time period. We are given a huge array of Victorian-era clothing and food and [convincing] amounts of research done to accomplish this” (ABB). The blog is not squarely in the BB fandom and presents little excitement about the characters as objects of desire; however, a knowledgeable discussion of BB’s genre position occurs, and they use the Japanese name of the show. The main focus of the blog is on “the foods of Kuroshitsuji. Every episode comes with its fair share of desserts and other delights, beautifully representing the Victorian era, but also nodding at the theme of appetite as displayed by the demons and Ciel’s thirst for revenge” (Marina). The blog is more cerebral than the other objects of study as shown by its understanding of genre and theme. The blog owner and her commenters focus on accuracy and attention to detail, as in this example: Judging from the light in the background, I would think this to be afternoon tea (earlier in the day) as opposed to high tea (closer to evening). However! The arrangement of the food of the stand makes no sense. Afternoon tea should include scones on the top tier, small sandwiches in the middle, and sweets along the boom. (Marina) Compared to the squee and bickering on other sites about canon accuracy, this focus on historical accuracy shows a different level of required verisimilitude needed for immersion in a story. That Sebastian would fail in this way would be a distraction for series fans should they know about it, but these commenters’ focus on Toboso’s credibility as an author. One commenter mentions how important attention to detail is because “for an anime like Kuroshitsuji, these details really help to build an elegant, high class atmosphere” (Yi). The site goes into few recipe details and focuses mostly on visuals although some mentions of intent to cook and suggestions for locating recipes do exist. The

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color images of the anime food are sensual, but the focus of the discussion is more about the anime’s content and the food rather than squeeing over the embodied pleasures of the dish. In contrast to FoF, these lower profle venues that focus just on food and allow for engagement with a specifc canon are still, of course, performative, but less exaggeratedly so. BB fan commenters at FoF perform their fandom far more as they are on a larger stage and in a mixed venue of fandoms and media. Their discourse of emotional reactions perhaps exist to position themselves from non-fans. However, what happens when we look at BB fans in a nonfood-focused fan environment?

Facebook While it includes little culinary discussion per se, the We Love Black Butler (WLBB) Facebook group uses food imagery frequently, and the squee is rampant. In general, the 4,000+ fans are free to emote and eroticize the characters, with the swift shut down of anyone blatantly shipping Ciel. The group’s membership setting is closed, but not private or secret, and so depends on self-policing and in-group ethics. Although Ciel is the recipient of many kawaii (cute) comments, he is an ineligible object of desire, and the erotic confation of food and sex is directed at Sebastian. Ciel is the main, and greedy, consumer of the food Sebastian prepares, but his soul will be the literal object of consumption when Sebastian claims his part of their contract, and this anticipated moment is a nexus of teasing. The erotic line on the group’s page is barely disguised with multiple images from both Toboso and fans of Ciel presented as food being served, prepared, or imminently tasted by Sebastian. Sometimes this erotic relationship is implied via confection-like clothing, but it is sometimes startlingly literal as in Toboso’s cover art for the magazine Monthly GFantasy’s 2011 Christmas issue showing Ciel in a turkey costume on a serving platter surrounded by garnishes. The platter is held aloft by Sebastian who holds a silver cloche in such a way as to mystify whether he just revealed Ciel as the surprise entrée or if he is about to cover Ciel preparatory to serving. Similar images show Ciel sprawled on a dinner table surrounded by side dishes. Fans will often post images from Toboso’s supplemental full color art books or from the color inserts in the Japanese editions showing Ciel, Sebastian, and food—some innocent but a little knowing, and others quite clear about Ciel as object of consumption—with the end of discussing the erotic appeal of Sebastian and leaving thoughts about Ciel as implications or as studiously ignored. For example, a full color Toboso page of Sebastian pouring tea for Ciel causes comments about wanting “a side of Sebastian” (Kamau). A certain subset, although humorous, speaks to the true relationship between Sebastian and Ciel as predator and prey. Several fan art images feature Ciel as a cheeseeating mouse and Sebastian as a cat sneaking up on him, licking his lips, or even tasting him. Fans can thus imagine Sebastian consuming Ciel even if they cannot permit themselves to imagine Ciel as an object of desire, and Sebastian

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is the recipient of the erotic charge that cannot be acknowledged in other ways. He is not a substitute for Ciel per se, as he is demonically desirable in his own right, but he is the more appropriate recipient of any latent or transferred desire. Ciel must remain kawaii; Sebastian can be hot. Sebastian may be an amazing chef, but his true skill—and role—is service, and when Sebastian is not being imagined as the consumee or consumer, his role as perfect servant takes over. The fantasy becomes that of being literally catered to, and several role-play posts center around this theme. For example, one WLBB post focuses on the pleasure of being cared for and served, and performs a visual trick of Sebastian emerging through a computer screen and handing the viewer a real cup of tea. The accompanying comments role-play accepting and demanding service, and wish that this moment could be real. The viewers’ desire for the character becoming real via an offering of food speaks to the impulses tying together affect and sensory experince. This fantasy of service and of Sebastian as the perfect host resulted in at least one joke by Toboso connecting BB to another highly popular (but very different in tone) series, Ouran High School Host Club (OHSHC)—a frothy parody focused on a fantasy of service, delicious food, and privileged living. Toboso generally includes bonus art and parodies inside the covers of the manga, and the art for volume one depicts the BB characters in host club poses welcoming readers to “Phantomhive Host Club.”

Real life service: Butler cafés The fnal fan-created artifact is a video of Akidearest (a YouTuber with over two million followers) visiting a butler café, which is a real-life version of the manga fantasy and a melding of the imaginary and physical foods and spaces. The Swallowtail Butler Café in Tokyo is elegantly designed to simulate the experience of a lady returning home to her manor after a morning out. There is much bowing from servants (all male and in tails), a bell to ring for attention, a tiered stand of cakes and sandwiches, and an imaginary daily schedule of lunch, tea, and riding lessons. In the video, Akidearest is self-assured but mocks herself throughout for not eating like a lady, makes some BB jokes, and expresses faux-anxiety over the delicate china. After the visit, she interviews one of the butlers who has worked there for ten of Swallowtail’s twelve years. Clearly, there is a solid and on-going market for this fantasy. The food is commented on but is secondary to the experience of being served. The video involves little erotic charge; the experience is elegant and calm. The environment is decorous, and the butlers are clearly in control—any squee would be quite out of place. To close the loop of this examination of fan experiences with a return to the offcial framing, Square Enix (the Japanese offcial anime licensee) announced a limited time BB café would be at their Tokyo location for summer 2019. Anime news site Crunchyroll’s report included images showing the concept as closer to OHSHC than to Swallowtail (Dennison). The Phantomhive staff

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and other characters—including Ciel—are drawn by Toboso in welcoming host club poses. As a public-facing story and enterprise, it offers a wholesome image. While the Funimation page can safely address desire for Sebastian and make innuendos about the recipes, the café as a real space event must take care to remain innocuous. It’s a place for fun, food, and, as implied by its parody of OHSHC’s poses, firting at a gentle afterschool special level.

Shared sensations made real Fans, however, have no hesitation in focusing their erotic feelings on Sebastian and themes of food and service. While Sebastian can desire Ciel as his object of literal consumption, Ciel cannot (legally) be seen as the sexual object of desire given his age as a thirteen-year-old. Sebastian is also a demon and thus corrupt—his desires are of course wrong—but fans get to witness his evil and, because much of it is in service of Ciel’s revenge story, can also revel in it. Nonetheless, many fan arguments center around Ciel being objectifed sexually. Ciel can only be desired legitimately in a non-sexual way as, for example, when his aunt sees him as a cute child, or his fancée (an arranged-in-childhood engagement) showers affection on him, and Sebastian can literally desire him as food. Permitted squeeing over Ciel means seeing him through Sebastian’s eyes as food and shifting representations of desire onto fan art seeing him as a literal dish or to Toboso’s supplemental illustrations showing him that way. Many fan desires must be transferred onto the food—something humans enjoy that can be made real and licit—or onto Sebastian. The main non-food object of desire as positioned by the text is Sebastian himself as the creator of most of the food, but also the readers’ stand-in for much of the narrative. As such he complicates fans’ experience with the text and its food. He replicates tastes and sensory details, but as a demon, he cannot enjoy human food (just human souls as food), and his desires are not as the fans, yet he can create deliciousness and is himself an object of beauty and desire. The animators linger lovingly over Sebastian’s food, which is impeccably plated, making it animated food porn. Research demonstrates that viewing food images has both physiological and neural impacts because “exposure to appetizing images of food (the majority of which are presented digitally, and hence in a unisensory manner) is becoming an increasingly important source of enjoyment for many people” (Spence 54). While a manga or anime environment may seem antithetical to sensory data, the media enhance the visual and, in anime’s case, the aural appeal, and these assist in the sharing of food imagery and experiences. “One aspect of food porn is the fetishized emphasis on the desirable object, the food, often depicted in adoring and vivid closeup photography. This is a food equivalent of pornography’s graphic depictions of isolated body parts and sexual acts” (Newman 333). Since fans cannot taste, fans must depend on the visuals—it looks delicious!—and the characters’ reactions—it sounds delicious! Imagination changes an audio-visual experience into a broader sensory experience, which can include an erotic charge. There

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is certainly much of the scopophiliac in scenes displaying both the food and its consumption, but “it arouses a sensory desire, a wish to feel or taste, which it cannot directly satisfy” (Newman 334). However, another way to share the experience and move it from the imaginary is with a facsimile of the experience; fans can participate in the cooking and have a haptic experience. If fans share the physical, embodied experience of preparing the food, they can indeed consume their version of the recipe and thus also make the experience real. Fans can replicate Sebastian’s labor and understand that aspect of his service to Ciel. Food preparation can be a deeply sensory experience as fans handle food and witness its changes as a result of their touch and actions. As Andrew Chan notes in his discussion of food porn: …preparation is a form of foreplay in which the ritual of cooking is announced with sensory cues: the sizzle of oil in the frying pan, pots bubbling away, the crescendo of chopping, dicing, and slicing. The chef starts building the viewer’s expectations and hunger by his cleaving, stirring, and whisking—every gesture, raised eyebrow, and licked lip a sign of what is to come. (47) Watching Sebastian prepare food, fans can imagine the food and the experience of cooking as foreplay, culminating in “serving” Ciel. If fans then make the recipes themselves, they perform the foreplay. When fans consume their food, they can imagine being the recipient of that labor, and enjoy the fantasy of being catered to and served. Unlike Sebastian, they can also enjoy the end results. Much of food porn involves the fantasy of having either the resources to cook like the hosts while remaining cool, calm, sexy, and immaculate or having someone else cook for you while you do no labor except choose, consume, and critique as does the capricious Ciel. Like Ciel or a cooking show viewer, fans can summon a cooking fantasy, and, should they so wish, attempt to create the food. Fans take a step to reify the fantasy by recreating experiences of anticipatory scents and tasting the food as well as recreating the physical experience of making the food and perhaps imagining what it is like to be the character preparing the food for consumption by the beloved (by the character or by the reader) character. Fans can switch roles and consume the results of the act of service-love. Fans must, alas, be both butler and master—deliverer of foreplay and consumer of the sensory moment—but so it is for most masturbatory moments. The moment of consumption is a moment that is both sensual and emotional, and as Sara Ahmed notes, “emotion and sensation cannot be easily separated” (6). Much has been made of the affective turn in explaining emotions, and factoring in the “sociality of emotions” (218) adds much to an understanding of fandom, but I also wish to argue for “the ‘sensory turn’ [which] is part of a wider shift in how we might understand the world” (Pink xxi). Combining the two turns allows for a reading of how shared emotion and sensation shape

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a fan’s experience of affective, erotic, and, ultimately, virtual-to-real engagement with a text. As one fan notes about FoF’s curry bun episode “somehow by transferring this into reality you’ve activated the feels of everyone!!!!” (Medrano). Cooking shows are ultimately about the “the manufacture of emotions surrounding eating” (Chan 48), and those emotions are as much erotic as gustatory. Further, they are about shared experiences. Ahmed scrupulously notes that the models of affect and sociality such as contagion or transmission (218) can imply ease or mutuality—there may be friction or we may feel differently about something shared—but nonetheless, the social sharing of affect is a key factor in fandom. The comment sections and fan pages form a virtual location of sociality where objects—in this case the shows and characters—become “sticky” (16) or “happy” (218) as they “circulate [and] accumulate affective value” (218). Fans share emotions about sensation (their desire for Sebastian, for example) but they also create emotions and sensation in others. Since sensation is by its very defnition sensory, their desire becomes real—sensed—as they share the squee in discussion and real—as in tangible and consumable—as they cook a recipe.

Conclusion This reifcation of desire as discourse and as food allows us to read fandom’s obsession with accuracy in the light of how the sensory and affective turns make meaning. Of course, many groups value authenticity and seek to acquire cultural capital via the accurate understanding of a cuisine, but, in this instance, there is a sense of both vicarious pride and magical thinking. To let Sebastian and Ciel down with a poor recipe is embarrassing or insulting—a social moment of shame. However, if fans get the recipe right, they can perform as Sebastian does and eat as Ciel does. And, if we are what we eat, then it follows, in magical thinking, that acting and eating as they do may have transformative properties. Performing the perfect food re-creation can reify the emotion and sensations felt by Sebastian and Ciel and take us beyond a secondhand experience: “AAAAAH!!! SEBASTIAN COULD ONE DAY BE REAL IF WE JUST BELIEVE!!! :’3 eats my own curry bun” (TheMadHattress 17).

References Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. 2nd edition. London: Routledge, 2015. Akidearest. “I Went to a Butler Café” YouTube. 2 Mar. 2108, Anime Eats “Gothic High Tea (Kuroshitsuji / Black Butler)” 27 July 2017, .com/watch?v=Kr9Iwka7UbM. Billiesbiggesfan. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19 YouTube 18 Aug. 2015, Busse, Kristina. “Fan Labor and Feminism: Capitalizing on the Fannish Labor of Love.” Cinema Journal, vol. 54, no. 3, 2015, 110–5.

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Chan, Andrew. “‘La Grande Bouffe’: Cooking Shows as Pornography.” Gastronomica, vol. 3, no. 4, 2003, 46–53. Chiaro, Delia. “A Taste of Otherness: Eating and Thinking Globally.” European Journal of English Studies, vol. 12, no. 2, 2008, 195–209. Dennison, Kara. “Black Butler Prepares to Launch One Hell of a Collab Café” Crunchyroll. 24 Apr. 2019, pares-to-launch-one-hell-of-a-collab-caf?fbclid=IwAR1RWPwNeFGw-UST9A1. Feast of Fiction. “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19 YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Fiinsk. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Funimation. “Fried Curry Bun” Sebastian’s Very Own Cookbook, 2013, blackbutleroffcial. ———. Sebastian’s Very Own Cookbook, 2013, 4136021/sebastians-very-own-cookbook. Green, Madison. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, jimins_ mp3. “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Kamau, Elaine. Comment on “Afternoon Tea, Anyone?” We Love Black Butler Facebook Group, 18 June 2019, =gm.2073563539602703&type=3&theater&ifg=1. Konato. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Marina. “The Sweets and Curry of Kuroshitsuji” Anime B&B, 9 Mar. 2011 marinasauce Medrano, Miriam J.G. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Newman, Michael Z.“Everyday Italian: Cultivating Taste.” How to Watch Television, edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell. New York City: New York University Press, 2013. Pink, Sara. Doing Sensory Ethnography. 2nd Edition. Los Angeles: Sage, 2015. Real Anime Food “Sebastian’s Award Winning Curry Buns” 6 Feb. 2013, realanimefood.t Single Fucc. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Spence, Charles, et al. “Eating with Our Eyes: From Visual Hunger to Digital Satiation.” Brain and Cognition, vol. 110, Dec. 2016, pp. 53–63. TheMadHattress 17. Comment on “How to Make CURRY BUNS from Black Butler!” Feast of Fiction S4 Ep19, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2015, Toboso, Yana. Black Butler. Yen, 2007-present. We Love Black Butler. Facebook Group, 20 June 2019, 7825999611. Yi. Comment on “The Sweets and Curry of Kuroshitsuji” Anime B&B, 18 Mar. 2011,

10 The promise of cake Food fandom, tourism, and baking practices inspired by Portal Nicolle Lamerichs

Globally, culinary fandom is an important practice. When I was traveling through Japan in 2017, an important highlight for me was a visit to the bar of game studio Capcom. The latest installment of the game series Ace Attorney had just been released, and the café was celebrating the occasion in style. Each signature dish was meant to capture the essence of a particular character. My favorite drink was Godot blend #102, a coffee that prosecutor Godot drinks in the Ace Attorney games. It was a strong blend, just the way the character prefers them. It allowed me to taste what my favorite character had tasted. To another person, this may have been an ordinary coffee, but to a fan like myself this was the re-creation of an in-game experience. Each round, the waiter provided me with one-liners and expressions from the game, such as Igiari! (異議あり!), translated as “objection” in the English version. Surrounded by video game merchandise and screens with game play, we experienced our fandom primarily through food. The Square Enix bar and Nintendo’s Pokémon café in Chuo, Tokyo, are other great examples of hotspots for fans. Specifc pop-up restaurants, related to the release or anniversary of particular products, are very common as well, such as a pop-up restaurant for the anniversary of Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Dennison). Fan practices in relation to food are manifold, and can be sparked by themed bars and restaurants, but also by offcial recipe books such as The Unoffcial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines and Game of Scones by Jammy Lannister. Recreating food from fction is a common fan practice (Magladry). Like the earlier-mentioned Godot blend #102, a drink or dish can speak to the imagination and allow audiences to immerse themselves in their favorite game or story. In this chapter, I argue that cooking and baking in fandom is closely connected to the source-text, and that platforms like recipe sites and fan cooking shows are important everyday sites where subcultural identity is constructed. In many cases, the connection between food and fandom is a highly intertextual one. When cooking, fans can connect and experience their favorite fction not just through representation, but also through taste and smell. This is a highly visceral way of engaging with one’s favorite fction. The dishes that fans group around have meaning that connects to the source-text and should always be understood within that textual network.

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Within the feld of fan studies, creative works such as fanfction, video, and visual art have been studied frequently, while more everyday practices such as arts and crafts, dress-up and food have not been the subject of many studies. To show the diversity of fan recipes and re-creations, I detail one specifc confectionary, namely the cake from Valve’s Portal, released originally in 2007. How has the offcial company presented the cake in the game and its merchandise, and how have fans recreated it? Through a close reading and a small-scale virtual ethnography, I unpack the signifcance of the cake as simultaneously positive (i.e., festive, cute and domestic) as well as negative (i.e., “a lie,” fake, and toxic). By analyzing the most popular videos, blogs, and comments pertaining to the cake, I provide insights on fandom and food culture. I specifcally also pay attention to YouTube cooking shows and how they frame the cake by discussing channels such as Nerdy Nummies. This way, the cake is traced as an object within a network that generates affect and meaning. These meanings spill outside of fandom into the domain of characters and cute culture. By focusing on this one particular example from game fandom, I aim to provide a vivid and detailed picture of the subcultural relevance of food.

Culinary fan studies Fan productivity is a diverse phenomenon. Creatively, fans publish written stories (“fanfction”), sew costumes of their favorite characters’ outfts (“cosplay”), design different types of games, and make visual art and videos, among other outlets. In relation to storytelling, the creativity of fans has often been read as a type of appropriation that borrows and repurposes existing cultural materials to produce something new (Bacon-Smith; Jenkins). My own work has focused on different modes of fan productivity, most specifcally how fans engage in storytelling and play (Lamerichs, Productive Fandom). Productive fandom cannot be understood merely as “fdel” or “mimetic,” as a reiteration or recombination of source texts (Hills). Often, such creative practices are highly transformative, characterized by processes of remix and appropriation. These elements are even more relevant for culinary fan practices, where recipes and taste become a creative practice rather than an emulation or imitation. Food fandom comes in different forms, but it is important to realize that it is often related to the text itself. In the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling, for instance, food conveys social boundaries between the real and magical world, but also between different social groups and classes. In her detailed analysis of food in the series, Leisa Anne Clark writes: “Food is not just ‘fantasy’ in this series; the characters eat toast, sausages, and puddings along with Fizzing Whizzbees and cauldron cakes, so the fascination readers have with the food goes beyond the fantastic connotations of the concoctions created by Rowling to add color to her imaginary world” (2). In other words, food evokes the idea of wonder and magic but is always mixed with the familiar world.

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In the universe of the Harry Potter series, the social interaction of consuming food, from breakfast to teatime, is fundamental. Clark writes: “The sharing of food in the novels builds tensions, creates bonds, and codes different characters as ‘acceptable’ or ‘unacceptable’ based on their willingness, or refusal, to share food” (ii). Considering that food is central to the atmosphere of many media texts, it is no surprise that food experiences are marketed in the industry and shared within fandom. Fans want to connect to their favorite stories through the taste and wonder of the signature dishes, thereby immersing themselves into the story world fully. Food allows them to relate to the characters. Experiencing and recreating fctional food is an important practice in fandom. If food has an iconic role in the story, such as the cherry pie from Twin Peaks (Piatti-Farnell), it is often appropriated and replicated by fans and offcial companies. In a study on Harry Potter fandom, Abbey Waysdorf and Stijn Reijnders note the culinary experience of drinking offcial butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP) or the offcial Warner Bros Studio Tour near London. They argue: When at WWOHP, visitors do what they would if they were visiting any other urban tourist destination: they buy things, they wander the streets, get something to eat or drink, perhaps see a performance or people-watch. These can all be done convincingly, with “local delicacies” like butterbeer and exclusive souvenirs, in a way that adheres to the narrative memories and details of the Harry Potter series. (11) Fans of media texts also travel to engage with such culinary experiences, as Rebecca Williams notes, particularly if the text is heavy on food. She describes this as an act of culinary pilgrimage. She explains the phenomenon of fans traveling to recreate culinary experiences related to a show, such as Diners, DriveIns and Dives (nicknamed Triple D). Such tourism is by no means restricted to physical places and can apply to the virtual as well (Lamerichs, “Hunters, Climbers, Flaneurs”). Within game culture, food has an important role overall, as James Cronin and Mary McCarthy’s study shows. Consuming fast food while gaming is a ritual for many players and has particular affective pleasures. The scholars note that food also functions as subcultural capital: “The data reveal that food is a marker of inclusion within the gaming subculture and expressive of internalised identities” (735). This chapter has a slightly different focus and analyzes how food is framed and longed for in a video game, and how players recreate that food outside of the game. However, the social context of consuming the food is also taken into account. Through recipes and tutorials, fans share the creation of dishes in an entertaining way. Cooking shows on, for instance, YouTube are a great way to experience dishes and recreate them yourself. Visuals are very helpful when cooking and are part of the reason why these videos are so successful on the platform. As Guangda Li et al. note in their study of YouTube cooking videos,

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basic cooking skills are more easily acquired through video instruction, as “it will be more direct and intuitive for them to understand” (713). Of course, cooking shows have a long history that precedes digital platforms and vlogs. In her study of cooking shows, Kathleen Collins writes: “More than just a howto or amusement, cooking shows are a unique social barometer. Their legacy corresponds to the transitioning of women at home to women at work, from eight-to twenty-four workdays, from cooking as domestic labor to enjoyable leisure, and from clearly defned to more fuid gender roles” (5). Cooking became a lifestyle and, as a result, cooking shows became entertaining rather than didactic, offering insights into consumer culture. By now, food television and YouTube have democratized cooking and baking, making the practice accessible to a much larger group. In other words, online platforms are drivers of food fandom since they help share everyday life and practices, such as baking. Social, affective and culinary drives, then, come together in food fandom. Overall, food practices related to fandom are not neutral: they connect the lifestyle of food consumption to those of fandom and gaming. Food even functions as a social barometer in participatory culture, as a subcultural capital of sorts. By connecting food studies, fan studies and game studies, I show that studying food can be a highly interdisciplinary endeavor, involving texts, audiences, individual taste and creativity. In terms of approach, this chapter relies on a close reading of Portal, which includes refections on the game play itself as well as its transmedia texts. Furthermore, I look into the cake that inspired the development team of Portal and the fan tourism to that particular bakery. It is important to note that the cake has a strong fan culture beyond the game. Many users have uploaded recipes and tutorials to bake the beloved dessert and have strived for a recipe that approximates the one in the game. For the purpose of this study, I performed a close reading of different recipes created by fans and posted on platforms such as Flickr and YouTube as well as personal cooking websites and blogs (e.g. The Geeky Chef). I used the keywords “Portal cake tutorial” and “Portal cake recipe” and identifed written recipes by analyzing the top ffty high-ranking search results on Google and fltering relevant sources. Moreover, I performed an analysis of the top ffty baking videos on YouTube. Of these results, eighteen were highly relevant, while others refected on the in-game recipe from Portal. This led to a close reading of ten videos. I do not discuss all ten videos in detail but instead zoom in on several specifc cooking channels such as Nerdy Nummies. In terms of research design, I strive for deep, qualitative data. This study is based on different practices and posts, which generates insights into how a beloved media dish circulates across cultures, spaces, and online platforms. By tracing this one object, I reveal the fan culture around the cake but also go beyond the concept of fan. Not all bakers can be assumed to be fans of the game, for instance, and in some cases the tutorials are clearly made by infuencers who cover a wide range of dishes. Different active audiences group around

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Portal’s cake, but it is hard to say just from observations who self-identifes as a fan. In this sense, fandom is a murky concept and applied in this chapter primarily to signify grassroots creativity sparked by an existing text.

Portal and baking “Hello, and again welcome to the Aperture Science Computer Aided Enrichment Center,” a robotic female voice addresses the player. The narrator states at the start of Portal: “We hope your brief detention in the relaxation pod has been pleasant one. Your specimen has been processed and we are now waiting to begin the test proper.” In this frst-person puzzle game, the player controls Chell, a female test subject, and guides her through the Aperture Science facilities. Chell receives audio messages from a female AI called GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), the unreliable and taunting narrator of the game. Each test room in the game is a new level that offers new challenges and puzzles that the player needs to solve. By creating portals between two fat planes in test rooms, Chell can escape with the help of her portal gun. Portal combines shooting and problem-solving with dark humor (Mittell). During the game, GLaDOS promises Chell cake and grief counseling as a reward. While GLaDOS’ comments start rather descriptive, she reveals herself as the antagonist as the game progresses. The deadpan monologues of GLaDOS have much to owe to Ellen McLain, the talented voice actress, and the technological manipulation of her voice into a cold, sometimes malfunctioning, robotic sound. Portal is well-known for its meme “the cake is a lie,” which is scribbled on the walls of a test room in the game. Players who wander through the levels regularly stumble upon graffti texts, presumably left by previous test subjects. In the web comic Portal 2: Lab Rat (Oeming and Pinkerton), more background on the graffti texts about cake is offered. Doug Rattmann, a mentally unstable Aperture scientist, apparently wrote the graffti. The scribbles are characteristic of Rattmann’s madness (Burden and Gouglas), but despite his illness, he understands the inner workings of the game as a test, as a system. As the graffti at the beginning of Test Chamber 17 states, “I’m not hallucinating. You are. The companion cube would never desert me. Dessert. So long … Cake. Haha. Cake. A lie. The companion cube would never lie to me.” Cake, in other words, is an essential theme in Portal. It serves an analogy for Chell and how GLaDOS treats her. Near the end of the game, Chell is given a companion cube. The player cannot end the level without sacrifcing the cube by throwing it into an oven. Like the companion cube and the cake, Chell is expendable. In Test Chamber 19, she heads toward a burning pit, not dissimilar from an oven. GLaDOS remarks: “The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked and then there will be cake.” A sign indicates that “cake” is around the corner. Like the companion cube that was burned earlier, Chell has fulflled her purpose and is ready to be “baked” and

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replaced. At this moment in the game, the player fnds out that they can escape the test room to face the fnal boss, GLaDOS. By close reading Portal as an “algorithmic experience,” Michael Burden and Sean Gouglas reveal that the game functions as a powerful comment about technology and control: “The videogame Portal is an algorithmic exploration of human struggle against algorithmic processes that have superseded their original intended purpose. The game explores the search for freedom from such computational processes.” In this sense, Chell’s symbolic escape is meaningful, but the scene is done so splendidly and over-the-top that many players might get suspicious. The fnal escape appears as yet another trick by GLaDOS. Just before the end credits, there is another twist. In her “too-close reading” of Portal, Bonnie Ruberg captures this moment elegantly: In the very last moments of the game, right before the credits roll, the camera moves from the sunny, aboveground scene back down into the depth where GLaDOS is coming back to life. There, amidst shelves of robots, we see the cake. Flecked with chocolates and topped with cherries it seems real enough, and it is the perfect specimen of baking. (71) Apparently, the cake is a real object contained in a room that the player cannot access. As a quick search on YouTube and Reddit shows, players have been using hacks and mods since the release of the game to reach this mysterious “cake room.” The cake can be read as a comment on the reward structure of gaming. Games are driven by goals, rules, and rewards. The cake represents a competitive price or achievement that we cannot unlock, a power-up that we cannot obtain. It is a powerful comment on the rhetoric and structure of games. During the end credits, the song Still Alive plays, written by Jonathan Coulton and performed by GLaDOS. The lyrics mention the cake often: “By the way this cake is great. It’s so delicious and moist.” Just like the companion cube, an object which fans affectively embraced, the cake becomes a break-out character in the game. The game circulates around the cake as a reward, which the developers confrmed (IGN)—a reward that is promised but only briefy featured, and always out of reach.

Close reading the cake The cake is not an ordinary cake, but a festive one (Figure 10.1). A beautiful chocolate dessert cake with one candle and cherries on top. Ruberg pointedly writes: “The sort of cake associated with attentive housewives and caring mothers” (71). Cakes, then, are heavily related to the historical and gendered practice of homemaking and domestic queens. The promise of cake becomes “a girly prize made by women’s labor to reward women’s labor—but that cake is the very epitome of deception” (2).

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Figure 10.1 Screenshot of the “Cake Room” by the author.

On monitors in the game, fragments of the cake’s recipe are mentioned. In the fnal battle, GLaDOS drops an Intelligence Core, which lists an abridged version of these ingredients. The recipe includes the standard ingredients to a German chocolate cake, along with inedible “garnishes” such as “fsh-shaped dirt,” “alpha resins,” and “injector needle driver.” The edible part of the recipe is: 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix 1 can prepared coconut—pecan frosting 3/4 cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 3/4 cup butter or margarine 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 cups all-purpose four At frst sight, the cake seems to nourish the player-character, but ultimately it is inedible and yet another decoy. Rich with inedible garnishes (“Adjustable aluminum head positioner”), the cake is clearly meant to poison the main character. The cake does not sustain Chell’s body. Embodiment and food are closely connected in the game. As Jennifer deWinter and Carly Kocurek write, the body is an important theme in Portal. Since the game has a frst-person view of the gun, fans rarely see the main character, as the perspective focuses more on the portal gun. Chell’s body is a rare sight refected in the portals, but meaningful and very much desired by fans. The body of Chell is remarkably absent in the game, but always the

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subject of taunting and bullying. In this sense the body is not a neutral one, but subject to surveillance of GLaDOS, who dehumanizes and bullies Chell. For instance, GLaDOS fat-shames Chell and makes snide remarks about her being an orphan. In Portal 2, the AI taunts: “Most people emerge from suspension terribly undernourished. I want to congratulate you on beating the odds and somehow managing to pack on a few pounds.” Her comments do not only aim to discipline Chell as a research subject, but to cause emotional distress. Much like how Chell willingly burned (“euthanized”) the companion cube, GLaDOS aims for Chell to see herself as less than human and disposable. Nonhuman characters and objects characterize the game as much as Chell does. Portal is rife with cute objects, such as the companion cube. Cuteness, however, is not an innocent aesthetic. As Simon May argues in The Power of Cute, cute is complex, ambiguous, and even eerie and unsettling. Cute objects faunt their own vulnerability, but they are always in control. At its surface level, Portal is a female-narrated game that features friendly cubes with hearts and chocolate-cherry cakes that symbolize domestic bliss. Once the text is read deeper, however, cuteness is just the sugar-coating of a macabre social experiment. Many tropes associated with womanhood are deconstructed throughout the game and revealed as dark, treacherous, and toxic. These themes are materialized and baked into the cutest object of the game—the cake. In her analysis of Portal, Ruberg reads the game not only as sadistic, but also as exceptionally queer. “It represents complexities of affection and power in samesex bonds through the lens of parody, but it does not attempt to disavow these bonds” (81). The jealousy and taunting of GLaDOS are not neutral, but almost like a lover who cannot let go. Even though she is an artifcial intelligence, she is highly aware of emotions and experiences them herself. Her taunting shows that she is interested and invested, not distant at all. GLaDOS instructs the player in terms of rewards and punishment, also to make herself feel powerful. In Portal 2, we even fnd out that she is based on an actual human being, Caroline, who was a subservient personal assistant to the former CEO of Aperture Science. To some extent, she is a human woman with deeply complex emotions toward Chell. In this fraught relationship between human and technology, cake functions as a symbol. By subverting the cultural meaning of cake as festive and domestic, Portal makes a statement. This beautiful chocolate cake, containing edible and poisonous ingredients, is not neutral. It represents gender, which is exactly what the game comments on, analyzes, and parodies. At frst sight, the cake represents positive social interaction and festivity, but is actually about negative interaction. How women look at other women. How women both desire and hurt other women. How women police other women, including their bodies, health, and eating behavior.

Offcial cake tourism and merchandise The frst time I ate a Portal cake myself was at the geek wedding of friends (Figure 10.2). Since the married couple were gamers, the cake added to the

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Figure 10.2 Portal cupcakes at the geek wedding of friends (reproduced with permission).

atmosphere of the wedding. The baker had been instructed to create something alike to the game and had settled on chocolate cupcakes with a cherry on top. As fans and nonfans enjoyed the cake, the couple danced to Still Alive and sang along. The subversive meaning of Portal’s cake was reengineered as the cake became a symbol again of festivity, love, and family life. Going by the look and ingredients of Portal’s cake, it is a German “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte” (black forest cake). After a visit to Valve, Game Informer reported that the team was inspired by an actual cake from The Regent Bakery and Café near the company’s headquarters (Meagan). Journalist Ben Reeves immediately interviewed an employee of the café: We were surprised. We didn’t know we had a cake in a game and then people came in and told us, “Did you guys know your cake is in a game?” and we were like, “What are you talking about?” So then Steve [the manager] and some of the other guys started to look online and saw what was going on. But we didn’t know until people told us. (Marie) A tweet by developer Alex Vlachos confrmed the story. Gamers, fans and journalists started to frequent the café and share their culinary experiences across platforms. By now, the bakery also promotes itself through the game: “In addition, our black forest cake became an illustration in the video game Portal as a ‘reward cake’ due to a local game developers’ fondness for the cake” (“Regent Redmond”). On Instagram, Reddit and other social media, posts

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show up of gamers that indeed bought the cake and tasted it. For instance, the photograph of Flickr user offwithyourtv portrays the offcial Regent cake. The user uploaded the picture before attending a concert of Portal contributor Coulton and adds: “This was a triumph. We got the black forest cake from Regent Bakery in Bellevue that inspired the Portal cake. And it is awesome. So delicious and moist. We ate it before going to see Jonathan Coulton, because we can. The only thing we added after buying it was the candle.” Similar to the chapters in this book on food tourism, Portal fans are also willing to travel to buy, depict, and taste this semi-offcial version of the cake. Culinary pilgrimage to the bakery is a fan practice that gamers engage in and that the café brands itself with. The food-related fandom has emerged around Regent’s cake shares similarities with Harry Potter’s butterbeer and Twin Peaks’ cherry pie, but the context is different. This cake is not merchandise or an after-thought based on the game, but it was purposely adopted by the developers. After the release of Portal 2 in 2011, the studio also released an offcial cake mix. The chocolate-cherry cake mix contains “275g of cake mix, 50g of cream powder, chocolate fakes and 80g of liquid thickener and the candle.” This instant variation of the recipe is mentioned in the game itself, but with less macabre ingredients listed. Bakers must add the cherries themselves. The visual style of the box is similar to that of the game, with minimalist icons and blueorange accents reminiscent of the portals. The warnings on the box echo the narration of Portal: “Don’t light candles in testing areas. Don’t serve at the conclusion of a test. Keep away from robots.” Another sticker says: “Psychological motivation for all PortalTM test subjects.” To share their experiences with the cake mix, fans make use of different channels, such as YouTube. In Portal Cake Mix Unboxing—We Bake the Portal Cake (outsidexbox), Andy Farrant and Jane Douglas unbox and make the cake. They read the instructions: “Don’t mistake alpha resins for sugar!” and compliment the box as “pretty good!” but also state: “Otherwise it’s much like a Betty Crocker kit.” Sadly, the result is not that impressive because the vloggers do not take the time to cool the cake before decorating it. Fans can thus experience the “authentic” cake in two ways: frst, by consuming the cake that inspired the game and engaging in media tourism, and, second, by buying the offcial cake mix and baking the cake themselves. Many fans, however, love creating the cake from scratch.

Baking and re-creation in fandom Baking tutorials and recipes to create a personal Portal cake are highly appreciated on online platforms, as evidenced by their many clicks, likes, and shares. A common theme in many of the Portal recipes is how bakers emphasize their faithfulness to the game’s recipe and to actual Black Forest cake recipes. On her website The Geeky Chef, Cassandra Reed, for instance, provides a recipe that

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compares her cake to other recipes and calls it “the most accurate and tasty,” adding: You can fnd other versions of the cake pretty much everywhere (foating around on the web with labels like “the cake is not a lie!”) but I wanted to make mine the most accurate and tasty. […] There is an easter egg [sic] in the game itself where you can fnd a recipe for cake written in binary code, but the recipe is only an ingredients list for plain chocolate cake and lacks instructions (though it has some great suggestions for garnishes). With this recipe, The Geeky Chef provides bakers with their “own Black Forest Cake, delicious and moist and worth all the trouble.” It should be noted that The Geeky Chef is a popular site, and that she also released her cookbooks in print. Her post ends with various photographs that her readers have submitted of their cakes, based on her recipe. Other bakers have a different approach to recreating the cake. For instance, the recipe by Catherine Clark for her site Bijoux & Bits stresses the look of the cake, rather than staying faithful to the actual ingredients from the game: “This Portal cake recipe is a simple one, especially considering the complexity of the in-game recipe. But we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s compare the look of mine to the look of the original in the game.” Clark uploaded the recipe as part of a series of recipes inspired by popular culture. The newly released Portal board game was an incentive for her: “I was actually inspired to create this after seeing this new game on my boyfriend’s shelf, Portal The Uncooperative Board Game. It had some super cute Portal cake game pieces in there.” By making the cake look as authentic as possible and using elements of the board game as cake toppers, this baker emphasizes appearance and decoration over taste. While written recipes of the cake are popular, video tutorials of the cake generate millions of viewers on YouTube. The 2013 popular video HOW TO MAKE THE PORTAL CAKE—NERDY NUMMIES by Rosanna Pansino has 9,723,853 views and 14,075 comments as of March 27, 2020. Pansino bakes it “with a twist” in a special pan that creates a heart in the middle (Figure 10.3). While the video seems personal, it also has a clear advertising purpose. The baking vlog is part of a promotion for the Wilton Cake Pan from the Think Geek store that is used to create a cute heart-shaped cake, which is linked in the description. Marketing and fandom tend to merge in the current platform economy, which is for instance studied in Mel Stanfll’s Exploiting Fandom. What we are served with is “brandom”: a form of promotion that poses like a fan work and caters to fans but is usually not created in intimate relation with the fans (Guschwan). While it is hard to know for sure how Pansino feels about Portal, she does not make any references to the game, as opposed to the vloggers from the earlier-mentioned video. The fandom that is displayed in this video is a highly material form of fandom, oriented to specifc objects (see Geraghty;

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Figure 10.3 Nerdy Nummies Portal cake, screenshot by the author.

Rehak). Aperture Science dining plates and the portal gun are featured prominently in the background of the video to signify game fandom. Similarly, the comments do not always connote fan identity. Baking enthusiasts, for instance, comment on specifc techniques or the amount of frosting. Other comments clearly are from users who are familiar with Portal. Schlimatzl, for instance, states, “you could say. … This was a triumph,” quoting the lyrics from the credits. A user called Quads quotes from the in-game recipe and asks: “Did you remember the fsh-shaped ethyl benzine?” By contrast, PORTAL CAKE! It’s Not a Lie from YouTube channel Feast of Fiction, with 865,141 views and 1,6398 comments as of March 27, 2020, caters to fans and gamers more explicitly. The start of the tutorial mimics the in-game menu of Portal (with “new bake” instead of “new game”) and is followed by a loading screen stating, “still cooking.” The baking tutorial starts with a skit narrated by a male computer voice that imitates GLaDOS. The narrator insists the female vlogger start a baking test. After the skit, the AI is revealed to be the cohost. He joins the female vlogger and together they start with the recipe. In-between baking, they reference to the game and shoot with their portal guns (as portrayed by NERF guns). The video even ends with an ominous shot of the cake and a new voice-over by the original voice actress Ellen McLain, especially recorded for this video. She states, “Enjoy my cake, you can use the extra weight!” While the cake is sparkling as a visual, her robotic voice and a dark soundtrack create a haunting image. In terms of style, both videos have a fundamentally different approach. One is a sweet, nerdy baking video which only displays fandom at its surface through merchandise. Close-ups on the baking process and the host are characteristic of the food show genre. The other video is in part a parody of Portal

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with many intertextual references and a rapid vlogging style. The inclusion of the voice actress of GLaDOS even makes the video seem offcial. The aesthetics of the cakes differ as much as the aesthetics of the videos. The cake from Feast of Fiction is true to the original and references the in-game recipe. The heart-shaped Portal cake from Nerdy Nummies, however, takes more creative liberty. It merges two beloved nonhuman symbols of the game—the companion cube and the cake—by baking a pink heart into the chocolate cake. The heart adds extra cuteness to the cake but still retains the iconography of Portal.

Conclusion The Portal cake has important connotations in fandom and game culture. It represents the cult hit Portal and its meme culture “the cake is a lie.” As a cute, decorative cake with candles, it embodies the gendered and queer elements of the game. In the source-text, the cake is not a reward, but a death trap that lures the player into false security. In recipes and tutorials of Portal’s cake, some push the link between the game, femininity, and cuteness further, while others adopt the sarcastic tone and fake ingredients of GLaDOS. Recreating the famous cake from the game Portal is a beloved fan activity. Overall, many tutorials exist online that help fans recreate the cake in the best way possible, and have been uploaded on different platforms, recipe sites, and personal websites. Exact numbers are hard to provide, since the search results of “Portal cake recipe” also included the offcial mix as well as the in-game recipe. The frst ffty hits on YouTube (sorted by relevance), however, reveal at least eighteen fan recipes among the game videos. Valve also released a cake mix as offcial Portal merchandise that helps fans create the beloved cake. The cakes that YouTube channels, such as Nerdy Nummies, provide is not just a performance, but also an intertextual act. While cooking, fans are reminded of the game and its main motifs. The Nerdy Nummies channel, for instance, amplifes the cute aesthetics of Portal’s objects. Putting hearts into the cake pushes this aesthetic even further. On Bijoux and Bits, Catherine Clark does something similar, by portraying the cake with cute miniatures from the offcial table-top Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game. Others, such as Feast of Fiction, rather emulate the irony and unique narration of Portal. Although this was a study of just one cake, one fnding was that, within these recipes, there can be much variation. Themes such as authenticity of the cake, the history of similar cakes, its decoration, and the formula of the cake in-game emerged. Within these different recipes, comments, and vlogs, social context also matters. Even when it is not explicitly spelled out, cake is intimately related to the social practice of consumption: where it is consumed, how, and with whom. When fans post that they bought or baked the cake for a special occasion, such as a birthday or a game-related concert, that is meaningful. It tells us that fandom should above all be read as an everyday activity, something that is very much embedded in social practices such as dining.

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However, Portal’s cake is all but festive in the game. Baking itself is likened to murder and euthanasia. In fan and geek culture, baking the cake has become a practice in its own right. Most bakers quote Portal and its memes happily. Some of the Portal recipes, such as the Nerdy Nummies video, display very little subcultural capital. Others, such as Bijoux & Bits, refer primarily to the meme culture around the game. It seems that the cake has become a symbol of geek and game culture at large. For avid bakers, recreating the cake offers a challenge, perhaps akin to playing Portal. Generally speaking, fandom is an everyday practice and lived experience. This conclusion also implies that fandom spills over into other identities and lifestyles. By simply observing online data, a researcher cannot readily tell if a user is a Portal fan, a casual player, an avid baker or an enthusiast of meme culture. What food practices related to Portal reveal, though, is that this in-game cake has become iconic for different individuals. Fandom, in this sense, is a complex participatory culture that can also relate to embodiment, affect, and taste. Through food, fans can literally consume their feelings and experience their connections to games and other media in a physical, culinary way. Creating and eating the cake is meaningful, especially because players were sadistically denied cake in the source-text. Thus, the practice can be understood as an affective and embodied experience, but also the ultimate reward. Fans who eat the cherry chocolate cake have truly cheated GLaDOS and beaten the game. After all, the cake signifes victory, or like the end credits of Portal state: “This is a triumph!”

References @AlexVlachos. “‘Is It True That the Cake in Portal Is the Black Forest Cake from the Regent Bakery and Café in Bellevue, Wa?’ Yes!” Twitter, March 14, 2011, /alexvlachos/status/47446726826668032. Bacon-Smith, Camille. Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992. Burden, Michael and Gouglas, Sean. “The Algorithmic Experience: Portal as Art.” Game Studies, vol. 12, no. 2, 2012, rience. Clark, Catherine. “Portal Cake Recipe.” Bijoux & Bits, July 25, 2016, www.BijouxandBits .com/2016/07/portal-cake-recipe. Clark, Leisa Anne. Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes, and Fizzing Whizzbees: Food in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. Graduation Thesis, University of South Florida, 2012, scholarcommons Collins, Kathleen. Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows. New York City: Continuum, 2009. Cronin, James Martin and McCarthy, Mary. “Fast Food and Fast Games: An Ethnographic Exploration of Food Consumption Complexity Among the Videogames Subculture.” British Food Journal, vol. 113, no. 6, 2011, pp. 720–43. Dennison, Kara. “Dine Like a Prince at “Utena” Anime Café.” Viewster, August 7, 2017,

132 Lamerichs deWinter, Jennifer and Carly Kocurek. “Chell Game: Representation, Identifcation, and Racial Ambiguity in Portal and Portal 2.” The Cake Is a Lie: Polyperspektivische Betrachtungen des Computerspiels am Beispiel von Portal, edited by Thomas Hensel, Britta Neitzel, Rolf F. Münster, London: Lit Verlag, 2015, pp. 31–48. Feast of Fiction. “PORTAL CAKE! It’s Not a Lie.” YouTube, May 10, 2012, .com/watch?v=Z-oF4Znv-bM. Geraghty, Lincoln. “It’s Not All About the Music: Online Fan Communities and Collecting Hard Rock Café Pins.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 16, 2014, journal.transfo Guschwan, Matthew. “Fandom, Brandom and the Limits of Participatory Culture.” Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 12, no. 1, 2012, pp. 19–40. Hills, Matt. “From Dalek Half Balls to Daft Punk Helmets: Mimetic Fandom and the Crafting of Replicas.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 16, 2014, journal.transfo IGN. “Portal 2-Post Mortem. Game Developers Conference.” YouTube, March 12, 2012, Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. London: Routledge, 1992. Lamerichs, Nicolle. “Hunters, Climbers, Flaneurs: How Video Games Create and Design Tourism.” The Routledge Handbook of Popular Culture and Tourism, edited by Christine Lundberg and Vassilios Ziakas, London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 161–70. ———. Productive Fandom: Intermediality and Affective Reception in Fan Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018. Lannister, Jammy. Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine: A Parody. New York City: Harper Design, 2015. Li, Guangda, Li, Guangda Li, Richang Hong, Yan-Tao Zheng, Shuicheng Yan, TatSeng Chua. “Learning Cooking Techniques from YouTube.” Advances in Multimedia Modeling. MMM 2010. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, edited by Susanne Boll, Qi Tian, Lei Zhang, Zili Zhang, Yi-Ping Phoebe Chen, New York City: Springer, 2010, pp. 713–8. Magladry, Madison. “Eat Your Favourite TV Show: Politics and Play in Fan Cooking.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 32, no. 8, 2017, pp. 1–10. Marie, Meagan. “Let There Be Cake.” Game Informer, March 31, 2010, www.gameinforme May, Simon. The Power of Cute. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019. Mittell, Jason. “Playing for Plot in the Lost and Portal Franchises.” Eludamos, vol. 6, no. 1, 2012, Oeming, Michael Avon and Pinkerton, James. “Portal 2: Lab Rat.” Archive, April 8, 2011, offwithyourtv. “Portal Cake from Regent Bakery.” Flickr, April 27, 2008, photos/offwithyourtv/2450522059. Outsidexbox. “Portal Cake Mix Unboxing—We Bake the Portal Cake.” YouTube, May 15, 2013, Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. “That Cherry Pie Is Worth a Stop: Food and Spaces of Consumption in Twin Peaks.” Return to Twin Peaks: New Approaches to Materiality, Theory, and Genre on Television, edited by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock and Catherine Basingstoke, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, pp. 87–104. Portal. Valve, 2007.

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Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game. Cryptozoic Entertainment, ADC Blackfre Entertainment GmbH, 2015. Portal 2. Valve, 2011. “Regent Redmond.” Regent Bakery and Café, 2020, Rehak, Bob. “Materiality and Object-Oriented Fandom.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 16, 2014, Rosanna, Pansino. “HOW TO MAKE THE PORTAL CAKE—NERDY NUMMIES.” YouTube, February 12, 2013, Ruberg, Bonnie. Videogames Were Always Queer. New York University Press, 2019. Stanfll, Mell. Exploiting Fandom. How the Media Industry Seeks to Manipulate Fans. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2019. The Geeky Chef. “Portal Cake.” The Geeky Chef, September 14, 2010, www.geekychef.c om/2010/09/delicious-and-moist-cake.html. Waysdorf, Abbey and Reijnders, Stijn. “Immersion, Authenticity and the Theme Park as Social Space: Experiencing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 21, no. 2, 2016, pp. 173–88. Williams, Rebecca. “Looking for Flavortown: Touristic Culinary Consumption in Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Media Commons, February 11, 2019, media -network%E2%80%99s-diners-drive-ins-and-dives.

11 Making and marketing fan food and drink Immersion and transformative work Victoria L. Godwin

Fandom encompasses a wide range of genres and interests, including but not limited to science fction, fantasy, history, and historical fction. Scholarship differentiating food fans and foodies further expands the possibilities for study (Reinhard and Ganguly in this collection). Fans need not identify as food fans or foodies to enjoy making and/or tasting food and drink associated with their multiple other fandoms. Fan comments in Amazon Customer Ratings note how a fandom-based cookbook appeals to anyone who both enjoys the original text and simply cooking illustrate such intersections. Indeed, the work by Sarah F. McGinley and Nicolle Lamerichs in this collection demonstrate people do not have to be in a fandom to like the food from it. A lot of people from different fandoms, however, do like the food inspired by their fandom. This chapter references foods, drinks, cookbooks, online recipes, blogs, menus, parties, and other resources to demonstrate how multiple fan texts and fan practices consistently use similar methods for identifcation and promotion. Whether fan-produced or not, such resources still facilitate fan production. In multiple fan practices, production and consumption interact in complicated ways (Godwin; Jenkins 99). Further complicating this discussion, consumption entails buying and eating. Fans purchase raw materials like ingredients to produce their edible creations. Thus, this taxonomy does not force these texts and practices into separate classifcations. Unfortunately, much previous scholarship focuses solely on food and drink sold to but not made by fans (see Parramon, Medina, and Bages-Querol; Reijnders), or mentions fan-produced items only briefy during analyses of how food functions within source texts (see Clark; Fuchs). Scholars that actually discuss fan-produced comestibles (see Wieneke) do not analyze the diversity of fan needs, interests, and desires that lead to the creation, naming, publicizing and purchasing of food and drink connected to story worlds. Some establish limited binary divisions (see Magladry). Fan studies scholars already address the problematic nature of binary divisions, especially in relation to material fan practices (Hills, “Dalek”; Jenkins 101–02). This chapter establishes a more nuanced taxonomy by analyzing both resources and fan comments about them. Linked, themed, inspired and re-created categories illustrate how degrees of immersion and transformative work contribute to the appeal of fan

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food and drink. Both descriptive and cultural capital naming conventions associate items in these categories with story worlds, helping fans to fnd, make, and eat resources that interest them. Creating all of these terms enables more precise scholarly discussions of food-related and other material fan practices.

Relationships between fan food and story worlds First, some background to contextualize this chapter’s analysis. The everyday nature of food and drink can make them seem like minor details in source texts. However, this ordinariness makes them effective means to establish story worlds’ similarities and differences to the everyday world. A story world is “a vast and detailed narrative space” that “appears to operate according to principles of internal logic and extension” (Hills, Fan Cultures 137). Use of “[t]he term ‘world’ […] is not simply geographical but experiential; that is, everything that is experienced by the characters involved,” including cultural elements such as foods and drinks (Wolf 25, italics in original). The suspension of disbelief which enables readers to “vicariously enter the imagined world” (48) is made easier by the presence of familiar ingredients and meals, such as the many stews and ales in various fantasy story worlds. In fan resources, “details (specifcally recipes) are used to furnish a fctional world with credibility and meaning and to draw connections between the imagined and actual worlds,” meaning that familiar elements assist in “solidifying the fctional world created by the author” since they do not have to be imagined (Magladry 117). Descriptions of familiar foods furnish recognizable elements, which contribute to believability. These known aspects of the everyday world lend credibility to unknown aspects of a story world. However, if characters eat and drink something unfamiliar or strange, those differences mark story worlds as dissimilar to the everyday world. Butterbeer might be related to more-familiar beer, but both name and description vary just enough to signal that the story world differs from the everyday world. So too do names like lembas or gagh. Even translated, Elven waybread or Klingon serpent worms still establish story world differences. Both fantasy and science fction require readers to imagine unfamiliar creatures, customs, and other aspects of imaginary worlds. Naming and describing familiar or unfamiliar food and drink can be vital elements of world-building processes. These comestibles are story world items fans can materialize in the everyday world. Making stew or drinking ale or creating one’s own version of lembas or gagh facilitates immersion. In the novels that inspired the Game of Thrones television series, “to create an immersive vicarious experience for my readers,” author George R. R. Martin uses “sensory detail. Sights, sounds, scents […] make a scene come alive” (Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer xi, x). Martin’s “attention to detail” produces “a pang of desire at the descriptions of dishes that are familiar enough to make the mouth water and exotic enough to stimulate the imagination” (Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer 2), leading to multiple fan recipes and other resources. Whether familiar or strange, food and drink evoke sights, tastes, and smells, and remind

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fans of characters and narrative events. Fans create, fnd, share, sell, and buy recipes, feasts, and other items. They produce and consume food and drink seen or described in source texts. These fan-made and fan-purchased resources materialize elements of story worlds, facilitating varying degrees of immersion. Immersion motivates many material fan practices. Fans gain a sense of being in, or at least in contact with, story worlds. Foods and beverages, like prop replicas, customized action fgures, and other forms of mimetic fandom “convey a sense of boundary crossing, of moving from textuality to reality”; these and other material objects and fan practices, “[u]nlike fan fc and vidding,” exemplify “an ontological bridging of the branded story world […] and the fan’s everyday life” (Hills, “Dalek” 3.3). While “focused on the creation of highly screen-accurate” material, these fan works also “can be customized, personalized, and stylized” (1.2, 3.3); they can become transformative practices. Fanmade Klingon gagh resembles onscreen images to some degree. However, as with any mimetic practice ingredients, preparation methods, favors, and other elements vary widely due to the different resources and motivations of each fan preparing their own version. The following taxonomy classifes how resources both appeal and market to fan interests in story worlds. Linked, themed, inspired, and re-created categories indicate degrees of immersion. Descriptive and cultural capital naming conventions for items in these categories highlight how fan production and consumption interconnect.

“Linked” category In the “linked” category, otherwise ordinary food and drink becomes associated with a story world without any need for transformative work on its name, ingredients, presentation method, or decorations. It now facilitates a degree of immersion because it appears in a fan text. Fans can imagine themselves within story worlds as they eat food appearing in those worlds. Restaurants and other venues exploit those connections to encourage fan consumption of previously unremarkable food. Fans of The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1998) embrace their inner Dude when they drink White Russians, especially at bowling alleys. Recipes are available online and in multiple cocktail guides without requiring flm-specifc resources to learn how to make your own or to plan a viewing party menu. Nonetheless, Got Any Kahlua (Zwicke) assembles recipes for this and other cocktails, plus guacamole, pork chops, and other familiar foods and drinks linked to the flm in one convenient location to encourage fan purchase and immersion. In Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994), an ordinary Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonald’s becomes a topic for conversation and interest as its French version, the Royale with Cheese. Fans jokingly use that name at backyard cookouts. Various restaurants and several Alamo Drafthouse franchise locations market their versions of cheeseburgers as a Royale with Cheese to appeal to fans to increase sales. After inclusion in a story world, previously mundane linked items now create a sense of connection with source texts and their

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characters and events. Fans can prepare and/or consume the same items, or at least items with the same names.

“Themed” category Transformative work on names and presentation methods associates “themed” items with inedible story world objects like wands or Daleks. Fans’ interactions with themed items are completely different from that within the story world, which facilitates lower degrees of immersion. For example, recipes for Harry Potter wands include chocolate-covered pretzel rods or asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. Fans can and do wave their edible versions to imitate characters’ casting spells in books and flms. However, unlike fans, characters do not eat wands afterwards. Many themed recipes resemble craft projects more than recipes. Multiple entries in Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook (DwtD) by Chris-Rachael Oseland involve transformative work: sticking chocolate chips, cherry tomatoes, inedible cotton swabs, and other details onto bananas, baguettes, and other foods to make them look sort of like Daleks. Fans comment that DwtD is “like an arts and crafts book more than a cookbook,” because it can help fans craft a “funny decorated snack” (Alicia) but does not provide “‘real’ recipes” (banjoist). Oseland even admits “I hesitate to call this a recipe but can think of no better label for a set of foods with specifc preparation instructions” (DwtD 13). Ironically, she then presents a much better label when she notes a “recipe turns into a quick, easy table decoration” (DwtD 13). These are not recipes so much as instructions for how to decorate and present food in amusing and visually appealing ways for themed parties. Such instruction is exactly what some fans want, as one reviewer indicates: DwtD “is meant to be fun and provide Doctor Who food related party ideas” (R. Beeks). Themed resources engage sight rather than taste. Indeed, many of the resulting favor combinations do not seem promising. One project even reminds readers to save corn from the cobs to have something to eat “without the admittedly odd additions of the nori and nuts or fruit” (Oseland, DwtD 60) required to make it look like a Dalek without any regard for the resulting taste. Fans note DwtD contains “food recipes that almost seemed inedible; the majority of the food recipes offered were […] made just to meet the theme and not to be something delicious to eat” (Kayla). In addition to visual appeal, the other key aspect is amusement value, judging by multiple mentions of fun, humor, silliness, and food’s ability to evoke laughter or giggling on sight from both the author and Amazon reviewers. While amusing to see and sometimes to eat, themed recipes rarely materialize food from within story worlds and thus do not facilitate immersion. They still can be visually appealing and a lot of fun, which offers suffcient motivation for many fans to purchase such resources and make themed food, especially for birthday, viewing, and other parties. This taxonomy simply notes differences in levels of immersion. It does

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not hierarchically rank fan needs, desires, and practices as “good,” “bad,” “better” or “worse.” Furthermore, as DwtDs multiple Dalek recipes demonstrate, neither the actual food nor its taste is important for themed recipes. The key appeal is the project’s name or visual appearance. Multiple resources re-label or decorate existing items to connect them to popular story worlds, charging money for material already available elsewhere, often for free. Oseland admits a recipe is “a rather uninspired group sub sandwich” (DwtD 80) until someone sticks on decorations to make it look like a pirate ship. Fans critique these apparent attempts to cash in, dismissing DwtD as “just some average recipes with the name changed to doctor soup or tardis [sic] sandwich” (Joshdog85), “just common things with doctor who [sic] related names” (Diona Jo), or “recycled basic recipes that are only Doctor Who themed because they use green or blue food coloring or cut things into interesting shapes” (Beth). These fans object to the author profting from ideas fans could fgure out themselves. Fans can and do create projects like themed gingerbread people on their own, without the need for the multiple resources instructing how to decorate them as Doctor Who incarnations or Hogwarts students and faculty. Fans also create their own cookie cutters, molds, or templates to shape food like story world characters, monsters, and objects. Websites like Shapeways sell these resources to other fans. Themed resources often appeal to fans with insuffcient time, skill, or interest to tackle more complicated or immersive projects. When instructions already exist to craft pirate ships or Wookie cookies, spending money saves the time and effort needed to fgure out presentation methods. Fans can focus on the experience of making and enjoying items instead. Many themed projects can be re-named or slightly re-decorated to appeal to fans of different story worlds. Presenting a hard-boiled egg face on pasta hair, a River Song recipe (Oseland, DwtD 57), could be re-branded as another prominent character with long blond hair, like Cersei during early seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Cyberman Heads with red “brains” (Oseland, DwtD 26, 34) also could be re-decorated and re-named: perhaps zombies or victims for fans of George Romero flms or AMC’s The Walking Dead. Since characters never consume such food or drink in source texts, both immersion and connection to specifc story worlds is minimal. Based on my research of what fans say and do, class differences infuence perceptions of this subset of fan food. Themed items that any fan could invent or make, like Oseland’s sub sandwich, do not warrant much culinary or artistic prestige. Neither do resources that only borrow names from story worlds to frame and sell otherwise generic or completely unrelated offerings. In contrast, an expensive ice cream a chef skillfully shapes to resemble Darth Vader’s helmet or Jaime Lannister’s golden prosthetic hand receives praise “as attractive products of undeniable quality” that will endure unlike items that only borrow names (Parramon, Medina, and Bages-Querol 114) and could be re-branded or discontinued. Typical of such items are the reasonably-priced themed pizzas Alamo Drafthouse franchise menus used to offer: Blazing Saddles BBQ,

Making and marketing fan food and drink


Porky’s Pepperoni, Wild at Artichoke Hearts, Raging Bull, Blue Hawaii, and Up in Smoked.

“Inspired” category “Inspired” food and drink use a story world as a muse. Word play and ingredients associate culinary creations with the story worlds that inspire them. Presentation methods also connect to elements from source texts.The colors of three dragons form the layers of a Khaleesi cocktail, and a Winter Is Coming cocktail uses “dry ice […] to create the effect of winter fog” (Parramon, Medina, and Bages-Querol 114–5). Online, fans invent their own culinary tributes inspired by both the character and series Hannibal, share pictures and recipes, and discuss what they cook and eat to accompany each episode. Other fans create tea blends inspired by fan-favorite characters and texts. Adagio Teas and samplers market favors fans associate with aspects of Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Harry Potter, and other fandoms.As with many inspired items, sometimes offerings seem themed instead: random selections exploiting story world-related names. Fans’ personal associations are not always obvious to other people.With inspired items, as with many other transformative works, the emphasis is on how that story world inspired the author’s own original culinary creations. Other possible sources, such as cookbooks published in historical times or distant places, and sometimes actual descriptions or appearances in source texts, can be minimized or erased. Inspiration also extends to settings. Fans use decorations and appropriate music to transform everyday environments to look and sound like they could be part of story worlds. For birthdays, viewing parties, fan club meetings, and conventions, fans purchase licensed merchandise with offcial logos. Alternatively, they craft or re-purpose items that seem ftting for a story world: plates, drinkware, banners, candlesticks, and so forth. Fans’ resources use such props in pictures of their food and drink to enhance story world connections (Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer; Monroe-Cassel Shire; Oseland Unexpected). Within such environments, foods can, but need not always, resemble onscreen images or described favors. Thus, fans can simply re-label existing food, like gummi worms for Klingon gagh. Differing levels and types of immersion exist within each category. Food and drink sold to fans often fall into the inspired category, using the cultural capital naming convention for marketing. Employees note customers order items specifcally because they are inspired by and named for elements of Game of Thrones and Star Wars (Parramon, Medina, and Bages-Querol 114–15, 123). A Game of Thrones pop up bar creates connections “through name, ingredients, garnish, and glassware;” for example, “The North Remembers” is a “scotch based drink … served in a horn tankard” (Drink Company). Inspired recipes consider what cultures within story worlds would eat or use. Fans drinking from a horn can imagine themselves as inhabitants of the North, contributing to immersion. Both cultural and story world associations are consistent.

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Ideally, recipes in this category create something that, while not specifcally described or seen in a source text, still seems like something that could and perhaps should appear in a story world. Some inspirations are more effective than others. “The Dothraquiri, a daiquiri variation named for the Dothraki warriors” (Drink Company) sounds tasty but does not seem like the sort of drink to exist in that story world or to be drunk by the people for which it is named, given their representation as violent and hypermasculine. Furthermore, cultural associations of daiquiris with fun tropical vacations create cognitive dissonance when contrasted with fearsome warriors on desert plains. It is not very immersive. Despite its creators’ claims of story world inspiration, employing story world names for otherwise unrelated items is not inspired. Such creations better ft the themed category. Even basic, minimal, or no description of what characters eat and drink in the story world frees fans’ imaginations to extrapolate based on what little is known, using similar names or modern or historical foods and drinks for inspiration. Both historical and fctional foods and drinks are unfamiliar to many fans, making the former a useful source of inspiration for the latter. For example, many fans focus on the “butter” aspect of butterbeer’s name and pour butterscotch favorings into cream soda to create their own versions of the beverage. Fans inspired by the Wizarding world’s old-fashioned nature research historical recipes. Some versions (see Monroe-Cassel “Butterbeer”) adapt a 1588 Tudor recipe for “buttered beere,” with individual fans modifying the amount of beer, sugar, spices, and so forth to suit their own taste preferences or to match the favor of the hot butterbeer served in Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks. Such projects also demonstrate categorical overlap of inspired and re-created categories, since projects often employ elements of both.

“Re-created” category With “re-created” items, fans attempt to duplicate appearances or favors as closely as possible. Unlike the linked category, this activity often involves investigation of historical and other sources beyond fan texts. This research provides a base for the transformative work of updating and creating items appropriate to story worlds based upon or set in different times and places. The resulting foods and drinks assist a high degree of immersion, since fans experience the same tastes, smells, and sights as characters. For example, James Bond fans can sip the same martini the spy describes in Casino Royale, whether the novel or the flm adaptation. Despite changes to ingredients’ composition over the years, online adaptations promise to recapture the favor and strength of the novel’s version from 1953 with modern components. For the flm release, Esquire published such an update (Wondrich), and the Alamo Drafthouse also added a Vesper martini to its menu. Re-creating exclusive theme park offerings like butterbeer or Disney’s Dole Whip also fall into this category, as would the many resources promising to duplicate

Making and marketing fan food and drink


the favor of favorite restaurant or name-brand foods at home (see Williams in this collection for more). Trial-and-error and multiple taste tests guide fans as they modify or invent recipes. Many re-created foods and drinks affrm their authenticity by noting recipes’ historical sources. Resources inspired by historical fction (Grossman and Thomas), or by works written during earlier historical eras (Vogler), draw upon recipes from those times and places to varying degrees, often citing historical references. Such resources include specifc notes on which medieval, ancient Roman, or Elizabethan cookbooks served as reference material when story worlds draw upon elements of such eras and locations. Oseland explains that since J. R. R. Tolkien based the Shire on “the English village […] of his childhood in the 1890’s,” she “adapted authentic period recipes” (Unexpected 8), although she does not list these sources. With re-created items, research often is a basis for creativity, again overlapping with inspired items. Demonstrating a high degree of immersion, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel’s The Shire Cookbook: An Unoffcial Guide to Halfing Foods develops the conceit that it was written by a Hobbit and “mysteriously made the jump from a fctional world into […] our own” (5). Monroe-Cassel wonders about the favor of the “original” inspiration for waybread, and later includes a photo of handwritten notes on lembas from the fctional Hobbit writer who mentions an inability “to make it like the elves do” (91). Monroe-Cassel breaks the immersive frame of Hobbit authorship to call attention to her “effort to thoroughly research the recipes” (Shire 93). She refers readers to a website listing her book’s sources, noting that “the aesthetic and rough time period” inspired certain dishes while others “are based on popular recipes from the decades and regions that were the basis for Hobbiton […] around the late 1890s in rural England” (Shire 93), re-creating tastes of that time and place. Fans of past eras, or of texts written or set during those times, research how to make syllabub, garum, and other historical foods. Reproductions of historical cookbooks (Glasse; Randolph) cater to this market. Collections of historical recipes updated for modern measurements and kitchens, often organized around a specifc theme, do too. Examples include a fan cookbook “reconstructing dishes and dinners from [Jane Austen’s] life and novels” (Vogler 8). Increased immersion differentiates these resources from themed projects. To appeal to fans, themed items re-name or decorate items like chocolate-covered pretzels or bananas to associate them with inedible elements of story worlds like wands and Daleks. Re-created items reproduce story world and/or historical food and drink’s appearances, favors, or even preparation methods as accurately as possible, often drawing upon extensive research. Resources cite historical cookbooks and sometimes quote the original wording of any updated recipes. However, that level of detail does not interest everyone. Thus, some resources (Grossman and Thomas) state they provide recipes from the time and place source texts were written or set, without providing original recipes for comparison. Research sources appear in a bibliography without indicating

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what led to which updated recipes. Since these are fan resources, not scholarly articles, research claims do not require exhaustive references, footnotes, or in-text citations for every recipe. Undocumented research positions Queen Victoria’s Nightcap as her “favorite tipple” and “an authentic taste of the period” (Oseland, Dining 23). Although the entry for a more-accurate World War II–era meal than what characters eat onscreen includes details of “the weekly ration allowance for one adult in the 1940s” (17), it does not list its sources for this information. However, such claims of authentic details still prompt immersion in story worlds via production and consumption of fan food and drink. They address fan needs and desires, which do not always include academic-style references for recipes. Linked, themed, inspired, and re-created categories illustrate how food and drink appeal to fans based on varying degrees of immersion and transformative work. However, these items cannot immerse fans in story worlds if fans cannot fnd them in the everyday world. Appropriate titles market creations to fans, encouraging production and consumption. Descriptive and cultural capital naming conventions signal items’ associations with story worlds to fans.

“Descriptive” naming convention The “descriptive” naming convention promotes items to fans by listing ingredients and preparation methods in plain language designed to be clear, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-locate. Luce Giard’s use of “descriptive” as an adjective for how a recipe such as “‘low-fat stuffed tomatoes’ […] tells how and with what the preparation is made” (221) inspired my invention of this convention’s name. To encourage production and consumption, many fan resources quote source texts’ depictions of foods. This practice highlights how they select descriptive names and simultaneously reinforces associations between story worlds and recipes, menus, and so forth. Quotations remind fans they can produce and consume the same food characters encounter, contributing to a sense of immersion. As a result, they appear as support for recipes in multiple categories. Descriptive names occur more often in individual projects within larger fan resources. Labels like Onions in Gravy, Honeyed Chicken, and Almond Crusted Trout (see Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer) make it easy to imagine how dishes look and taste. This description can increase fans’ interest in preparing or sampling items. However, if names do not obviously relate to specifc story worlds, fans might be unable to locate resources, or to connect them to favorite media texts. Overall, titles for cookbooks, food blogs, and other resources indicate which story worlds prompt linked, themed, inspired or re-created recipes. Obvious titles like the Offcial or Unoffcial Game of Thrones cookbook offer effective means to market resources or their contents. However, fans have to understand the references to connect A Feast of Ice & Fire or Inn at the Crossroads to the same story world. Such cookbook and blog titles draw upon the cultural capital naming convention.

Making and marketing fan food and drink


“Cultural capital” naming convention The “cultural capital” naming convention elevates resources by borrowing status from cultural or subcultural references to story worlds and their characters, locations, and events. This contrasts with descriptive names that clearly indicate what fans need to buy and do to make a dish, since names drawing upon cultural capital purposely provide little information to the uninitiated. Giard traces similar practices when cooks fattered new bourgeoisie clientele “with noble names and princely terms (‘veal supreme a la Grand-Conde,’ ‘turbor a la royale’), to raise its common rank […] based on false historical references or through allusion to “famous performers, plays, operas, and so forth,” as with peach Melba or pears Belle Helene (221–22). Bourgeoisie diners need to translate foreign words, typically French. They also need to know the ingredients or preparation methods those one or two words reference. Descriptive names like Almond Crusted Trout are easier to materialize than names that deliberately obscure information with words and references unfamiliar to anyone without certain (sub)cultural capital. Fans must get the reference for the cultural capital naming convention to be an effective marketing method. Since source text quotations do not always include specifc names or obvious possibilities, resources invent names for dishes. To increase fans’ interest and hopefully sales, these labels use cultural capital to associate items with popular characters who eat them. In the novel Game of Thrones, Sansa attends a feast including a salad “of sweetgrass, spinach, and plums, sprinkled with crushed nuts” (Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer 135). In the novel A Clash of Kings, Arya steals a tart “stuffed with chopped nuts and fruit and cheese” (Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer 100). Fan resources draw upon cultural capital to dub these Sansa Salad and Arya’s Snitched Tarts instead of using descriptive names based on the passages they quote. Such lists would help fans select and prepare ingredients but would not appeal to fans’ affective connections to favorite story worlds, characters, and locations. Lesser-known or disliked characters like Ser Amory, who was supposed to eat the snitched tarts, are less likely to be referenced. In such instances, using the cultural capital naming convention draws upon fans’ familiarity with a story world and its elements to increase resources’ marketability to fans who understand these references. Another means to increase marketability connects resources to the cachet of places like Tolkien’s Shire or Martin’s Westeros. Particular eras in a place’s history, such as ancient Rome or Tudor England, also appeal to fan interests and desires for immersion. So do narrative events. Thus, the Red Wedding has inspired numerous online cocktail recipes. Like characters, well-known or liked locations are more marketable. Arya’s Snitched Tarts are not named after Harrenhal, the undesirable location where she stole the tart. In contrast, Winterfell’s connection to popular characters and events warrants its allusion in Breakfast at Winterfell (Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer 53), a re-creation of one eaten there. Menus for this meal and a King’s Banquet both quote relevant passages from Martin’s novels to encourage fans to eat the same food characters

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do in a guest house used as a flming location for Winterfell. Decorations and clothing inspired by the story world even set the scene (Parramon, Medina, and Bages-Querol 118–20). Cultural capital encourages consumption. For example, fans note the offcial Game of Thrones cookbook is “basically lots of old and traditional english [sic] recipes brought to more modern standards with occasional GoT place names and characters sometimes thrown onto … the recipe name to bring it back to the series theme” (Trillium). Fans who otherwise would not purchase or make traditional English recipes do so if resources connect them to Game of Thrones or The Hobbit. Some fans enjoy such introductions to previously-unfamiliar dishes, favors, and preparation methods. Others feel cheated. The cultural capital naming convention risks loss of potential customers. For example, “gagh” provides no information to anyone lacking the appropriate cultural capital: familiarity with the Klingon language or with various episodes in the Star Trek franchise that reference the dish and its principle ingredient of live serpent worms. Fans need to understand references in the names of dishes to story world narratives, locations, characters, and celebrities. Fans fatter themselves when they get references to story worlds. Diners lacking the requisite cultural capital are much less likely to know the ingredients, preparation methods, or signifcance of a dish or its name, whether Peach Melba or Klingon gagh. This practice can be alienating if fans do not make the same connections, or if they do not get or remember references to texts they saw or read years ago. For example, a fan comments that one resource required “some research … to get the most out of her text,” like knowing Slitheen’s characteristic “fatulence” led to a “beans on toast” recipe gaining a Doctor Who theme (banjoist). Some would regard this distancing effect as unfortunate. For others, the pleasure of being in the know is worth excluding those whose viewing or reading is not as devoted or recent. The cultural capital naming convention provides insight into how resources encourage production and consumption. It also illuminates one of many possible motivations for fans to make, buy, or taste items: to demonstrate their knowledgeable status. This cultural capital naming convention also explains why some resources attach names from story worlds to foods otherwise unrelated to those sources. Themed resources exploit the cultural capital naming convention in every sense of the word, using names and shapes to create connections and status for food and drink. Ordering or making linked items like a White Russian or a Royale with Cheese likewise borrows the status of and affect for each source text to increase the appeal of otherwise ordinary items. Food names in previous centuries drew upon noble and royal terms, or upon opera and the theater. Now modern names draw upon mass media texts. The practice of using story worlds as sources for references or allusions attempts to increase prestige, interest, and thus sales for these goods. Unfortunately, abuse of cultural capital associations is so prevalent that fans expect resources to include “a slapdash collection of mediocre recipes that had little to do with the show beyond jokey titles like ‘Hardboiled

Making and marketing fan food and drink


Dragon Eggs’” (Heep) or “rehashed recipes from random other standard cookbooks” (Kohl). Fans are pleasantly surprised and enthused when they fnd “recipes in this book really do get one in the mood and atmosphere of both the books and TV show” (Heep) because it is “a well-researched primer on medieval cooking techniques, tools & ingredients, with interesting blurbs next to each recipe about which historical place and time it is based on, and how medieval preparations would differ” (Kohl). Indeed, one fan characterizes the offcial cookbook as more relevant and thus more desirable, since its “recipes are taken from meals straight from the book, and the book is even quoted,” unlike The Unoffcial Game of Thrones Cookbook which was “a disappointment” because “[r]ecipes […] weren’t related to the book” (D. Aksamit). Fans often hope for more from resources than slapping story world names on regular recipes, as numerous themed projects do. However, many resources employing the cultural capital naming convention do not meet those expectations. Just as comestible categories often overlap, not every fan cookbook, food blog, or other resource conforms solely to one naming convention. Recipe titles can draw simultaneously upon descriptive and cultural capital references. For example, Game of Thrones fans would expect Tyroshi Honeyfngers (MonroeCassel and Lehrer 202–05) to be sweet due to the honey in its descriptive name, and lighter fare since it comes from a warm land.

Conclusion Whether produced by or for fans, resources including but not limited to foods, drinks, cookbooks, online recipe collections, blogs, menus, and parties materialize items associated with source texts. Inventing the linked, themed, inspired and re-created categories for this taxonomy illustrates how fans engage with these resources to experience differing degrees of transformative work and immersion in story worlds. Descriptive and cultural capital naming conventions market resources to help fans have these immersive experiences. Linked foods and beverages become associated with story worlds. Themed resources market visually oriented projects and presentation methods. Themed projects are generic, easily re-themed to different story worlds since edible versions never appear in source texts. Inspired items use a story world as a muse for original creations, sometimes seeming like they could have appeared in story worlds. Re-created foods duplicate visual appearances or described favors of food and drink. Fans often research historical and other sources to adapt dishes appropriate to story worlds set in or based upon different times and places. For all of these categories, naming conventions encourage production and consumption. Descriptive names list ingredients or preparation methods, applying familiar customs ordinary cooks use to story worlds. Cultural capital names borrow status from association with story worlds and their characters, locations, and events. Resources in multiple categories and naming conventions preface recipes by quoting source texts’ mentions of foods, reminding fans

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they can produce and consume the same tastes, smells, and sights characters encounter in story worlds. Fans have a variety of reasons for fguring out how to make items. The categories this chapter identifes appeal to these motivations to encourage production and consumption. Not only fan cooking, baking, and mixology employ trial-and-error to get appearances, favors, and other elements just the way they want. Similar investments of time and effort occur in multiple fan practices. Scholarly examinations of cosplay, customization, prop replica building, model building, and many other material fan practices could beneft from examining what inspires these endeavors. Both how and why fans transform ordinary objects into story world items to materialize these elements within our everyday world involve a variety of intersecting and overlapping as-yet-unexamined motivations and pleasures. Fans use multiple material resources to transform mundane aspects of the everyday world into elements of story worlds, facilitating immersion. This chapter’s taxonomy of food categories and naming conventions offers scholars another means to analyze many material processes. This taxonomy is not a hierarchical ranking but hopefully assists future conversations by offering more nuanced ways to discuss the multiple motives associated with material practices such as fan food and drink. Not everyone wants historically accurate re-creations, or, at least, not all the time. Not everyone wants craft projects based on visual or verbal similarities, or not all the time. None of the classifcations this chapter establishes is somehow superior or more “authentic” than another. These categories and naming conventions offer a means to better understand transformative techniques resources employ not only to immerse fans in story worlds, but also to encourage purchase by appealing to differing fan needs, interests, and desires.

References Alicia. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, vian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. banjoist. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, -Whovian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. Beth. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, vian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. Clark, Leisa Anne. Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes, and Fizzing Whizzbees: Food in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series. MA thesis, University of South Florida, 2012, scholarcommons.usf .edu/etd/4012. D. Aksamit. Comment on “Customer Reviews: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Offcial Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, ial-Companion/product-reviews/0345534492.

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Diona Jo. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, -Whovian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. Drink Company. “About Us: Game of Thrones Pub.” 2017, Fuchs, Michael. “Cooking with Hannibal: Food, Liminality and Monstrosity in Hannibal.” European Journal of American Culture, vol. 34, no. 2, 2015, pp. 97–112. Giard, Luce. “Part II: Doing-Cooking.” The Practice of Everyday Life: Volume 2: Living and Cooking, edited by De Certeau, Michel, Luce Giard, and Pierre Mayol, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998, pp. 149–246. Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy: The Revolutionary 1805 Classic. London, 1747. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2015. Godwin, Victoria L. “Customizations, Collections and Corporations: Mass Production and Self-Expression.” Journal of Fandom Studies, vol. 6, no. 3, 2018, pp. 211–24. Grossman, Anne Chotzinoff and Lisa Grossman Thomas. Lobscouse & Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels. London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997. Heep, Jonathan. Comment on “Customer Reviews: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Offcial Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, Hills, Matt. Fan Cultures. London: Routledge, 2002. ———. “From Dalek Half Balls to Daft Punk Helmets: Mimetic Fandom and the Crafting of Replicas.” Transformative Works and Cultures, 2014, “Material Fan Culture,” edited by Bob Rehak, no. 16, /448. Jenkins, Henry. “Fandom Studies as I See It.” Journal of Fandom Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, pp. 89–109. Joshdog85. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, -Whovian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. Kayla. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, vian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. Kohl. Comment on “Customer Reviews: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Offcial Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, ompanion/product-reviews/0345534492. Magladry, Madison. “Eat Your Favourite TV Show: Politics and Play in Fan Cooking.” Continuum, vol. 32, no. 2, 2018, pp. 111–20. Monroe-Cassel, Chelsea. The Shire Cookbook: An Unoffcial Guide to Halfing Foods. Middletown, DE: Crossworlds Publishing, 2015. ———. “Butterbeer–Harry Potter.” Inn at the Crossroads, 2016, m/butterbeer-harry-potter/, accessed 6 June 2018. Monroe-Cassel, Chelsea and Sariann Lehrer. A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Offcial Companion Cookbook. New York City: Bantam Books, 2012. Oseland, Chris-Rachael. Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook. San Bernadino: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. ———. An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unoffcial Book of Hobbit Cookery. China: Global PSD, 2014. Parramon, Pere, F. Xavier Medina, and Jordi Bages-Querol. “Gastronomy, Tourism and Big TV Productions: Refections on the Case of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland

148 Godwin and Girona.” Food, Gastronomy and Tourism: Social and Cultural Perspectives, edited by Medina, F. Xavier and Jordi Tresserras, Jalisco, Mexico: Universidad de Guadalajara, 2018, pp. 101–26. R. Beeks. Comment on “Customer Reviews: Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, -Whovian-Cookbook/product-reviews/1481153684. Randolph, Mary. The Virginia Housewife: Or, Methodical Cook: A Facsimile of an Authentic Early American Cookbook. Washington, DC: Davis & Force, 1824. Dover Publications, 1993. Reijnders, Stijn. “Stalking the Count: Dracula, Fandom and Tourism.” Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 38, no. 1, 2011, pp. 231–48. Trillium. Comment on “Customer Reviews: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Offcial Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.” Amazon, 2018, ial-Companion/product-reviews/0345534492. Vogler, Pen. Dinner with Mr. Darcy: Recipes Inspired by the Novels and Letters of Jane Austen. London: Cico Books, 2013. Wieneke, Marisa. Creative Consumption: An Exploration of Food Based Fan Practice. Undergraduate Thesis, Ohio State University, 2016, Wolf, Mark J. P. Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation. New York City: Routledge, 2012. Wondrich, David. “James Bond Walks into a Bar … and Orders a Vesper, a Cocktail that Hasn’t Aged Too Well. Here, a Remake.” Esquire, 31 October 2006, /food-drink/bars/a204/esq1106drinks-84. Zwicke, Daniel. Got Any Kahlua: Collected Recipes of the Dude. New York City: Broadway Fifth Press, 2012.

12 The “eatymologies” of the theme park Re-creation, imagination, and the “extra/ordinary” in Disney foodstuff Rebecca Williams Dole Whip. The Mickey Waffe. Giant turkey legs. While these may mean little to the average person, these are iconic foodstuffs for fans of Disney’s theme parks. Disney currently operates six locations across the world: California (comprising Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure) and Florida (Walt Disney World which includes the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom Parks), Paris (composed of Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park), Tokyo (a Disneyland and DisneySEA park), and a Disneyland in Shanghai and Hong Kong in China. For many loyal visitors to these sites (known as “guests” in Disney’s corporate parlance), eating and drinking is as much a part of the theme park experience as buying a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, standing in line to meet favorite characters, or watching the iconic frework displays at the end of the evening. Such encounters with the culinary are linked to experiences of immersion, affect, and corporeal embodied sensation. Consuming items linked to an imaginary place or text presents the opportunity to momentarily inhabit the fctional worlds represented in theme park spaces. These may be based on those seen frst on screen in Disney’s movies and then adapted into themed attractions (e.g., attractions based on animated flms such as Frozen) or original properties created by its Imagineers (the engineers who design the theme park spaces) within the park spaces themselves (such as the Haunted Mansion or Jungle Cruise). Furthermore, for repeat visitors (and many theme park guests visit regularly), favorite food and drink offers a chance to return to a beloved place via ingesting familiar foodstuffs and re-experiencing favorite tastes and smells. The case of culinary objects within, and outside of, Disney’s theme parks allows interrogation of how notions of space and place intersect with fannish use, and creation, of foodstuffs relevant to their object of fandom. It also highlights the tensions between the commodifed and corporately controlled theme park and how fans engage differently in those sites in contrast to the domestic space of the home, where information and fan-knowledge about culinary objects is recreated and, potentially, reimagined. Drawing on participant observation, and taking a broadly autoethnographic approach, the chapter refects on the author’s experience of visiting the parks to demonstrate how the consumption of themed food and drink within those sites speaks to specifc place-based and situated modes of fan engagement, as well as modes

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of identity formation. It thus brings together studies that have focused on the fgure of the traveling “foodie” with existing studies of fan relationships with meaningful places. First, the chapter explores the role of food and drink to the traveling fan who undertakes trips to sites of importance, and how indulging in consumable objects related to a favorite fan object can offer affective and emotional experiences, as well as allowing fans to feel closer to or “enter” a fctional text (Brooker 14). However, it argues that the case of Disney’s theme parks can complicate this since the foodstuffs on offer function as cult objects which fans have grown attached to (e.g., items linked solely to the theme parks spaces themselves such as Disney’s Dole Whip ice cream or Mickey shaped desserts), or the theme park version of preexisting narrative worlds such as Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge lands in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Access to these is predicated on modes of value and distinction specifc to Disney theme park fan subcultures, operating as forms of “subcultural capital” (Thornton) and “culinary capital” (Naccarato and Lebesco). The chapter thus argues that these concepts, along with Parasecoli’s notion of “eatymologies,” enables understanding of how geographical proximity and economic status contribute to fans’ ability to engage in foodstuffs available only within highly commercialized sites that are restricted to paying customers and how “the intense attachments of fans cannot be assumed to resist or transcend commodifcation” (Hills, Fan Cultures 179). Second, the chapter considers how although “being there” is crucial for fans of food and drink consumed in themed spaces such as Walt Disney World (hereafter WDW), these items are not ordinary and cannot be consumed in the usual rhythms and routines of the fan’s life. While fans may create their own recipes to copy their favorite food and drink (often sharing these online), and unoffcial Disney cookbooks are available, the chapter focuses on how offcial Disney-endorsed cookbooks position the reader as they attempt to recreate the culinary objects of the theme park within the space of the home. It considers the intersections between the use of cookbooks and place by focusing on recipe books inspired by the themed spaces of WDW and Disneyland theme parks. These books, which include recipes for many of the iconic food and drink available in the parks, challenge the spatial exclusivity of these items. Through analysis of two of these cookbooks, the offcial The Ultimate Disney World Cookbook and Cooking With Mickey and the Disney Chefs, I consider how they re-situate items that are exclusive to particular places as dishes that can be consumed within the everyday ordinary space of the home kitchen. The chapter analyzes how the re-creation of theme park foodstuffs can help fans to understand and negotiate the boundaries between the physical self and the fan object, alongside the inherent commercial tensions between offcially produced Disney-endorsed cookbooks and the resultant fan-created objects that might threaten the Company’s corporate intellectual interests. Thus, the chapter argues that the shifting of consumption into the domestic space of the home offers fans of themed spaces different pleasures and affordances regarding culinary consumable objects.

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The discussion presented here draws on participant observation carried out by the author over the course of fve trips to theme parks in Orlando, Florida, taking place between 2011 and 2018, as well as two visits to Disneyland Paris, and one to Tokyo Disneyland. Across these visits I engaged with a range of foodstuffs, following in the footsteps of other theme park researchers who have drawn on their own experiences and observations, immersing themselves: in [the theme park] […] for extended periods of time; observing the consumption of the park by tourists inside the park; listening to and engaging in conversations; […] collecting written and oral materials pertinent to the item of study; developing a critical understanding of the issues and people. (Zhang 10) Thus, “My behaviour within the parks was that of any other visitor; I took photographs, consulted guidebooks and promotional literature and navigated with the aid of site maps” (Wright 305). This mode of “frst-person, on-the-ground research that addresses either (or both) of the domains of the consumption practices of guests and workers” (Lukas 160) is essential to move away from a dead-end approach that “hovers above” the theme park and presents a clinical analysis of its effects and meanings” (Bell ix). The chapter thus draws on my extensive knowledge of both the physical sites of theme park spaces within Florida, and the range of objects that circulate around them (e.g., social media sites and paratexts such as books).

Food, fandom, and tourism Work within fan studies has long focused on the fgure of the traveling fan, whether characterizing them as a “pilgrim” on a trip to a site of importance (see Williams, “Fan Pilgrimage and Tourism”) or a fan-tourist engaged in broader practices of media tourism. However, despite the importance of food and drink to these trips, such practices have not been widely explored in any depth in English-language work. One notable exception includes Craig Norris’ work on fans of the Japanese anime Kiki’s Delivery Service and their visits to a related bakery in Tasmania in Australia, where they “focused on enjoying the local food and atmosphere of [these places]” (9.1) and found that their experience “reinforce[d] […] a positive link between the Ross Bakery and Kiki” (9.2). Similarly, Stijn Reijnders discusses the importance of food and drink to those undertaking tours linked to crime drama and how this allows people to “call up their world of imagination, by eating certain cakes at the location, by sitting on certain chairs, or by drinking certain drinks: coffee for Wallander, beer for Inspector Morse, and cognac for Baantjer” (51). Elsewhere, I have written about the opportunities for fans of the television series Hannibal to engage in forms of fan culinary tourism when visiting sites used as locations. This opens further chances for performance of fan identities and for the creation of tangible connections to favorite texts via the consumption of related food and drink or partaking in culinary experiences (Williams, “Cooking with Hannibal”).

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Indeed, in their study of Game of Thrones’ gastronomic tourism, Parramon et al. argue that, while the: main motive for travelling in the cases studied—Girona and particularly Northern Ireland—was to visit and become immersed in the locations where Game of Thrones was created, we fnd that gastronomy has also become an effective attraction that helps to make that a real, pleasant experience. When The Cuan Guesthouse [where many of the cast stayed during flming of the series] decided not only to create certain dishes inspired by the books and the series, but also to recreate an environment, a dinner service, and to provide the diners with clothing suited to the occasion, [via their King’s Banquet dinner] etc., we can see that what people are really seeking is the fullest possible experience. (123) It is perhaps unsurprising that fans would turn to consumables such as food and drink as a way of expressing their fandom, and that the consumption of these in specifc places would prove signifcant. The broader importance of physical, bodily practices to the fannish experience can be seen in a range of activities from wearing clothing and fashion items (Lamerichs), using beauty products related to a fan object (Affuso), attaining fan tattoos ( Jones, “Written on the body”), or engaging in cosplay. Indeed, while it was once accurate to note that “the site of the body has been largely neglected in previous work on fan cultures” (Hills, Fan Cultures 158), a steady fow of studies have begun to turn their attention to the intersections between fandom, the body, and physical experiences. In terms of culinary fan experience, whether visiting restaurants linked to specifc celebrities or those owned and operated by celebrity chefs, the interplay between self, body, and imagination is clear. More specifcally, fans of foodie “texts” or icons, such as celebrity chefs or food programs, may engage in their own form of pilgrimage; fans of the Food Network series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, for example, often follow the host Guy Fieri, who travels America in search of unique places to eat. Thus, such “culinary pilgrimages” can then “demonstrate how greater study of participation in practices of touristic consumption inspired by fandom of a food-oriented text offers the opportunity to understand how fans move between attachment to the textual into the bodily, the spatial, and the experiential” (Williams, “Looking for Flavortown”). In this collection alone, Matt Hills, Leah Steuer, and Nicolle Lamerichs share research illustrating the link between culinary pilgrimages and embodied fan experiences.

Eating the theme park: Consuming the imagination However, beyond the fan-tourist who is specifcally visiting important locations—the restaurants of chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, the diners highlighted by Guy Fieri—is the fan of an important meaningful space for whom

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food is an integral part. Theme parks are one such space. As Ady Milman summarizes: Theme parks are a relatively new concept of tourist attractions and attempt to create fantasy atmosphere of another place and time. The theme is primarily communicated though visual and vocal statements, as well as other senses like scent and touching. […], theming is refected through architecture, landscaping, costumed personnel, rides, shows, food services, merchandising, and any other services that impact the guest experience. (221) Such spaces have been viewed as “‘hybrid’ […] environments that combine architecture, music, landscape design, language, flm, and performing arts with kinetics to provide an entertaining experience for visitors by immersing them into a multi-sensorial themed environment” (Carla and Freitag 3). Despite critiques by writers such as Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco, who argue that such sites are inauthentic, such spaces continue to be hugely popular with visitors, with 157,311,000 global visitors to the Disney Group’s parks (TEA 9) and its sites occupying eight of the top ten spots in a list of the most visited theme parks in the world in 2018 (TEA 11). Moreover, themed spaces offer opportunities for fans to inhabit physical sites linked to favorite texts or franchises, and to engage in fannish practices that enable them to feel close to those objects. As Henry Jenkins notes, “Theme parks are now designed as much as evocative spaces onto which fans may project their own fantasies as rides which take them through a directed path” (as quoted in Lukas, The Immersive Worlds Handbook 246). Fans who visit theme parks often develop close affective attachments to these spaces, and their fandom can become “a tool in the exploration of subjectivity and the construction of identity” (Koren-Kuik 152) since such sites demonstrate the “desire of fans of Disney’s flms to engage with their favorite fctional worlds” (Koren-Kuik 146). Part of this fan experience is the consumption of food and drink in specifc locations, often themed restaurants, bars, or cafés that offer consumables seen in favorite texts. Within the Disney theme parks this can be seen in the Star Wars–themed Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland California and WDW, where blue milk (a blue-colored drink seen in the original flm trilogy) can be consumed; although, it is perhaps in Disney’s rival that we see the clearest examples of this. For instance, in the Universal Studios theme parks’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter, guests can drink the iconic butterbeer from the books and flms and enjoy foods and drinks within highly themed locations such as restaurants based on The Three Broomsticks (in Universal’s Wizarding Worlds in Orlando, California, and Osaka) and The Leaky Cauldron (in Universal Orlando Resort’s Wizarding World: Diagon Alley). Such opportunities demonstrate how theme park spaces offer “a maze of interconnected sequences in which one can fnd a variety of journeys, destinations and experiences” (Jess-Cooke 212). As Ric Florell of Universal notes in relation to Diagon Alley’s Leaky Cauldron:

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The tricky part was creating a menu when there was no mention of any of the food items in the books and only one mention in the flms to Split Pea Soup. So, we devised a menu with delicious dishes you would fnd in a British Pub. […] Our goal is to give our guests a culinary experience that immerses them in the fun, excitement and wonder of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (as quoted in Younger 356) Such ingestion of food and drink linked to a fctional story world or text speaks to the ways in which fans in themed spaces can use their physical selves to perform and embody their fandom, quite literally enabling them to “consume their own imagination” (Reijnders 40). Use of such objects enables fans to engage in the “emotional commitment and imaginative work” required to “approach a sense of communion with the fctional text” (Brooker 14) because, although the fan themselves is unable to literally “enter” the narrative world, physical items such as food and drink enable them to play with boundaries between text, self, and object.

Food, fandom and culinary distinctions Fans of theme parks also often construct fandoms of specifc food and drink that is only available within the space; in these cases, the fandom is centered around the consumable object itself, rather than functioning to playfully “enter the space” of a fctional world. Such examples in Disney’s parks include the pineapple-favored soft serve ice cream Dole Whip; Mickey Mouse-shaped fare including waffes, ice cream, and churros; and giant turkey legs. Disney has recognized the popularity of these items and worked to create merchandise linked to them; a range of D-Lish items of clothing and accessories was launched in 2019 while keyrings, magnets, and plush cuddly toys shaped like items including the Dole Whip, ice creams, and waffes are widely available within the parks. Some other popular foods and drink can only be found in certain theme parks or “lands,” such as exclusive food themed around the planet of Pandora, as found only at the Avatar-themed land in WDW’s Animal Kingdom. This mode of exclusivity has clear commercial origins; “theme parks have identifed the value of cult items: unique and unusual food or beverages sold with some degree of exclusivity, to purposefully cultivate a cult following—directly translating into higher than average sales” (Younger 356). Cultivating such a fannish cult following demonstrates that theme parks are aware of fannish practices and modes of consumption. The exclusivity of certain items works to position them as forms of “park-generated” or “fan-generated cult-culinary objects” (Williams, Theme Park Fandom 165), which dedicated theme park fans actively seek out since they offer the “opportunity for immersion, connection, and the pleasure and status of ‘being there’” (Williams, Theme Park Fandom 165). Disney theme park fans thus demonstrate what Fabio Parasecoli refers to as “eatymologies.” He argues that “various elements of language, practices, and

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meaning may help identify as ‘typical’ products, dishes, or eating customs and norms that constitute part of a specifc identity. These elements do not refect scientifc defnitions, but, rather, semiotic and cultural categories that function in different ways within a given community and in the exchanges among different communities” (Parasecoli 134). The case of theme park food and its interpretation amongst specifc groups of people suggests that the value accorded to specifc foodstuffs and culinary objects is not universal, since these objects are interpreted and understood differently “in different cultures, [according to] the meaning and practices attached to them” (Parasecoli 134). This cultural specifcity can be seen further in the fact that there are culinary differences outside of Disney’s Western parks—those located in California and Florida in the United States, and Paris, France. As may be expected, the cuisine available in its parks in Asia (in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) is culturally specifc and allows for “localization” (Younger 354), offering items more typically found in local cuisine such as sweet and savory steamed buns, gyoza dumplings, and restaurants that cater to local tastes. Here too, however, certain foodstuffs have attracted loyal followings from fans, with Tokyo DisneySEA offering hugely popular Chinese gyoza sausage (Younger 356) and both Japanese parks offering a range of unusual popcorn favors. These include shrimp and garlic, curry, strawberry, and honey, and it is a common activity for guests to try to taste them all during their visits. While, then, obvious cultural and national differences exist in guest and fan behaviors across the global Disney parks, the “fow of culture” (Van Maanen) that enables a relationship between global and local cultures in theme parks such as Tokyo Disneyland suggests that some of their practices surrounding the consumption of food and drink overlap. Indeed, the importance of food and drink to theming and immersion is clear when new attractions and themed areas open within these sites. The launch of the Star Wars “land,” Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland, California, was promoted via its attractions (including rides based on the Millennium Falcon and an escape from the evil First Order), but also by the exclusive food and drink that guests could only buy within that space. Disney’s offcial blog offered a detailed rationale for the type of foodstuffs available in the land: In the Star Wars galaxy, due to the remote nature of the planet, Batuu has a deep history of “farm to table” style whole foods with cooking traditions that have been passed down generation to generation, infuencing the dishes found in the outpost. Each dish tells a story of the local culture, drawing inspiration from unique spices, ingredients, and cooking techniques. (Dunlap 2019) Such products included blue milk, limited edition cocktails (including the “Jedi Mind Trick”), and the Batuu-bon cake—all touted as exclusive items initially available only within Galaxy’s Edge itself. Thus, forms of capital can be

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gained from having tried certain foods and drinks and, in the case of new restaurants and bars, being amongst the frst to sample and review these. Galaxy’s Edge demonstrates this, with fans posting “frst look” photos of meals and drinks from locations within the new “land” including Oga’s Cantina, Ronto Roasters, and Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook or vlogs on sites like YouTube. Being “frst” to break news about new foodstuffs offers a form of “just-in-timefandom” (Hills 178) where alacrity and timing are key to fans’ maintenance of hierarchies and capital. Fans who have tried food/drink frst, or who have traveled to sites that are further away such as the Disney parks in Asia, thus accrue levels of “culinary capital” which “confer[s] status and power on those who know about and enjoy” certain types of consumable item (Naccarato and Lebesco 3). Gaining information and, most crucially, physically experiencing the foods/drinks within the parks offers these fans the opportunity to “utilize culinary capital to create and sustain identities that earn them status as good citizens within their communities” (Naccarato and Lebesco 19), which are, in this case, fan communities. In these instances, forms of culinary capital intersect with modes of what Sarah Thornton calls “subcultural capital,” which “confers status on its owner in the eyes of the relevant beholder” (11) and has currency only within specifc groups, and modes of social and symbolic capital or “prestige, reputation, fame etc.” (Bourdieu 230). Also at play are levels of “geographical capital” (Hills, “Doctor Who Discovers”), where fans who live near the theme parks can access new culinary items more quickly due to their proximity. Fans like myself who live at a distance are more likely to visit these themed spaces rarely, but their ongoing interest in developments across the parks means that they keep themselves informed via the social media, websites and blogs that circulate around the physical sites.

“We even have the grey stuff”: Re-creation and imagination in the home Although unique pleasures to experience by buying and consuming foodstuffs exist within the Disney parks, fans of theme park food can attempt to recreate these pleasures outside of the specifc themed spaces. Both offcial and unoffcial cookbooks provide recipes related to food available at the Disney parks, while fan recipes for Harry Potter’s butterbeer can easily be found online. In this section, I consider two of the offcial Disney cookbooks to understand how the recipes contained within these are framed, and what the potential pleasure of recreating foods consumed on-site may be.While fan cookbooks are increasingly common, the majority of these relate to creating recipes from fctional worlds (e.g., The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Pokémon) rather than recreating recipes that the fan has consumed within a specifc physical space. The cookbook has been characterized as a cultural object that “has provided a window into the lifestyle of the time and therefore provides a depiction of what were cultural issues of that era” (Frost et al. 170). It has been “a medium

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to reveal trends, taste habits and practices of a specifc bygone era, as well as the present. […] Thus, the cookbook has been able to refect and defne different roles in society” (Frost et al. 170). Moreover, the specifc travel cookbook, which combines recipes with travel writing, offers “sensual pleasures, providing the reader with actual experience of consuming good food and going to new or familiar places that are both reacted to by our senses” (Hooper 123). The travel cookbook is thus viewed as a text that can enable a reader to imaginatively travel to places or lands they have never visited, or which allows them to affectively remember and call on memories of previous trips. In her work on fan cookbooks, Madison Magladry argues that cooking recipes from fctional texts “functions as a type of culinary tourism” where eating related food enables “a sensual, embodied experience of another place without having ever been there” (8); a practice which is well-understood in research on cookbooks based on “real” places that actually exist. For Magladry, “if the consumption of ‘Italian’ food makes it possible to experience ‘Italy’ from home, then the same can be done with dishes that evoke ‘Westeros’ (the fctional world of Game of Thrones)” (8). This parallel can be seen with the release of the Galaxy’s Edge Cookbook (by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel) in November 2019, which offered fans the option to make items frst experienced in the Star Wars– themed lands in WDW and Disneyland at home. Here, fans can recreate items eaten in the parks, but the book also offers the Star Wars or theme park fan who is unable to visit in-person the chance to imaginatively inhabit the fctional “world” of Batuu and the theme park space that spatially brings it to life. The case of the broader Disney or theme park cookbook, however, sits between these examples; the fan recreating a recipe is not necessarily trying to create a foodstuff born from fction that they have never actually tried. Nevertheless, a strong imaginative element remains in this mode of fannish practice that focuses primarily on the evocation of memories of previous visits to the parks. For example, the offcial Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs by Pam Brandon frames the entire book in this way. Brandon opens the cookbook with an introduction that states: If some of your best Disney vacation memories are the times that were shared over great meals, this frst-ever cookbook for Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, and the Disney Cruise Line just might be the perfect souvenir. […] To be able to share a great meal with friends is a wonderful way to re-create your Disney vacation. (viii) The subsequent chapters move through the different parks across the resorts within the United States, with a brief and evocative introduction to each chapter. The Magic Kingdom park is introduced with “You might fnd Cinderella in her castle, with a feast ft for royalty. Or your preference might be a heap of spaghetti at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, or comfort food like the New England Pot Roast in Liberty Tree Tavern” (22). The earlier offcial book Mickey’s Gourmet Cookbook opens with a similar call to memory:

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Whether you remember the lemony tang of seafood savoured by a starry lagoon, the silky richness of a chocolate mousse relished in Victorian elegance, or the good-morning heartiness of a fragrant muffn enjoyed by a bustling, sunny square, each culinary memory is as much a part of the Disney experience as Mickey’s smile. (Mickey’s Gourmet Cookbook 4) While its sections eschew the more descriptive introductions of Cooking with Mickey, the Gourmet Cookbook too offers recipes from a range of restaurants from across the WDW and Disneyland Resorts in the United States. Thus, both offcial books not only enable recipes from favorite restaurants to be recreated in the home kitchen, but also function as promotion and marketing for locations that the fan may not yet have visited. They also work to appeal both to cooks with varying abilities—“for the novice or gourmet cook” (Mickey’s Gourmet Cookbook 4)—and to guests across economic divides, offering recipes from extremely expensive restaurants, such as Victoria and Albert’s at WDW’s Grand Floridian hotel, to more economically accessible sites, such as Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue which offers counter-serve BBQ meats. Thus, alongside the arousing of memories of previous trips, the book allows the fan to look forward, functioning much like traditional travel cookbooks which can “inspire and motivate their audience to travel further or […] remind them of where they might have been in the past” (Frost et al. 171). As when fans consume food and drink within the park spaces, the re-creation of favorite recipes at home can also help fans negotiate boundaries between the embodied self and the fan object that is, in this case, a physical place that they cannot always be situated within. Much like the negotiation of fans of other media texts, such as television series or flms, theme park fans’ attempts to recreate dishes allows them “to transform textual traces into lived experience” (Fuchs 108), although in this instance these are spatial traces, rather than textual ones. The use of cookbooks functions as part of the cycle of pre-planning, visiting, and remembering trips that theme park fans are often engaged in (Williams, Theme Park Fandom 87). They enable the creation of dishes that offer a tangible and real connection to a fan object that is often geographically distant and associated with the extraordinary since they are typically consumed while in a holiday/vacation space, or for local fans who visit frequently within a bounded and themed zone. In recreating food and drink that is associated with these exception or out-of-the-ordinary spaces, “the physical ingestion of the object is both a playful and political act of identity formation and negotiation of the ‘everyday’” for theme park fans (Magladry 9).

Conclusion Writing from a tourism studies perspective, Parescoli argues that, “Symbolically, economically, and materially, tourists consume and ingest the communities they visit” (128–29). As Reijnders’ suggestion that consuming food related to media objects enables media tourists to “consume their imagination” (40)

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indicates, such practices highlight the conjunction between bodies, meaningful places and sites, and imaginative and affective practices. Fans of themed spaces such as Disney’s theme parks, however, differ from fans who indulge in culinary objects linked to a preexisting fan object (such as Game of Thrones or Wallander). Instead, many of their favorite foodstuffs are linked to specifc locations, in this case Disney’s theme parks around the world. Indulging in the consumption of certain objects enables fans to immerse themselves in the theme park space, whether within a preexisting story world such as Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge, or by consuming food and drink that has attracted a cult following amongst theme park fans by dint of its relative exclusivity or its longevity in the park space (such as butterbeer or Dole Whip). In his work on fans’ efforts to recreate meals seen in the television series Hannibal, Michael Fuchs argues that the practice enables fans to “establish identities. The dishes, in this context, occupy not only a liminal space “[b]etween the ‘textual’ and the ‘extratextual’” (as Matt Hills has described fan practices at large [Fan Cultures 131]), but also embody a liminal moment” (108). The consumption of food and drink within themed spaces offers similar moments where fans negotiate their own physical embodied responses alongside affective reactions (e.g., memories of prior visits, attachments to specifc foods). Furthermore, when Disney fans are not able to be physically present within the parks, they can attempt to recreate favorite culinary objects via the use of offcial Disney parks cookbooks. In such acts of imitation, fans are able to bring the extraordinary items, which may usually be consumed on holidays or in very limited locations, into the domestic space of the home, rendering such “food a part of their daily life by consuming it as a meal” (Magladry 8). While the homemade version of such meals may not be authentic, since it is eaten away from the themed space itself, it can continue to offer fans a physical and embodied link to favorite places in the time between visits. These cookbooks thus offer fans the chance to remember previous trips while simultaneously preparing for future ones via the cookbooks’ function as promotional objects for the restaurants and hotels within the parks. Finally, fans and fan scholars need to bear in mind that all fannish engagement with privately owned and commodifed spaces such as Disney theme parks necessitates consideration of the tension between the producers and owners of content (who beneft fnancially from myriad forms of fan practice) and those who are fans of that content. In acts such as fans’ rush to be the frst to try and share news about new foodstuffs, or Disney’s repackaging and selling back to fans merchandise based on items that have accrued a cult following (such as Dole Whip ice cream or Mickey waffes), exist the “incongruous refocalizations of the affective work of fans, exemplifying and highlighting commercial aspects of the media text important to the fan” typical of “industry-created fan destinations” (Booth 101). While fans who engage with spaces owned and operated by global corporations such as Disney do so willingly and happily, fan scholars must continue to acknowledge the power differentials inherent in these relationships. Thus, while visiting the parks and consuming

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foodstuffs related to imaginary worlds or attempting to replicate favorite recipes at home enables fans to form and maintain affective ties to a beloved space, we must consider the economic realities of contemporary fandom and what engagement with commodifed commercialized brands and associated places demands of fans.

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162 Williams ———. Theme Park Fandom: Spatial Transmedia, Materiality & Participatory Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020. Wright, Chris. “Natural and Social Order at Walt Disney World: The Functions and Contradictions of Civilising Nature.” Sociological Review, vol. 54, no. 2, 2006, pp. 303–17. Younger, David. Theme Park Design and the Art of Themed Entertainment. Durham: Inklingwood Press, 2016. Zhang, Pinggong. Culture and Ideology at an Invented Place. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013.

13 Taste culture Fan food as sensorial play and pilgrimage Leah Steur

What are the closest earthly substitutes for alien warrior blood to bake a pie hearty enough to please a Klingon tongue? Could an extra dash of spice account for the thrilling effects of a hard-earned magical beer? Internal discourses within fandoms, and external discourses about all audiences, often preoccupy themselves with “taste” as a function of intellectual discernment; the somatic and affective experiences of taste, however, are rarely considered central to interpreting fannish experience and labor around media objects. If fans exist as consumers—who take media texts in by way of watching, listening, trading, traveling, and touching—then fan scholars must also follow the phenomenological thread of consumption inward—toward and into the fan body. The success of fctional world-building is so often contingent on vivid, detailed, and affectively laden descriptions of food and drink. Although fannish efforts to recreate favorite specialty dishes have historically been given little attention by academics, the practices of trial-and-error reproduction, communal tastings, and imaginative reinterpretations of surreal comestibles have a long history within fandom and have only become more popular with the advent of digital communities and new affordances for sharing recipes and photos. I suggest that fan scholars should both recuperate these practices into frameworks of travel and performance and explore new theoretical approaches to favor, eating, and taste; indeed, by doing so, we open exciting possibilities to consider the sensorial pleasures and pitfalls of fannish investment. The culture of fannish food re-creation represents a vital manifestation of consumption and consumerism, positing the fan’s mouth as a liminal, transgressive space of sensorial fantasy. Far from simply ornamenting parties with Instagram-worthy snacks or performing rote homage, fans who produce replicas of fctional dishes engage in a kind of internal cosplay and/or pilgrimage; they engage the sensation of taste to meet characters and worlds within their own bodies. I use Jukka Gronow’s work on the complex social-affective affordances of eating and favor and align it with a spectrum between consumptive affrmational fandom and productive transformative fandom. Through this process, I construct a conversation between food-based sociocultural theory and cultural studies of audiences. Sensation, cosplay, pilgrimage, and taste can

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be lenses on the corporeal dimensions of fandom, particularly for fans who desire to inhabit genres far removed from common reality. This chapter, in part, responds to Matt Hills’ call to explore the material cultures of fandom, which have perhaps been neglected because they evoke the “commodity fetish of merchandise” (“From Dalek Half Balls” 1.3). Food re-creation culture is dynamic, vivacious, and understudied; it is ubiquitous in both industrially sanctioned transmediated spaces of engagement (such as the many restaurants within Disney theme parks’ Star Wars–themed Galaxy’s Edge, or Universal’s Harry Potter World, which features J. K. Rowling–approved butterbeer) and digital fannish spaces (like MuggleNet’s recipe community, dedicated to perfecting their own version of butterbeer). They reify a symbolic division between “media worlds” and “ordinary worlds” while highlighting the liminality of the space between the two (Couldry 47). Through production, fans dialogue around the pivotal role food plays in world-building. Mimesis, the careful reproduction in art of entities found in nature, is a common investment for fan foodies desiring to feel their way into fctional heterocosms. After all, televisual and flmic worlds—no matter how grounded in reality or fantastical and alien they might be—are always threaded through with the pleasures of taste. Foods, rituals, and favors provide characters opportunities for pleasure and communality; they delineate regions, time periods, cultures, and identities; perhaps most importantly, they open an affective door by referencing the unmistakably human sensations and purposes of taste itself. This chapter conceives that door as an opening to internal travels, performance, and play, which begins with faithful re-creation but does not necessarily need end with it. Indeed, even as food recreators depart from mimetic production and begin to experiment with or adapt fctional recipes, that spirit of sensation-based fandom retains its strength and allure. Fan food re-creation—indeed, any mode of affective, body-based material fandom—is best understood as production and consumption contingent on ekphrasis. Ekphrasis involves making art with art: it is a rhetorical strategy in which the speaker endeavors—through the expressive use of language, brush, or other tools at their disposal—to animate the essence of an artistic object for the beneft of enhancing its effects. James Heffernan sums it up nicely as “the verbal representation of visual representation” (3). It is an act of translation, particularly when applied it to an activity like cooking a fctional dish; this mode of fandom requires the fan’s capacity to transmute fction into reality, idea into material thing, mouthwatering flm frame or written passage into steaming entrée. After establishing a spectrum of productive and consumptive frameworks and articulating them with ekphrasis, I explore potential applications within a fan food community as well as food re-creation channels and, fnally, industrially sanctioned spaces. These brief case studies begin with The Inn at the Crossroads, an archive for interpretive recipes across a wide variety of fantasy fandoms such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Skyrim, and many more. The Inn at the Crossroads demonstrates uses of discursive and visual ekphrasis around dishes existing

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across a wide spectrum of “realism.” I also offer the counterpoint of the YouTube channel Binging with Babish, a series of food re-creation attempts by a single author for a diversifed body of fans, in which visuality must translate to a hypothetical sensation-based pleasure. Finally, I touch on corporate efforts by media industries to capitalize on the affordances of fan food re-creation, which endeavor to become sensation-rooted transmedia storytelling. Across these examples, food and beverages offer audiences uniquely embodied opportunities to traverse their chosen fctions. Those who “eat their fandom” and create evocative traces of their labors and affects online engage in a form of play within places (and bodies) that only exist in the imaginary. By word-ofmouth, they confront the bounds of the consumptive body and recast fantasy as an attainable, and delicious, reality.

Consumption in/as audience studies “Consumption” implies a rote and simplistic relationship between two agents involving the transmission of an object; the producer supplies, and the consumer accepts and/or uses the object in a manner that is mutually agreed-upon. Before reckoning with consumption in a food/drink context, it is necessary to ground the term as a stable category within audience and fandom studies. Consumption itself is attended by a very specifc set of practices, identities, and power dynamics: beginning with the Frankfurt School, cultural theorists have assigned negative characteristics such as mindlessness, gluttony, indiscrimination, and conformity to the consumer as well as a position of weakness and diminished skill (see Abercrombie and Longhurst; DeCerteau; Horkheimer and Adorno). Indeed, Nicholas Abercrombie and Brian Longhurst map consumption at the furthest end of a spectrum that extends from “fans” to “cultists” to “petty producers,” and they conclude that consumption speaks to a certain laziness and removed from dynamic, participatory, inventive fannish economies. The image of the “brainless” and dull consumer was of great use to early fan scholars such as Camille Bacon-Smith and Henry Jenkins, who advocated for a reframing of—and greater attention to—fandom as a hotbed of imagination, pushback against authorial primacy, and creative production. This dialectic is summed up succinctly in Jenkins’ introduction to Textual Poachers, in which negative depictions of fandom as “cultural dupes, social misfts, and mindless consumers” are presented against the more positive attributes of “active produc[tivity] and manipulat[ion] of meanings” (23). In short, fannish consumption as a “taking-in” has been posited as a banal act at best, and a vapid and uncritical one at worst; it pales in comparison to the more celebrated undertakings of transformation via fanfction, fan art, vidding, and so on. Hills has argued for a recuperation of the consumer from this trap of “moral dualism,” pointing out that the “bad consumer” has been painted in broad strokes as a tool of differentiation by fans seeking increased cultural power (Fan Cultures 29). Building primarily on the Marxist construction of value within a capitalist system, Hills shows how consumers imbue fannish ecosystems with

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economic and affective vitality through (non-transformative) engagement such as collecting, viewing, and/or simply gathering. Most importantly, he highlights the importance of Kurt Lancaster’s work on the consumers of Babylon 5 trading cards, characterizing the framework of performativity as an escape hatch from the static categories of consumer and transformer: “Thinking of fans as performers means displacing an emphasis on the text-reader interaction, and focusing instead on the myriad ways that fans can engage with the textual structures and moments of their favored cult shows, reactivating these in cultural practices of play” (41). Thinking about consumption as an act situated in space, time, and bodies endows the consumer’s activity with an exciting porousness. Francesca Coppa notably conceives of transformative fanwork as a para-performance to the drama of original media; she presents fanfction as a manipulation of bodies in space, rather than a feat of creative rewriting. In addition, she emphasizes repetitiveness not as a dull symptom of consumption, but as an essential component of imagination and play. Consumption (an action) and consumptiveness (a state) are clearly ripe for recuperation; indeed, the latter cries out to be differentiated from “consumerism” with all its trappings of the dull automaton waited to be dictated to, directed, and constantly fed. The association between consumption and repetition also should be recast in the favorable light of production and, as Hills and Coppa note, consciousness, experimentation, and reanimation. Although fans engage in certain acts again and again (such as writing fanfction around the same characters, or baking and tasting the same fction-inspired cake for annual viewing parties), these activities are endowed, often through sensation-based affect, with the exciting potentiality for difference. Variances in place, space, mood, company, and purpose ensure that no gameplay, cosplay, or cook will be quite the same. Even a fan’s constant reach for sameness, or mimesis, presents in-and-of-itself an empowering directive that cannot be fully controlled by the limits of the text. In other words, the fan may take in the text repeatedly or even at face value but will always retains agency over that process at the very frontier of corporeality, emotion, and the senses.

Taste: The taking-in Fan food re-creation represents an ideal opportunity to apply sensorial frameworks to previously existing constructions of consumption, production, and taste, treating them as literal and conceptual homonyms. I note a distinction here between “sensorial” and “affective” frameworks. The latter enjoys a rich intersection with fan studies and continues to grow in diversity and style of application since what Jean Halley and Patricia Clough call “the affective turn” in cultural studies. However, scholars have engaged far more with affect as iteration (i.e., utterance and/or behavior), rather than sensation (Massumi). Justifably so, as research illustrates how the emotional contours of fandom become clearer when documented through discourse, recorded action, and material practice such as archiving and collecting

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(see De Kosnik; Grossberg; Williams). Fan scholars, in fact, often need to leave behind popular approaches to affect as emotion to engage with the sensorial utilities of consumption, recognizing the Kantian infuence on scholarship around aesthetics and taste cultures. His spectrum of “noble” senses, which undergirds much of early cultural studies, is based on the distance between consumer/critic and object: sight being most noble, as one regards from a distance, and taste being the least, as the encounter occurs within the body (449). Abandoning the problematic notion of “nobility,” I explore instead how this spectrum of sensory distance has been developed theoretically, and how an emphasis on sensation can enhance the ideas of consumption and taste within fan studies. As Pierre Bourdieu postulated, the possession of cultural capital endows people with identities and positions within society, interlocking with systems of social and economic capital to construct the complex hierarchy of modern life. Having cultural capital allows one to make discrete consumptive choices based on aesthetics, thereby delineating categories of “good taste” and “bad taste.” Certainly, taste can encompass a variety of objects and experiences; for example, John Fiske attends to Bourdieu’s model as it applies to the construction of high/low culture via taste cultures around music, television, and flm, establishing a seminal “cultural economy of fandom.” Fiske critiques, however, the limitations of Bourdieu’s position vis-à-vis economic status and class as the sole “axes of subordination” (32). Simultaneously, he skirts Bourdieu’s original arguments about the attachment of cultural capital to food and discourses of nourishment and luxury: The antithesis between quantity and quality, substance and form, corresponds to the opposition–linked to different distances from necessity–between the taste of necessity, which favors the most “flling” and most economical foods, and the taste of liberty or luxury–which shifts the emphasis to the manner (of presenting, serving, eating, etc.) and tends to use stylized forms to deny function. (6; emphasis added) Before turning to art, theater, and other forms of popular culture in which categories of taste (and items of great cultural capital) were constructed, Bourdieu dealt with the corporeal realities of consumption; he presupposed a spectrum of consumptive pleasure that ranged from fuel to fanciness. Taste begets identity: it is a sentiment echoed in seminal studies of food culture and epicureanism that establish why certain favors, techniques, and modes of presentation have been accorded cultural and subcultural value. Elspeth Probyn fnds hopeful potential in Bourdieu in this way, arguing that humans are “mouth machines” who explore the limits and possibilities of their identities through eating (34). Thus, food allows for “permutations of commensality” and opportunities for sociocultural transcendence (9). The food critic, tasked with tying successes in taste and texture to the fabric of relatable human experience, often echoes this interpretation: famed epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin simply declared,

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“Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will tell you what kind of man you are” (6). Successful fan food re-creation hinges on two modalities: favor and appearance. Different projects may emphasize one aspect more than the other, depending on the fan’s sensory goals (e.g., visual vs. gustatory). Certainly, fans may describe dishes which perfectly match the original’s onscreen appearance as “beautiful” or “perfect,” but food-based sociology offers us a more nuanced view of fan food’s aesthetic pleasures. As Kant acolyte George Simmel noted, visuality and the “harmonious totality of tastes and smells” are important, but the “social form” of the meal is what distinguishes certain experiences around food as special (as cited in Gronow 135). Extending this line of thinking, I posit that the social forms of fandom (i.e., ritualism, play, community, and transformation) structure fan food re-creation whether done for a large themed party or individual pleasure. Indeed, others have gone on to note that this unique kind of social form is predicated on the way pleasure is disciplined by ritual, and communality paradoxically shaped around the highly individual and sensual act of eating (Tan; Gronow 21). A fan-made version of Zaphod Beeblebrox’s favorite cocktail the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy might taste wonderful, but the pleasure in its preparation and consumption comes in sharing physical or imaginary space with other Hitchhiker fans. Flavor, too, is contingent on a “multi-modal perception” of “visual, olfactory, auditory, and somatosensory attributes” that supplies immediate satisfaction and well-being in a way that solely sight-based or sound-based experiences do not (Katz and Sadacca 135; 127). When a fan food tastes just right, with little-to-no discrepancy between expectation and perception, the consumer experiences both the sensory reward of “assimilation” and the fannish pleasure of mimesis (Katz and Sadacca 128; Spence 388).

Mimesis/ekphrasis, cosplay/pilgrimage Mimesis connects these frameworks of food and sociality and consumptive/transformative fandom. Fan food re-creation builds on a combination of dialogue, description, performance, and visuality cobbled together from the original media text to reproduce food or drink as closely as possible. In this sense, the process endeavors to the purest kind of simulation: what Jean Baudrillard calls the “sacramental order,” in which a reproducible sign matches an accepted reality (6). For example, a frosted cake (the visual sign) is sweet, representing sugary, indulgent taste as it unfolds in the subjective but universal reality of taste. The sign, when encountered, is not only familiar but corresponds to expectations that have been culturally constructed and reifed. The fannish simulacra, then, most often holds the original text and the textual world’s reality in high esteem, mirroring the stance of the consumer-fan; additionally, the simulacra oppose the subversive nature of transformative fan activity. Fans might think about this subversion in terms of tasting that frosted

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cake but fnd instead that it is cleverly composed of savory ingredients and tastes instead like a hamburger. Diverging from simulacra represents a reinterpretation or even perversion of an accepted reality, intended to “kill” the author (Barthes) in the process of constructing, valorizing, and privileging the fan’s control of the text. However, as previously noted, Hills asserts that the material culture of mimetic fandom problematizes a hard binary between faithful affrmation/ reproduction and subversive transformation: mimesis, paradoxically, allows for both to occur simultaneously. Extended to food re-creation culture (which routinely marries the home-spun with aspirational remaking), Hills’ description of this paradox is particularly resonant, contextualizing mimetic fandom within a series of “oscillatory distinctions” between authenticity and artifciality, commercial and non-commercial, quantifable object and slippery affect: [Mimetic fandom] centers on material culture and haptic presence but indicates the value of a framing immateriality, namely the cult world... More than simply a part of fans’ material culture, mimetic fandom thus occupies an interspace between materiality and what might be termed soul, building and branding, imitation and individuation. (“From Dalek Half Balls” 2.17, emphasis added) Hills deals specifcally here with fannish prop culture around Doctor Who and the band Daft Punk; however, it is not only work on the amateur manufacture of props and accessories that supports the lens of mimesis around food re-creation. As has been noted within studies of cosplay, the ability to embody a character through fashion is contingent on a complex matrix of factors, including expensive, laborious embodiment; the negotiation of physical affordances and limitations; and knowledge-based interpretive accuracy (Lamerichs; Scott “Cosplay”). These selfsame processes and goals govern the activity of food re-creation. To achieve interpretive accuracy is to occupy the body of a fctional other: the fan who creates and consumes the perfect Pretzel Day pretzel from The Offce can fnd a kind of sensorial communion with—and as—the Michael Scott character. Additionally, recreated food can prompt a sense of internal sojourn into the fantasy world, rather than a cosplay as a character. As Will Brooker argues, even when fannish pilgrimage involves travel to flming sites or industrially sanctioned immersive spaces like theme parks, the fan’s enjoyment requires a “psychological leap” along with the geographical (163). Pilgrimage, he adds, can also be internal: a feat of imagination prompted by invested engagement, offering much more than “a fainter taste of the same sensations and a shallower sense of connection” (163). Brooker builds upon Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of “fow” as a state of optimal immersion and unity with one’s goals. Csikszentmihalyi, in turn, notes that biological processes (such as eating) can become fow with enough attention, technique, and discipline.

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Food potentially immerses and transports fans to fctional worlds by putting pilgrimage and fow in conversation with the rhetorical concept of ekphrasis, which is a kind of descriptive poetics that bring texts and objects alive for the audience. Ekphrasis is a concept deeply entrenched in rhetorical studies, describing the art of evocative textual description which “penetrates the listener” and leverages language as “a physical power that infuences the listener’s body” (Lindhé 9). Ideally, ekphrastic language animates “enargeia,” or a state of lucidity that allows the audience to halt the temporal fow of a narrative to explore its spatial dimensions (Krieger and Krieger). Such ekphrasis is a vital component of the fan/fctional food relationship: lucid descriptors of texture and deliciousness (and/or actorly performances of pleasure) present possibilities for fans to corporeally explore the textual space through cooking. Moreover, fans within digital food re-creation communities follow ekphrastic discursive and visual strategies to spark sensorial response in other fans: their pictures have lush, haptic qualities; their comments are ecstatically descriptive; and their image captions are mouthwatering. If food is symbolic pilgrimage, creating “a physical, earthly focus for something greater and intangible” (Brooker 172), then ekphrasis lifts fctional dishes into attainable, savory reality.

Food re-creation: Communities and crowd-sourcing Digital food re-creation communities showcase varying levels of community participation and culinary professionalization. One of the most organized and fandom-diverse online hubs, The Inn at the Crossroads (TIatC), focuses primarily on recreating various comestibles described in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy book series Game of Thrones and its eponymous televisual adaptation on HBO. The site, established in 2011 by home cooks Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer Martin, features hundreds of recipes for dishes predominantly culled from the books and series, but also contains an impressive collection of recipes inspired by other fantasy franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, the video game Skyrim, and works of historical fction such as Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables. The two also list a World of Warcraft cookbook on the front page of TIatC, which they self-publish and market at various fan conventions; though the pair’s authorial hand is evident on every recipe page, they also frequently spotlight submissions from other fans and link-out to neighboring fan food blogs. The site’s welcome message foregrounds sensorial pilgrimage and communality as an ethos of the project: “Think of this as a gathering place, where denizens of countless fctional settings can come together and share a trencher of stew or some delicate pastries. So pull up a stool, order a mug of ale, and enjoy your visit to [TIatC].” Throughout the design of the site, screenshots of food mix with photos of tributary creations, creating an evocative visual dialogue between industryapproved canon and fannish interpretation. TIatC showcases the utility of textual and fannish ekphrasis, as well as the primacy of multi-sensory perception in the fan food experience, through the

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design of every recipe post. Nearly all begin with a quote or image from the source text that contextualizes the dish: which characters enjoy it and why, in what circumstances it should be consumed, its ideal favor profle, suggested accompaniments, and so on. The creators have attempted to recreate Game of Thrones’ most famed dessert—lemon cakes—on several occasions. The pastry is a favorite of the character Sansa Stark throughout her childhood and teen years, and the character’s and the pastry’s presences are consistently linked in the Game of Thrones universe. A fellow fan and collaborator contributes the following to the “master recipe,” detailing the labor of transmedia detective work required to perfect the ideal lemon cake—with claims that it tastes closer to the real thing than a recipe endorsed by HBO on their offcial site (Stargazer Lily). She names factors like “cakiness,” “snitchability,” and “frostability” based on scenes in the books and show, and details both how to achieve these elusive sensorial descriptors and what clues might help the process: [It is implied that] lemon cakes have a certain sturdiness to them. Anything too delicate would fall apart if you snitch it in a hurry [or] if you tried to frost it. Bonus [clue 1]: Lemon cakes are sometimes served with tea or milk. Bonus [clue 2]: One character thinks lemon cakes are better than strawberry pie though not by much. Bonus [clue 3]: In the books clearly lemon cakes are considered “special” … I’m not sure what is more exciting to Sansa [in Book 1], riding with the queen or a tea party with lemon cakes. These universe-specifc desserts serve as an evocative motif throughout the Game of Thrones universe, with their taste couched in Sansa’s girlish joy, innocence, and summery luxury. Commenters on TIatC reference actress Sophie Turner’s performances of fnger-licking satisfaction in lemon cake scenes, and fan-created gifs of these scenes often accompany blog posts sharing the TIatC recipes. In this way, both the onscreen performance and fctional description act as important paratexts that inform the fan recreator’s trial-and-error approach to the sensorial truth of a coveted dish. The interface and organizational layout of TIatC allows for a multi-modal system of access for users. Fans can enter the conversation around fctional foods at an artisanal level, as cooks and bakers. They may fnd themselves engaging more readily with the affective dimensions of certain dishes, choosing to read up on snacks and drinks that reference their most beloved characters and nostalgic story moments. By stacking multiple interpretations of the same item within a category, and pairing them with both textual excerpts and reviews, TIatC also encourages users to actively debate the primacy of canon and fanon when it comes to the “correctness” of recipes, methods, and tastes. Although the structure of the website is more overtly geared toward discourse,

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deemphasizing the authoritative voice of one particular creator, similar discourses around the fantastical affordances of taste exist even in communities controlled by the aesthetic/artistic decisions of one food recreator. The popular YouTuber Andrew Rea takes a less collaborative and fandomspecifc approach to food re-creation on his channel Binging with Babish. Rea mixes straightforward tutorials (i.e. a video on how to cook the perfect steak) with re-creations of dishes that range from the prosaic to the fantastical. The format of his re-creation videos, in contrast to his tutorials which feature his face, resemble that of TIatC: they always begin with a clip from the source media that showcases the canonical food as fans know it, and draw attention to the process of cooking by only featuring Rea’s hands manipulating the ingredients and tools. Whether the dish in question is one made with real-life ingredients in a prescriptive recipe (i.e. Ross Geller’s “moistmaker” sandwich, featured in Friends) or unknown, strange, even animated ingredients with an unidentifable taste (i.e. Spongebob Squarepants’ Krabby Patty), Rea endeavors toward simulacra all the same. His channel description emphasizes the equal provenance of affective engagement and skill in food re-creation, as well as the educational benefts of transformative experimentation: “Binging with Babish is the realization of a young(ish) man’s dream to combine his love of flm and cooking, and to have some fun in the process. Join us each week as we recreate the foods you’ve always wanted to try in movies and television—and if you’re not careful, you just might learn a thing or two.” Although Rea self-brands as a fannish jackof-all-trades, the comments sections on his videos are alive with debates about the success of his attempts and suggestions for variation and improvement. Although Rea retains authorship of the re-creation process and the way its results are flmed and packaged, each video depends on generating celebration, disagreement, confict and questions within the audience to drive up its popularity. Every item must be attended by vigorous conversation around what it might taste like, how viewers might change the recipe, what lines of dialogue within the original text serve as the fondest sensory reminders of the dish, and so forth. Thus, the most-circulated food re-creations amongst Rea’s gallery are not necessarily the most visually faithful, but the most discursively generative; as in TIatC, communities are ultimately brought together by the quest to understand the evocative hypotheticals of taste that haunt fctional dishes.

Transmedia spaces and sensorial storytelling In 2010, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Orlando, Florida, as an immersive Harry Potter fandom experience including rides, offcial merchandise, movie-inspired landscape design and themed dining. Six years later, a sister park opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. Via both marketing materials and fannish word-of-mouth, one of the park’s biggest self-reported draws is butterbeer; the beverage frequently appeared in both the Potter books and movies, and parent company Warner Brothers

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announced that they had completed a series of experimental taste-tests with author J. K. Rowling to get the blend exactly right. Steve Jayson, head chef at the parks and the primary creator of real-life butterbeer, calls it the park’s “most iconic” purchasable item and experience, resorting to the ekphrastic language of food re-creation to attract potential newcomers: The number one activity that people come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to do is to have a Butterbeer … [it features] a beautiful base, amber color, and creamy top. It had to taste unfamiliar, yet soothing and smooth. … I remember seeing people try it for the frst time—they had been waiting six hours. Some of them had tears coming down their eyes. Some of them were kissing the ground. … I have defnitely seen more than one person cry from drinking Butterbeer since that opening day. (Krishna) The success of media franchising, and capturing transmedia fandom, is contingent on the coherency and cogency of stories, universes, and characters across multiple platforms and spaces of engagement (Johnson). The primacy of food and beverage consumption in the Potter fan’s ecstatic navigation of—and immersion in—the Wizarding World bespeaks the importance of the sensorial match between expectation and reality (for more on the importance of “authenticity” to fan food re-creation, see Godwin, Lamerich, McGinley, and Williams in this collection). Indeed, it appears that authenticity, which may align more naturally with a cultural food tradition, is the watchword of Wizarding World dining design. Taylor goes on to note that “people want to be eating the way that Harry Potter would have eaten, so there’s nothing here that they are scared to try,” including traditional Irish pub food. Note, too, Taylor’s positing of the fans as immersive performers akin to actors in a historical preservation or reenactment. By eating the way that a character would eat, they don the character’s world as a costume along with a set of industrially mediated sensorial parameters that can be best described as a branded palate. Certainly, the power of space to envelop the senses is a crucial, affect-based approach to pilgrimage, whether those journeys are to unoffcial sites or industrially sanctioned places (a division Brooker often explores). With the proliferation of transient, industry-curated fan spaces like conventions, pop-up events, and traveling exhibits, fan scholars must attend more and more to the relationships between the senses, pleasure, and proft—and the variety of gustatory experiences made available to fans is often an essential element of the sensorial matrix. Because food (and taste) is a cornerstone of world-building and fannish engagement, it is also indispensable in building transmedia “brandom.” Suzanne Scott characterizes this as both a “space […] in which fan identity is capitalized on” and “products that promise the essence of a fan experience while eschewing any components that legally or ideologically challenge the convergence culture industry” (Fake Geek Girls 176). Due to its elusive nature—as a static object, a manipulabile idea, an internal journey, a sensory

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experience—food can come alive through fannish ekphrasis. But its meanings and uses must then be fxed by industry curators to eliminate its most challenging or hotly contested components for the sake of imbrication with the brand story. The corporate-approved and/or author-approved menu is one of the most crucial things to get right about a kind of transmedia storytelling that is less about plot and wholly about space and feeling. Interestingly, the proximity of Rowling’s authorship and creative brand to the park—and specifcally, the butterbeer recipe—affected the Harry Potter food re-creation community in ways that progressively blur the line between affrmation, transformation, brand loyalty and experimentalism. Popular digital fanhub MuggleNet (which has served as a gathering-place for discussion, news, and transformative work since 1999 when it was founded by Emerson Spartz) spotlights a butterbeer section of its recipe community that indiscriminately mixes re-creations of “book,” “movie,” and “park” butterbeer. Descriptions of the cooks’ intentions vary, with some endeavoring toward rote approximation and others seeking to improve upon Jayson’s recipe. Although re-creation continues to occupy the liminal space between affrmation and transformation, the presence of an industry-approved and fan-approved process has altered the imaginative dimensions of the simulacratic process.

Conclusion Fans who choose food re-creation as their path into a fctional media world engage in a complex and specifc practice that cannot be easily classifed into an affrmational/transformative binary. New fan food re-creation communities and individual artisans spring up all the time online, such as Rosanna Pansino’s YouTube series, Nerdy Nummies, and the pan-fandom sub-Reddit r/ FictionalVittles. These sites combine discourses of sensory engagement, skillsharing, and fan-industry relationships. Because the study of sensation within fan studies has commonly been dissolved into affective frameworks, fandom and audience scholars have historically sidestepped the sensual specifcity of bodily encounters, which can reveal crucial struggles for power over texts; sensations such as taste can also fgure as alternative modes of cosplay and pilgrimage that allow fans to explore their identities through space, place, and material play. Food preparation and consumption are attended by a corpus of common acts such as trial-and-error, aesthetic arrangement, and parties that connect the social forms of taste with the sociality and ritualism of fandom. Far from simply ornamenting a space in which more complicated and transformative acts of fandom occur, fan foods have a vivid place in the fan’s lived experience that is all their own. In centering fan food re-creation, I have also endeavored to illuminate sensation and the body’s role in audience and fandom literature at large, beginning with the foundational cultural theories that undergird the discipline: namely, reframing consumption and taste in a literal sense and illuminating the potentials of performing this rhetorical maneuver. I have also argued for an increased attention to the rhetorical strategy of ekphrasis, which has only just begun to gain momentum within fan studies (see Baker; Wilson). By focusing on

Taste culture


physical immediacy and lucidity in the discursive and visual dimensions of fan food re-creation, poetics becomes the primary strategy for bringing elusive favors, phantom tastes, and fantastical foods into the realm of reality. Particularly in studies of transmedia storytelling through spatial experiences such as theme parks and pop-ups, food should be foregrounded as a sensorial ground zero for fan-industry confict and agreeance over the inherent narrative, emotional, and sensorial truths of canon. More than anything else, fan food re-creation prompts important questions about the value of subjectivity and internalism within the larger framework of communal fandom. Participation can occur on a variety of external, internal, and affective levels, animating engagement through the vexing and transcendent pleasures of taste.

References Abercrombie, Nicholas and Brian Longhurst. Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination. New York City: Sage, 1998. Bacon-Smith, Camille. Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992. Baker, Lucy. “Fannish Ekphrasis.” Fan Studies Network North America Conference, DePaul University, Chicago, October 23, 2018. Barthes, Roland. Image/Music/Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. New York City: Hill and Wang, 1977. Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1994. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984. Brillat-Savarin, Jean and M. F. K. Fisher. MFK Fisher’s Translation of the Physiology of Taste, Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy. San Diego: Harcourt, 1971. Brooker, Will. “A Sort of Homecoming: Fan Viewing and Symbolic Pilgrimage.” Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, edited by Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington. New York City: New York University Press, 2007, pp. 149–64. Coppa, Francesca. “Writing Bodies in Space: Media Fan Fiction as Theatrical Performance.” Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays, edited by Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co., 2006, pp. 225–244. Couldry, Nick. The Place of Media Power: Pilgrims and Witnesses of the Media Age. London: Routledge, 2008. de Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Oakland: University of California Press, 1988. De Kosnik, Abigail. Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Users. Boston: The MIT Press, 2016. Fiske, John. “The Cultural Economy of Fandom.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, edited by Lisa A. Lewis, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 30–49. Gronow, Jukka. The Sociology of Taste. London: Taylor and Francis, 2002. Grossberg, Lawrence. “Is There a Fan in the House?: The Affective Sensibility of Fandom.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, edited by Lisa A. Lewis, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 50–65. Halley, Jean and Patricia Clough. The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.

176 Steur Heffernan, James A. W. Museum of Words: The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008. Hills, Matt. Fan Cultures. London: Routledge, 2002. Hills, Matt. “From Dalek Half Balls to Daft Punk Helmets: Mimetic Fandom and the Crafting of Replicas.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 16, 2014, https:// doi:10.3983/twc.2014.0531. Horkheimer, Max and Theodor Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment, translated by John Cumming. London: Continuum, 1989. Krishna, Priya. “The Man Who Holds the Top Secret Recipe for Butterbeer.” Bon Appétit, 30 May 2017, ry-potter. Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. London: Routledge, 1992. Johnson, Derek. Media Franchising: Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries. New York City: New York University Press, 2013. Katz, Donald B. and Brian F. Sadacca. “Taste.” Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward, edited by Jay A. Gottfried. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2011, pp. 127–39. Krieger, Murray and Joan Krieger. Ekphrasis: The Illusion of the Natural Sign. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. Lamerichs, Nicolle. “Stranger than Fiction: Fan Identity in Cosplay.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 7, 2011, Lindhé, Cecilia. “‘A Visual Sense is Born in the Fingertips”: Towards a Digital Ekphrasis.” Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013, 00161/000161.html. Massumi, Brian. “Translator’s Foreword: Pleasures of Philosophy.” A Thousand Plateaus, edited by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987, pp. ix–xv. Monroe-Cassel, Chelsea and Sariann Lehrer Martin. “The Inn at the Crossroads.” The Inn at the Crossroads, 1 May 2019, Probyn, Elspeth. Carnal Appetites: Food, Sex, Identities. London: Routledge, 2000. Rea, Andrew. Binging with Babish. YouTube, May 1, 2019, bgflms. Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. London: Bloomsbury, 2018. Scott, Suzanne. “‘Cosplay Is Serious Business’: Gendering Material Fan Labor on Heroes of Cosplay.” Cinema Journal, vol. 54, no. 3, 2015, pp. 146–54. Scott, Suzanne. Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry. New York City: New York University Press, 2019. Spence, Charles. “Multisensory Flavor Perception.” Flavour: From Food to Perception, edited by Elisabeth Guichard, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, pp. 373–394. Stargazer, Lily. “In Which I Make Game of Thrones Lemon Cakes.” Phantasmagorical Musings, April 10, 2011, kes/comment-page-1/#comment-104. Tan, Chee-Beng. “Commensality and the Organization of Social Relations.” Commensality: From Everyday Food to Feast, New York City: Bloomsbury, 2015, pp. 13–29. Williams, Rebecca. Post-Object Fandom: Television, Identity and Self-Narrative. London: Bloomsbury, 2016. Wilson, Anna. “The Role of Affect in Fan Fiction.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 21, 2016, doi:10.3983/twc.2016.0684. “Mugglenet Recipes Archive.” Mugglenet,

14 Procaffeinating Mapping regional coffee fandom via social media Renee Middlemost

When everything seems unfamiliar, coffee is my touchstone. I might be on the other side of the world, but if I’m sipping a quality coffee I feel at ease, if not at home. In many ways relocating my life to the Illawarra region in New South Wales, Australia, is the story of falling deeply in love—with coffee, and the community food culture that is fourishing in the region. This chapter will combine my personal narrative with an interview to highlight the potential of fan labor in the success of regional food culture: in particular specialty coffee roasters in the Illawarra. The use of social media by foodies and coffee afcionados allows for the word of mouth spread, reviews, and websites that are essential to the success of small business, particularly those in regional areas. Personal narrative is deployed throughout this chapter as a way of exploring coffee tourism as a type of fandom, but also a type of “home” (Morley); a way to frame, and contextualize this research as infuenced by the small, the regional, the community. Considering home, I draw on David Morley, who describes home both as a physical place, and the “spaces of belonging […] in which people think of themselves as being at home” (425). As Arthur Bochner and Carolyn Ellis suggest, the autoethnographer is frequently interested in making sense of both mundane and notable life events. By combining personal narrative with secondary research and an interview this chapter aims to offer insight into the emergence of the Illawarra region as a food/coffee destination, and the impact of social media and fan/coffee culture in promoting regional small businesses.

That (rural) coffee life The year is 2014. I had just completed my PhD and was ready for a change. I had lived in the inner western suburbs of Sydney for over ten years, with great cafés and restaurants on my doorstop, but I longed for more space (and to not share walls with neighbors). I had begun to consider academia my “proper” career and was juggling several different adjunct teaching contracts when my partner and I decided to move south, to the tiny northern Illawarra suburb of Wombarra. On the eve of the move I recall exclaiming, panic-stricken, “We

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won’t be able to eat out during the week anymore! But that’s okay! We can cook! And save money! Our rent is a lot cheaper here!” Wombarra could not have been more different to our previous home. The train station was the center of activity (and the only activity) in this sleepy semi-rural suburb; the suburb itself consisting of approximately forty paved streets, and a tangle of private, unsealed roads. We missed the sound of traffc and heavy freight trains lulling us to sleep. The nearest village with a supermarket was a ten-minute drive away. But we could see the ocean from our front yard, our dogs had grass to play on and chickens to chase, and we had an ocean pool often all to ourselves, a mere two minutes away. Despite all of this, the Illawarra did not yet feel like home. Whenever I plan travel, I always research the coffee options. I am the epitome of the derogatory Australian term “latte sipping coffee snob”1 (although a strong fat white is my coffee of choice). And yet, I do not necessarily selfidentify as a “fan of coffee.” In the past I have not labeled myself a “fan of coffee” because of the mundane nature of my habit. Coffee allows me to feel at home and is a key feature of my everyday life, but it lacks the “specialness” of my other media centered fandoms. Rebecca Williams has written about fandom and mundane objects in terms of loss, and the impact upon fan identity—but the easy availability of coffee convinced me that perhaps this was not a “proper” fan object (Post Object Fandom 76–77). Writing this personal narrative, however, has led me to re-evaluate my relationship with coffee. The prioritized position that obtaining coffee holds in my daily routine, and the effort I make to visit specialist roasteries and cafés wherever I am, is in fact identical to my other fannish practices. Coffee has a central place in my everyday life. Buying coffee is the frst thing I do when I leave the house, and coffee is always there when I need a distraction (thus “procaffeinating”), or when I need to think. I talk about coffee with other coffee lovers, and plan to try new coffee locations and cafés based on reviews and word of mouth. These habits are strikingly similar to the way I consume my media fan objects: on the basis of friend/colleague recommendation, research, and then fullblown obsession. Discovering Matt Hills’ research as I entered the Academy has forever linked my defnition of fandom with cult media consumption (Fan Cultures ix). This impression has been solidifed during subsequent years, with those who I would deem “fans” of a myriad of activities—from restoring classic cars, to gardening and collecting plants and beyond—actively refusing the label for a variety of reasons, including toxic fan practices online. Refecting upon the often “fractured” nature of fandom, CarrieLynn Reinhard also suggests a broader defnition of fans, as those who “repeatedly engage with an object of affection” (4). I have also come to refect upon the fact that my love of “good” coffee, and the measure of taste and cultural capital this infers shapes my self-identity (Bourdieu). As Cornel Sandvoss observes, “Fan performances in everyday life thus become a source of stability and security, performing one of many areas of social interaction” (Fans 47). The everyday performance of “consuming



coffee” thus becomes a source of stability and security in my performance of identity, something that I can rely upon wherever I am in the world, be it moving house, or travelling. There is always somewhere to buy coffee (even if it is not “good” coffee)—the pleasure is obtained from the quest to fnd, as much as it is to consume. Seeking out local cafés in search of a great brew brings me a feeling of familiarity with my location—be it Amsterdam, or the Illawarra—and this was the approach I took to my new home. For Wombarra to feel familiar, I turned to doing the familiar: exploring my new home with coffee as my compass.

Method: Why autoethnography? While a thorough outline of autoethnography is beyond the scope of this chapter, it is important to outline the key features of this methodology and how they shape this research. Carolyn Ellis and Arthur Boehner describe how autoethnography “has become the term of choice in describing studies and procedures that connect the personal to the cultural” (740). As this chapter is not rooted in a deeply personal experience, the question of method is particularly relevant. This chapter specifcally aligns with personal narrative as a submethod within autoethnography, a distinction argued by Ellis and Bochner: “In personal narratives, [scholars] take on the dual identities of academic and personal selves to tell autobiographical stories about some aspect of their experience in daily life” (740). The appeal of utilizing personal narrative in this context is to expose what Hills has described as the “imagined subjectivity” of academic research (“Media Academics” 37). Jimmie Manning and Tony P. Adams also refute the academic obsession with so-called objectivity. Citing Ron Pelias they observe: “we are each situated within a historical and cultural context, and, as such, ideology drapes our every utterance” (190). Thus, autoethnography is particularly well suited to claiming a fannish identity, even when working in the Academy. “Aca-fans” utilize autoethnography to make sense of their own experiences as somehow refecting fandoms and their transformative potential (see Jenkins; Hills, Fan Cultures; Hills, “Media Academics”; Morimoto). However, Paul Booth outlines typical critiques of autoethnography when applied to fan studies, arguing that such research is “always constrained by a particular time and space, the temporal and spatial coordinates in which the researcher has undertaken the research” (107). Here, these so-called “constraints” are entirely the point: to situate this research in a particular time and space and mark it as a starting point for further research on the intersection between fandom, fan labor, small business, regional communities, and coffee tourism. The bulk of fan studies research remains centered on media objects and celebrities as key sites of fandom rather than more mundane objects, hobbies, people, or food. In this chapter, I intend to test the possibilities for using personal narrative as a method in the context of non-media object fandom that has no obvious end point (unlike a television series). Thus, this chapter is intended as a departure by merging personal narrative with research on fan labor and tourism, and its

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relevance to regional communities, food tourism, and small business opportunities specifcally.

“I heard it through the grapevine”: Online tourism and fan labor Interdisciplinary academic research on tourism that examines the role of food, social media, and fan tourism/labor offers a starting point from which to theorize the role of online food reviews, apps, and word of mouth in the reputation of small businesses. Whenever I am due to visit a new place, inevitably the frst thing I Google is “best coffee in X location.” When I arrive in at my destination, I compare the Google list to the location based, coffee app Beanhunter, which will list the closest cafés to your destination (available in thirty-eight countries), along with user ratings, reviews, addresses, and images. I have used Beanhunter not only to assess local coffee choices, but to contribute reviews, update previous entries, and engage with other contributors—in short, I have contributed my own fannish labor for the beneft of the wider coffee community. It is undeniable that people have turned to online reviews, blogs, and apps when it comes to recommendations for where to eat and drink. Signe Rousseau’s monograph was one of the frst to assess the growing role of social media in food culture, particularly focused on the professionalization of reviews from everyday people, by claiming “everyone is a critic” (61–65). The vital importance of positive social media reviews and word of mouth for small businesses is established in Rousseau’s tale, connecting online food culture and fan behavior. Rousseau describes one of “… the defning characteristics of social media in the twenty-frst century” as “prosumption” (9). Food and coffee bloggers and app designers occupy the produser role, and thus play an important role in the success of small businesses. Apps such as Beanhunter, which curates reviews according to the user’s location, rely on the free labor of coffee enthusiasts to operate and provide the “gift” of their coffee knowledge—echoing the tendency of fans to engage in a gift economy (Turk) for their labor rather than any monetary transaction. And yet fan labor could easily be viewed as exploitative on this platform, as Beanhunter has engaged in strategies to monetize the app, such as purchasing the industry job board (Beeche). As such, performing the act of reviewing café might also be viewed as a form of hope labor (Kuehn and Corrigan) or aspirational labor (Duffy) where reviews that are volunteered lead to opportunities for future monetary and/or career compensation. Regardless of the positive potential of the Internet “community,” Rousseau concludes that for both restauranteurs and consumers, an: “… increased capital of twoway attention” exists as chefs and restaurants engage fans and followers of their brand in conversation across social media; thus “the business of food has in this way become more immediate and more “personal”’ (13–14). The embeddedness of food in the social media space, alongside the everyday space of the home, enables the consideration of food fandom alongside food tourism.



Food tourism is a growth area both in terms of travel and academic research. C. Michael Hall and Liz Sharples and Ashleigh Ellis et al. make the distinction between those who enjoy food as part of their travel experience and those who travel specifcally for food experiences, shaping their itinerary around food activities. Ellis et al.’s work on food tourism shares similarities with Sue Beeton’s appraisal of “flm induced tourism,” subsequent work on fan tourism (see Larsen; Lee; Linden and Linden; Sandvoss, “I Heart Ibiza”; Williams, “Fan Tourism and Pilgrimmage”), and the digital mapping of flming locations (Leotta). Drawing on more established research on wine tourism, Hall and Sharples defne food tourism as: visitation to primary and secondary food producers, food festivals, restaurants and specifc locations for which food tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of specialist food production regions are the primary motivating factor for travel […] food tourism may possibly be regarded as an example of culinary, gastronomic, gourmet or cuisine tourism that refects consumers for whom interest in food and wine is a form of “serious leisure.” (10) Saerom Wang et al. also refect upon the centrality of food to the tourist experience, while IpKin Anthony Wong et al. expand food tourism research to examine the role and uptake of “foodstagramming” or—the practice of taking selfes and images of food, as a part of the “foodie” travel experience. Building on lifestyle tourism destination research conducted by Michael J. Gross and Graham Brown, Wang et al. contend that “food consumption makes tourists emotionally attached to the destination enhancing their level of involvement” with that place (681). This feeling of emotional attachment to place is central to the success of specialty coffee roasters in regional locations. When specialty roasters use social media to promote their businesses alongside fan reviews and food tourism, engagement with the everyday routine of procuring coffee inspires the type of affective engagement felt by fans of media texts. The “experience” of coffee, and place gives “‘colour,’ ‘tone,’ or ‘texture’ to our experiences” (Grossberg 56). This affective engagement with coffee, and specialty cafés gives rise to examine the role of fan labor in promoting niche coffee roasteries in regional locations.

Food tourism, fan labor? I now turn to the other key feature of fan/food tourism, that of fan labor. For those interested in seeking out locations, or specifc venues, fan blogs and apps have become an invaluable resource (Leotta); and yet these resources are dependent on unpaid fan labor—which is typically given freely, but is nonetheless, labor from which niche businesses beneft. As Tiziana Terranova contends, “free labor is the moment where this knowledgeable consumption of culture is translated into productive activities that are pleasurably embraced

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and at the same time shamelessly exploited” (37). One could read Terranova’s work as illustrating the practice of updating blogs, compiling reviews, and/or creating coffee-centered apps. Mel Stanfll and Megan Condis’ work highlights how fan labor is often made invisible because it is undertaken freely, and for pleasure: pleasurable labor often does not register as labor at all. … The emphasis in fan circulation of gifts is in producing and reinforcing fannish identities and relationships. […] Because of the way fan gift economies run on identity, connection, and production according to one’s own desires in a way antithetical to our usual beliefs about work, labor has not been a prominent conversation thus far. While Stanfll and Condis’ work has since been expanded upon by scholars such as Abigail De Kosnik, this chapter is more interested in how small businesses understand the beneft of fan labor. Indeed, how small businesses view fan activities such as reviews, blogs, and apps in the overall context of their ability to operate small businesses in a regional location.

Regional businesses: Destination Illawarra At the start of this chapter I recounted my alarm at the thought of not eating out during the week, but I did not reveal the (perhaps shameful) amount of research I conducted on the availability of coffee prior to relocating. I need not have worried. Located an hour from Sydney, the Illawarra region is surrounded by pristine beaches and national parks and a burgeoning wine and produce belt to the south. In the past decade, the Illawarra region has transformed from a working-class, heavy industry economy, to a community focused, food tourism destination. Mitchell Crowle attributes this shift beginning with the 2008 opening of “a boutique café hybrid named Lee and Me which was hinting at a more ‘Melbourne’ way of eating out”; because of this business, “the area is now home to a wide variety of quality dining options that work in tune with the surrounding region” (3). Local farmers markets have fourished alongside cafés and restaurants promoting regional food culture, with the trend toward local, sustainable food and consumption. The changing face of the region and food economy is documented by independent publications such as Share Plate, a lifestyle magazine dedicated to showcasing the regional food culture of Australia, the frst issue of which was dedicated to the Illawarra. Interviews with local business owners echo the theme of community and the importance of this culture to the success of their business. According to Mel Cox, owner of Opus Coffee Brewers, the reason for opening her business was “the community aspect. […] It wasn’t just a café, it was a place for people to socialize. All seating is communal, as we wanted to bring people together” (as cited in Crowle 25). The population of the Illawarra region has also changed in the past decade,



with many in the eighteen- to thirty-fve-year demographic relocating, returning home from Sydney, and/or establishing small businesses, particularly in the hospitality (i.e. food, wine, coffee) industry. The region’s changing identity as a food destination, coupled with the possibilities of social media for niche business promotion, have been central to the ability of businesses to fourish in regional locations. One of the owners of Wollongong based Delano Coffee, Boris Georgiou, spoke with me and refected on the experience and challenges of operating a niche business in a regional location, and how the local community and social media intersects in generating word of mouth through reviews, social media and coffee apps. Delano Coffee began roasting its signature specialty coffee in 2011. As Georgiou refected, the business began in sales and distribution of coffee machines, and producing their own coffee was a side effect of a desire to grow the business and encourage repeat purchases. Once the decision had been made to purchase a roasting machine and produce specialty coffee, the values of the company came to the forefront: a focus on innovation and ethics in producing specialty coffee, and how to engage with the local community. Engaging the local community has been essential, as the owners were keen to base the business in Wollongong, having made their homes in the area, and not wanting to sacrifce their family’s lifestyle to operate a successful business. Delano has existing partnerships with several initiatives (both local and national) to diversify their workforce. These include: SAME Cup, an initiative seeking to increase the participation of women and minority groups in “… positions of power and infuence across the Australian Specialty Coffee industry” (SAME Cup); GreenAcres disability appointment program; and a local refugee employment program. For Georgiou, “the whole point was to be transparent about not only the [ethics and sustainability] of the coffee and building sustainable communities at the point of origin—but also building a sustainable community locally as well” (Georgiou). The concept of community was one to which we returned throughout our discussion. I asked where Delano sees social media ftting with their business model, given their dedication to a physical place. Delano is different to most cafés in Wollongong because of their location in an industrial estate—a necessity, as a large roastery cannot be located in a normal high foot-traffc area. Being out of the way, they observe two different customer bases: customers of convenience, employed in this area—and customers that make the trip just to buy retail coffee, as the café is the only place (aside from their website) where Delano take-home packs of coffee can be purchased. What is less clear is whether the business has regular customers because of social media, but most of their customers who visit from outside of Wollongong are referred by Google. In addition to coffee customers, Delano have found that 30 percent of web traffc comes from people exploring options for barista training. Delano has much smaller class sizes than any of the Sydney schools, so it appeals to both locals and those from Sydney—in addition to offering another training opportunity to young people in the Illawarra seeking work for the frst time.

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Returning to the impact of social media platforms, Google ratings and reviews, we discussed the Beanhunter app in relation to debates (see Ross) regarding audience expertise, gatekeeping, and the evolving relationship between media producers and audience “produsers.” Georgiou’s experience with the app has changed over time. When it was frst released, Delano was the top-ranked café in Southern Sydney for four years running. He found that when Beanhunter frst started, people in the coffee community were highly engaged, and the reviews were extremely critical, as they were mostly written by professionals working in the industry. While Beanhunter was initially industry-focused, and largely populated by qualifed professionals, this trend has shifted in favor of “everyday’ coffee drinkers.” Georgiou also refected on the impact of online comments and Google reviews when trying to maintain clientele: Reviews can make or break a business and there’s nothing stopping one business getting all their friends to gang up on their rivals. Facebook is similar—at the start we had about 4000 fve-star reviews and then every now and then we get somebody who just wants to vent—and that becomes super prominent. Nowadays one negative—it doesn’t even have to be a negative experience just someone saying something negative can have a 10,000 view consequence and it’s really hard. I really like the idea of the Internet, that it’s actually quite democratic and gives more people a voice and you’ll see more of what everybody wants, but at the same time it’s also a double-edged sword when you are a small, specialty business in a regional area. Following our conversation about reviews, I asked if Georgiou believed Wollongong was now a food tourism destination given the increased impact of online reviews on regional areas and niche businesses. While reluctant to dub Wollongong a food tourism destination in the same way as Crowle, he did suggest that: the quality of the hospitality businesses in Wollongong has exploded in the last 10 years. I didn’t grow up in Wollongong, I moved here 15 years ago and at that time, from a nightlife perspective, restaurants, cafés and stuff it was pretty bland. I think that with the housing boom pushing people out of Sydney it’s actually built a tourism industry in Wollongong. In the past ffteen years, the University of Wollongong has overtaken BlueScope Steel as the largest employer in the region, and this has further shifted the demographic and the access to disposable income, inspiring growth in dining destinations. Access to social media also enables business owners and operators to monitor trends in the industry which helps move the region forward. As a food



tourism location, Georgiou questions whether the Illawarra has come to terms with its new identity: as more money and more people come in the Illawarra food scene will eventually have to defne itself and someone will have to emerge from the pack and set the standard. From a tourism perspective I would focus on building the local community around the business, with the idea that if you gain greater visibility here, tourists or people passing through will fnd you quicker than anything else. Our strategy is not necessarily “tourist centric,” but in appealing to customers we have our two key parts—the frst part is building community engagement in our physical local space and through programs. To close our conversation, we returned to the idea of community engagement and customer interaction with social media and the impact for small business: “We’re thinking carefully about the concept of what constitutes local as well— the perception that the online community is different to a physical community doesn’t really exist for young people they’re the same thing—it’s community.” The most striking elements of this discussion were Delano’s emphasis on what might be called “traditional” methods of promotion, with the centrality of a supportive local community, and the overlap between the on/offine worlds and how action in either impacts the reputation of small businesses. In this case it is apparent that social media amplifes the challenges facing specialty local businesses. Social media engagement with clients also requires balancing the businesses’ priorities, and how this meshes with constantly changing social media platforms, and algorithms promoting specifc businesses. More expansive, additional research is needed both regionally, and in urban areas to properly interrogate the complicated relationship between coffee fans, social media platforms, and small business. While small business owners can beneft from the exposure provided by fan labor in the form of blogs, reviews, and apps, it is food tourists and coffee fans like myself who seem to beneft the most from these resources when planning holidays, or just the next place to pick up a morning coffee.

Refection As I complete this chapter in February 2020, the bushfres that have ravaged Australia for months have fnally been extinguished. The entire country has been impacted but regional areas, particularly the South Coast of NSW, have been decimated. Initially consisting of a cluster of small fres threatening villages along the South Coast since October 2019, these fres eventually merged forming the massive Currowan fre. The Currowan fre isolated the region, cutting off rail and road access, burning for seventy-four days through 499,621 hectares of land (SBS News). The ongoing bushfre emergency also exposed the methodological challenge of this chapter: the recruiting of research participants

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and carrying out of interviews particularly with those operating their own businesses. Numerous researchers (see Rowley; Winter et al.) have refected upon the time constraints incumbent upon research participants, with Mary Winter et al. focusing on those unique to small business owners and, thus, their reluctance to complete interviews. It was my intent to conduct interviews with small business owners located in regional areas on the South Coast beyond Wollongong for this chapter, but the impact of the fres made this impossible. Time constraints, and in this case prioritizing life and business saving actions, will always take priority over research participation. The bushfre disaster further motivates my research, to support small business owners in regional locations in any way possible—starting with promoting these businesses through research and my own social media channels, and considering relevant collaborations and skill sharing partnerships between academics, students, and business. These towns need our help—not just immediately, but long term. In a very real way, this national emergency drives home the inspiration for this chapter: to consider how fan actions on social media platforms can promote small businesses. Subsequent grassroots social media campaigns to support drought-affected communities, such as Buy from the Bush (@buyfromthebush) and Stay in the Bush (@stayinthebush), have amassed thousands of followers and can also be read as fan labor, or fan activism initiatives. In this case, organizers—as fans of their local communities—are using social media to amplify the issues being faced in regional areas. These bushfre relief initiatives have emerged from community members urging followers to visit or buy from regional communities reliant on tourism, including Spend with Them (@spendwiththem) to promote regional small businesses, Stay with Them (@ staywiththemau) to promote regional accommodation vendors, and Roadtrip for Good (@roadtripforgood) to encourage roadtrips and spending in regional towns. Particularly relevant here is food focused Empty Esky (@emptyesky). Empty Esky encourages followers to support fre-impacted communities by visiting (once the danger has passed) with an empty esky (portable cooler) and buying produce and other products from local vendors (Empty Esky). Since launching their Instagram pages on January 6, 2020, Spend with Them and Empty Esky have attracted two hundred thousand and forty-fve thousand followers, respectively. The impact of these initiatives has had for businesses rebuilding their clientele has been signifcant, as online promotion and sharing these initiatives has been widely reported in the Australian mainstream media (Benson; LeightonDore). Founder of the Empty Esky initiative, Eleanor Baillieu, says initial reports from small businesses have been positive, with numerous businesses saved from bankruptcy by selling their goods online. Baillieu says that Empty Esky will be a long-term tourism initiative to ensure that fre-impacted communities recover and to help expose these communities to a new audience of potential customers (Peek and Ky)—and perhaps new fans. These local fan labor efforts were promptly imitated by offcial government channels such



as the nationwide Tourism Australia campaign “Holiday Here This Year” encouraging Australians to holiday at home and inject much needed funds into bushfre-ravaged communities. Around the country, fans of coffee, koalas, and Australia itself are being rallied to save local communities from economic disaster.

Conclusion This chapter has explored the growth of niche coffee businesses in the Illawarra region in New South Wales, Australia. As illustrated through a personal narrative combined with insights from local businesses and academic research, social media plays a central role in our food, coffee, and consumption habits. However, this chapter also engaged with the idea of feeling at home and Australian food culture’s move toward the regional, community, and sustainability. The aim of this chapter has been twofold: to create a dialogue between fan studies methodologies and small business; and to combine several existing areas of academic research in terms of food, and fan tourism, and fan labor. At the outset, I described the identity work required to evoke the feeling at home in a new place, drawing on Morley. Furthermore, Morley’s approach of considering the small and the local, and how this might link to national or even transnational communities, offers a future direction for this type of research. Using personal narrative has led me to consider the role of coffee in my life as a form of fandom, and how fan studies more broadly might encourage a more expansive view of what constitutes fannish practice, and how to engage with fans of objects outside of media and popular culture. This chapter is intended as a starting point toward engagement between fan scholars and their local food communities. The summer 2019–2020 bushfre emergency confronting Australia has shown the vitality of local communities, and how the survival of small businesses might be supported by food tourism, and “fan” initiated social media campaigns. By considering the potential of social media, and collaboration between fans, scholars, and small businesses centered around the regional, and local, food communities in these regions are able to emerge, fourish, and regenerate in times of abundance and crisis.

Note 1 “Latte sipping” (followed by any number of adjectives such as inner-city, woke, lefties, or all of the above) is a pejorative deployed by older, conservative voters, as code for progressive, or politically left-leaning, inner-city dwelling, young professionals (Duffeld).

References Beeche, Mat. “Beanhunter Is on a Quest to Own the Australian Speciality Coffee Space.” StartUp Daily, 2014. Beeton, Sue. Film Induced Tourism. Bristol: Channel View Publications, 2005.

188 Middlemost Benson, J. “Fill Your Empty Esky to Support Fire Affected Communities.” WSFM, 2020. Bochner, Arthur P. and Carolyn Ellis. “Autoethnography.” Communication as …: Perspectives on Theory, edited by Gregory Shepherd, Jeffrey St. John, and Ted Striphas, Los Angeles: Sage, 2006, pp. 110–22. Booth, Paul. Playing Fans: Negotiating Fandom and Media in the Digital Age. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2015. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1984. Crowle, Mitchell. “Illawarra NSW.” Share Plate: Regional Food Culture, Magazine, vol. 1, 2018. De Kosnik, Abigail. “Interrogating ‘Free’ Fan Labor.” Spreadable Media, 2015, http:// Duffeld, Lee. “The Right’s War on Cafe Latte.” Independent Australia, 2018, independen,11464. Duffy, Brooke Erin. “The Romance of Work: Gender and Aspirational Labour in the Digital Culture Industries.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 19, no. 4, 2016, pp. 441–57. Ellis, Ashleigh, Eerang Park, Sangkyun Kim, and Ian Yeoman. “What Is Food Tourism?” Tourism Management, no. 68, 2018, pp. 250–63. Ellis, Carolyn, and Arthur P. Bochner. “Autoethnography, Personal Narrative, Refexivity.” Handbook of Qualitative Research, edited by Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln, Second Edition, Los Angeles: Sage, 2000, pp. 733–68. Empty Esky. About–Empty Esky. 2020. Georgiou, Boris. Personal Interview. September 18, 2019. Gross, Michael J., and Graham Brown. “Tourism Experiences in a Lifestyle Destination Setting: The Roles of Involvement and Place Attachment.” Journal of Business Research, vol. 59, no. 6, 2006, pp. 696–700, doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2005.12.002. Grossberg, Laurence. “Is There a Fan in the House? The Affective Sensibility of Fandom.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, edited by Lisa A. Lewis, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 50–68. Hall, C. Michael and Liz Sharples. “The Consumption of Experiences or the Experience of Consumption?” Food Tourism Around the World: Development, Management and Markets, edited by C. Michael Hall, Liz Sharples, Richard Mitchell, Niki Macionis, and Brock Cambourne, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003, pp. 1–24. Hills, Matt. “Fan Cultures.” Sussex Studies in Culture and Communication, London: Routledge, 2002. ———. “Media Academics as Media Audiences: Aesthetic Judgements in Media and Cultural Studies.” Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, edited by Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington, New York City: New York University Press, 2007, pp. 33–47. Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. Routledge, 1992. Kuehn, Kathleen and Thomas F. Corrigan. “Hope Labor: The Role of Employment Prospects in Online Social Production.” The Political Economy of Communication, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013, pp. 9–25, Larsen, K. “(Re)Claiming Harry Potter Fan Pilgrimmage Sites.” Playing Harry Potter: Essays and Interviews on Fandom and Performance, edited by L.S. Brenner, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015, pp. 38–54. Lee, Christina. “‘Have Magic, Will Travel’: Tourism and Harry Potter’s United (Magical) Kingdom.”Tourist Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2012, pp. 52–69, doi:10.1177/1468797612438438.



Leighton-Dore, Samuel. “Turia Pitt Launches Instagram Account to Help Bushfre Communities.” SBS News, 2020, 01/07/turia-pitt-launches-instagram-account-help-bushfre-communities. Leotta, Alfo. “Navigating Movie (M)Apps: Film Locations, Tourism, and Digital Mapping Tools.” M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, vol. 19, no. 3, 2016, Linden, Henrik, and Sara Linden.“Fans and Fan Cultures:Tourism, Consumerism and Social Media.” Fans and Fan Cultures:Tourism, Consumerism and Social Media, 2016, pp. 1–234. Manning, Jimmie, and Tony E. Adams. “Popular Culture Studies and Autoethnography: An Essay on Method.” The Popular Culture Studies Journal, vol. 3, no. 1–2, 2015, pp. 187–222. Morimoto, Lori. An Introduction to Media Fan Studies. Lulu Publishing, 2019. Morley, David. “Belongings: Place, Space and Identity in a Mediated World.” European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, 2001, pp. 425–48. Peek, K. and J. Ky. “Shop Local, Stay Local: How the Empty Esky Campaign is Helping Bushfre Affected Areas.” 7 News: The Daily Edition, 2020, -edition/shop-local-stay-local-how-the-empty-esky-campaign-is-helping-bushfre-affe cted-areas-c-682106. Reinhard, CarrieLynn D. Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018. Ross, Philippe. “Is There an Expertise of Production? The Case of New Media Producers.” New Media and Society, vol. 13, no. 6, 2011, pp. 912–28. Rousseau, Signe. Food and Social Media: You Are What You Tweet. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefeld, 2012. Rowley, Jennifer. “Conducting Research Interviews.” Management Research Review, vol. 35, no. 3–4, 2012, pp. 260–71. SAME Cup. Our Vision. 2020, Sandvoss, Cornel. Fans: The Mirror of Consumption. London: Polity, 2005. ———. “I Heart Ibiza: Music, Place, and Belonging.” Popular Music Fandom: Identities, Roles, and Practices, edited by Mark Duffett, 1st edition, London: Routledge, 2013, pp. 115–45. SBS. “NSW South Coast Fire Finally Out After Burning for 74 Days Across 499, 621 Hectares.” SBS News, 2020, ut-after-burning-for-74-days-across-499-621-hectares. Stanfll, Mel, and Megan Condis. “Fandom and/as Labor: Editorial.” Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 15, 2014, Terranova, Tiziana. “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy.” Social Text, vol. 18, no. 2, 2000, pp. 33–58. Tourism Australia. Holiday Here This Year Campaign. 2020. Turk, Tisha. “Fan Work: Labour, Worth, and Participation in Fandom’s Gift Economy.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 15, 2014, Wang, Saerom, Ksenia Kirillova, and Xinran Lehto. “Travelers’ Food Experience Sharing on Social Network Sites.” Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, vol. 34, no. 5, London: Routledge, 2017, pp. 680–93. Williams, Rebecca. “Fan Tourism and Pilgrimmage.” The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, edited by Melissa A. Click and Suzanne Scott, London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 98–106. ———. Post-Object Fandom: Television, Identity and Self-Narrative. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

190 Middlemost Winter, Mary, Margaret A. Fitzgerald, Ramona K. Z. Heck, George W. Haynes, and Sharon M. Danes. “Revisiting the Study of Family Businesses: Methodological Challenges, Dilemmas, and Alternative Approaches.” Family Business Review, vol. 11, no. 3, 1998, pp. 239–52. Wong, IpKin Anthony, Danqing Liu, Nao Li, Shushan Wu, Lanfeng Lu, and Rob Law. “Foodstagramming in the Travel Encounter.” Tourism Management, no. 71, 2019, pp. 99–115.

15 For the love of beer Craft beer fandom Kathie Peterson and Julia E. Largent

Kathie was enjoying a night out with her husband when he took out his phone, snapped a picture of his beer, and logged it on Untappd before even taking a sip. On their frst vacation together fve years ago, they hit over twenty different craft breweries in fourteen days. At each brewery, he posed happily, and sometimes playfully, under each sign as Kathie snapped yet another craft beer sign picture. At each brewery they visited since that vacation, she noticed something. The patrons and staff are friendly and quick to chat with Kathie and her husband, sharing their favorite beers or favorite local bottle shops to check out and, occasionally, slipping her husband a free logo sticker. These people were not simply producers or consumers or craft beer: they were fans of it. The craft beer craze in the United States is growing and spreading. In 2019, over eight thousand breweries operated in the United States, up substantially from 2010 and 1,716 breweries. According to the Brewers Association, even though overall beer volume sales were down about 1 percent in the United States in 2018, craft beer sales rose 4 percent by volume, hitting 13.2 percent of the US beer market (Watson). Retail dollars also rose, increasing 7 percent to $27.6 billion (total US beer sales was $114.2 billion).According to Adam Tyma, “Beer, it could be said, has experienced a phoenix-like rising from the ashes during the last thirty years, and there is no sign that it intends to land any time soon” (xii).With an understanding of what craft beer is and what their community includes, this chapter explores the nature of a fan community and applies that understanding to the activities of craft beer communities to argue that the craft beer community is a fan community. Utilizing an ethnographic approach, we draw on personal experiences and observations, online and at breweries, to support this assertion.Although the groups that have formed around craft beer have been widely referred to as communities, the recognition as a fandom lifts the importance and identity among the fans. Just like any other interest group, diehard fans and groups love to talk about and share their insight on craft beer. Indeed, if not for the craft beer community being a fandom, the industry may not exist.

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Defning craft beer The Brewers Association (BA) created parameters for an American craft brewery as small (producing 6 million barrels or less), independent (less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by a beverage alcohol industry member), and a brewer. These parameters distinguish a national brewer such as Molson Coors, who produced 92.1 million hectoliters in 2018, and AnheuserBusch, who produced 567 million hectoliters in 2018, from craft breweries such as Modern Times in San Diego, who produced 68,000 barrels (one barrel equals 119.24 liters or thirty-one US gallons) in 2018, and Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who produced 112,000 barrels in 2018. Focusing on the most obvious of the elements from the BA defnition (i.e., small and independent) provides a better understanding of what “craft” is. The idea of beer being small and independent transfers with ease to the idea that the beer is being crafted by small breweries versus being manufactured by massive national corporations. These ideas are akin to craft artisanal breads, olive oils, soaps and other small-batch products emerging in the twenty-frst century. Ken Weaver explains craft as a placeholder for other terms and can replace phrases such as small, favorful, local, independent, and traditional. For the purpose of this chapter, we will recognize the size of the facility (production and ownership) as well as Weaver’s description of craft as key elements in defning a craft brewery. With an understanding of what constitutes a craft brewery, we can explore some of the fne distinctions that are benefcial to know when looking at the craft brewing industry and, thus, the fandom. Prior to the use and familiarity of the term “craft beer,” beer that was brewed by small, independent brewers was often referred to as microbrew. The term “microbrew” has been retired, and the brewer community has embraced the craft moniker. The reasons behind the relabeling of small, independent beer is a result of two primary issues. According to Bruce Eddings, microbrewery is actually a legal term that precisely describes the specifc size of breweries within the United States. Businesses labeled a microbrewery were only able to produce a signifcantly limited number of barrels per year, according to the BA. For example, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Alcohol and Tobacco Control, Missouri Liquor Law, Section 311.195, restricts microbreweries to ten thousand barrels or less per annum. Brewers quickly realized that the craft beer industry was moving beyond that limitation. The second reason was that the term itself stopped making sense (Eddings). With the label “micro,” breweries such as the Boston Beer Company (home to Sam Adams) and Sierra Nevada had national distribution. As the brand recognition grew for Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer Company, they stopped being “micro.” Beer that was brewed in small, independent breweries needed a new term. The term “craft beer” ft the overall image: beer being crafted, with care and passion, and not manufactured—and without the legal restrictions applied to “microbrew.” No clear indication of who coined the expression of craft beer exists, but the BA rapidly made it their own by labeling it.

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Before the BA identifed their guidelines to defne a craft brewery, others created the foundation for the contemporary industry. In The Craft Beer Revolution, Steve Hindy suggests that craft beer pioneers such as Fritz Maytag; Jack McAuliffe, Jane Zimmerman, and Suzy Denison (New Albion Brewing Company); Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company); and others built the foundation for the craft brewing movement. Their all-malt beers contrasted the recipes consisting of rice and corn additives favored by national brewers such as Anheuser-Busch and Coors. With the groundwork that Maytag and others created, the BA identifed the three critical elements to defne a craft brewery that are still being held today, even after amending them four times to “to keep up with innovation and brewing trends.” The current guidelines leave much to the brewers and the enthusiasts to be determined, such as how big a craft brewery can become to meet market demand. Independent, per the BA, allows less than 25 percent of the craft brewery to be owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Thus, only 25 percent of a brewery can be owned by anyone not identifed as a craft brewer. The ability to be independent and free from signifcant non-craft interest and oversight allows craft brewers to maintain a sense of integrity. This portion of the defnition also has a hard “us versus them” line and allows for more experimentation. No longer included in the BA’s main defnition of craft beer is “traditional.” Within the defnition of traditional, craft brewers had an all-malt fagship (the beer that represents the greatest volume among that brewer’s brand) or had at least 50 percent of its volume in either all-malt beers or in beers that use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten the favor. According to the BA’s website, the “traditional” pillar became outdated because the craft brewers sought new revenue to keep their breweries at capacity and address changing market conditions. Craft brewers now create products that diverge from the traditional defnition of beer, such as glutenfree, all-malt, and adjunct beers, as well as meads, seltzers, and ciders. Having this integrity and innovative nature lends itself to developing a fanbase of beer connoisseurs seeking something new and different.

Craft beer communities Craft breweries are becoming a place where people gather. Today, a local taproom is an experience to share with family and friends. People visit taprooms for sunrise yoga and pints, playing board games while having a fight, or to celebrate an important event. These people are the driving force behind the craft beer community. It is not the beer (okay, not just the beer); it is the relationships formed around beer. Enjoying craft beer is not just about drinking; it is about the relationships that are forged and maintained. The community of the craft beer enthusiasts is almost as valuable as the craft beer itself. In Ray Oldenburg’s The Great Good Place, Oldenburg explains the natural tendency people have to fnd a third place—a place that hosts the regular, voluntary, informal, and the

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happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realm of work and home. In these locations, people choose to gather with those who share similar interests and likes. Neil Reid has applied this concept to explain the appeal of craft beer cultures. Maybe Cheers was not so far off: sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they are always glad you came. Robert Stebbins defnes a community as a social group with a common territorial base; those in the group share interests and have a sense of belonging to the group. This shared interest for the intent of this research is craft beer. When people talk about community, they usually think about a feeling of connection, belonging, and ftting in. From personal experiences, visiting different breweries always involved a sense of connection. Everyone we have ever engaged with shared their stories of craft beer and/or their favorite breweries and experience. They did not talk about craft beer as just something to drink, but rather a way of life. Those who enjoy craft beer drink it because of the community that surrounds it. In the Introduction to Beer Culture in Theory and Practice: Understanding Craft Beer Culture in the United States, Tyma defnes beer culture as the “social, linguistic, and commercial realities that exist in concert with the myriad beverages that fall under the umbrella heading of ‘beer’” (xi). Tyma explored two local homebrewer beer communities and found, alongside the homogenous groups of individuals (overwhelmingly white men who have disposable income as homebrewing is not a cheap hobby), camaraderie and a shared lexicon that created an in-group/out-group distinction (Tajfel), commonly seen in fandoms (Reinhard). Furthermore, the individuals in these homebrewer communities perform all fve types of fan activities as outlined by CarrieLynn Reinhard. This chapter extends the analysis of homebrewers as a beer culture and applies these fve concepts to the entirety of the craft beer movement (of which homebrewing is a part) through personal observations and discussions with community members.

Craft beer fandom and fanship It is not unusual to hear stories of, and even observe the sensation of, being a fan. Popular culture is replete with the emotional investment that ebbs and fows with the success and failures of sports teams, musicians, movies, and more. Stephen Reysen and Nyla Branscombe, using sports as their example, identify that an individual’s sense of connection to a sports team is “fanship,” and the individual’s connection to other fans of the team is “fandom.” Stated differently, fanship is identifcation with the object itself, while fandom is identifcation with others who share a connection with the object. In general, the concept of a “fandom” is related to, but markedly different from, a “fanship.” According to Mark Duffett, a fandom refers to “the way of identifying oneself on a deep level as being a fan and enacting that role” (293). The values of the object become important to the fan and how they see themselves and others who have a similar, or different, relationship with that object.

For the love of beer


This concept of fandom applies to the craft beer culture, as those involved in the craft beer community enact all fve types of fan activity as outlined by Reinhard. For craft beer fans, this includes attending bottle releases, special events, beer festivals, talking with other fans, and sharing content through social media with other beer fans. Thus, for this chapter, we focus on defning fans and fandom as individuals who have a specifc, emotional relationship with an object—in this case, craft beer—that leads them to engage in both personal and communal activities to express their identifcation with the values of craft beer. People belong to groups as a way of satisfying psychological needs. Social identity theory by Henri Tajfel suggests that people belong to groups to maintain positive and distinct social identities as part of a broader need for positive self-evaluations. Being a part of the craft beer fandom is being a part of something larger than oneself. Craft beer enthusiasts enjoy the feeling of being connected, which is why they go to social media sites such as Untappd, Facebook, and Instagram to post their encounters. The membership of these groups satisfes and reinforces the satisfaction people have when they feel a part of something. Using these tools and sharing their experiences contributes to the craft beer conversation and can lead to the discovery of new beers, breweries, and friends. While consumers can certainly get a variety of amazing local beers at their local bottle shop, for most craft beer drinkers the shared community at a local taproom matters. Standing in line for a beer release is a great chance to talk beer, trade beer, make and connect with friends. As a fandom, craft beer enthusiasts are a growing community. Stephen Reysen and Jason Lloyd explain a fandom as a social or collective identity that can be conceptualized as a sense of psychological connection with other fans sharing a common in-group identity (e.g., “We love this band” or “We only read Marvel Comics”). Applying this understanding, the connection with other craft beer enthusiasts through various mediums, including Untappd, Facebook, Instagram, taproom visits, and website traffc, demonstrates their participation in the craft beer fandom. As fandoms and fan communities often involve participatory culture—fans are often active audiences and consumers for their chosen object—fans will demonstrate their participation in a variety of ways, expressions that can be both personal and/or communal. Fan studies research have produced different taxonomies and in-depth studies to understand and explain these expressions. For example, Reinhard wrote about fve types of fan activities in examining what leads to problems within fan communities. The frst fan activity is “identifying,” which also follows Duffett’s defnition of “fan” as he states that a fan is self-identifed. To Reinhard, however, the consumption of related products can be enough for a fan to identify as a fan, using the example of an individual watching a sports event or wearing fandom-related merchandise (72). For craft beer communities, individuals perform the identifying fan activity by wearing brewery branded clothing or having stickers on personal property (such as computers or water bottles). The second activity Reinhard identifes is “discussing,”

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which is what these individuals do online or when they gather together in a homebrewing community. For Reinhard, discussing “involves engaging in a conversation with others on some fandom-related topic […] online or in person” (72). Next, “attending” is used to describe “being physically present at some fandom-related event” (73). For many fans, this might manifest itself in attending launches of beers at their favorite local taproom or attending a birthday celebration for that brewery. It also manifests itself in craft beer festivals, conferences, or exhibitions. Next, Reinhard outlines “producing,” or the “creation and publication of a piece of fandom-related work” (73). Lastly, Reinhard discusses the “performing” actions of fans. This includes “some type of embodiment of a fandomrelated entity” (73). For Reinhard: “Performing involves specifc activities to indicate that the fan has adopted and is immersed in an identity related to the fandom” (73–74). For craft beer fans, some might embody the producing fannish activity by homebrewing, whether using copycat recipes or their own concoctions. Different from the producing activity, however, is the further action of distributing their homebrews to friends and family; doing so converts the activity into performing. They have turned their fandom into something concrete they can give their friends; or they might sell, and thus become a craft brewery themselves, begetting their own fans. When craft beer fans become craft beer producers, they blur the line between fan and professional (see McGinley in this collection for more discussion on this blurring). We utilize these defning features to understand our experiences, observations, and discussions in various craft beer sites, both online and physical, and how the actions in those sites refect common fan practices. Breweries, taprooms, and festivals. Beer drinkers enjoy visiting breweries and other beer-related attractions. Craft beer tourism is a niche market and contributes to one of the largest industries in the United States. Tourism is related to the development of many sources of income for a community and is bigger than just visiting a destination (i.e. a brewery); it also embodies the interactions of a variety of stakeholders (e.g., commerce, residents, and hospitality) that make the travel industry run (Goeldner and Ritchie). Different types of tourism exist (Cohen; Goeldner and Ritchie; Novelli), including beverage, niche, and beer tourism. Beer tourism is defned as tourism that results when a visitor’s primary motivation to travel is to visit a brewery, a beer festival, or beer show to experience the beer-making process and/or the tasting of beer (Plummer et al.). The best known and most classical form of beer tourism is the brewery visit where the visitor’s main motivation involves both the consumption of the beer and visiting a tourism attraction. Breweries, for this reason, can be found in enticing travel guides that speckle hotel lobbies and travel brochures. Beer-related products also motivate fans to travel. Fans can purchase onsite or even online items from their favorite breweries. Websites, including Etsy and My Craft Beer Cellar, offer a variety of breweriana collectibles. Craft beer fans collect coasters, cans, growlers, stickers, tin tackers, glasses and tee shirts to celebrate their favorite beers and/or breweries. The

For the love of beer


trading and exploring of such breweriana and new brews is tied to being a craft beer fan. Another motivation for beer tourism is beer festivals, popular annual events. These festivals generate tourist overnight stays and day visitors (Wilson). The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the premier US beer festival and competition, presented annually by the Brewers Association (BA). The GABF is a yearly event in Denver, Colorado, that represents the largest collection of US beer ever served, in a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF’s goal is to allow attendees to taste a variety of new brands and different styles of beer. Guests can sample American craft beer in one-ounce tastings. GABF began in 1982 and has been evolving along with the American craft brewing industry: in 2010, 455 breweries attended with 49,000 people sampling their wares; in 2019, 800 breweries with 60,000 people attended. GABF tickets are in high demand, with the general session tickets ranging from $70 to $85 per day. In 2007, the tickets sold out the week of the event, whereas in 2014 the event sold out in just over four hours. Of course, part of beer tourism is the beer tasting. Craft beer fights are small samplings of beer served in four to eight varieties in three to fve-ounce pours. Depending on the brewery, fights may have a theme to them (e.g., seasonal, hazy, stouts, etc.), or are beers chosen by the consumer. Ordering fights immensely helps beer tourists to check out what is on tap at the brewery or taproom. Those new to the craft beer craze can sample a variety of beers without the commitment of ordering a pint of something that they may not like. Additionally, fights allow people to fgure out what they do and do not like, and thus provide the opportunity for new favorites and fanships to emerge. This arrangement is especially true for new brews. Indeed, the lines for beer releases illustrate that a fandom exists within craft beer. The breweries would have to agree that the lines for releases show the passion and dedication fans have for their beers. The beers have deeper and more special meanings because of what fans had to do to get them. Finally, a secondary beer market exists for craft beer trading with other enthusiasts. A variety of Facebook groups operate with the main function as a trading hub for those who want beers that are not distributed locally. The group facilitates a way for people who live in Upstate New York to enjoy the craft beer scene from Arizona. The website MyBeerCollectibles .com provides an opportunity to buy craft beer from individuals at a higher markup with the site acting as a middle-man. To illustrate this process, a local brewery may sell a limited release bottle in their taproom for $25 to $30. On, that same bottle may be sold for over $200. Another example is Cloud Daggers, a collaboration from Modern Times Beer out of San Diego, California, and Bottle Logic Brewing out of Anaheim, California. While a bottle was purchased for $35 onsite at the Modern Times taproom, on the website the same bottle of Cloud Daggers could be listed between $40 to $80.

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These craft beer activities represent different fannish activities of beer fans. First, beer tourism and collecting breweriana are physical ways people can identify as fans and display their fandom, but this can also do done by enjoying a fight or bringing a six-pack of a favored brew to a party. Consuming these items, whether a one-time consumption (e.g., actually drinking the beer) or purchasing something that can live on a shelf (e.g., bottles, jugs), is one way beer fans enact their fandom identity, but fans can also simultaneously participate in the fannish activity of attending. The best example of this is the attendance at beer festivals or touring a brewery through beer tourism. By attending or visiting these locations, fans will be both attending and identifying as fans through the likely purchase of clothing, beer, or other collectible items. For fans who choose to demonstrate their fandom through producing and discussing, this is also seen in the fans who fock to beer festivals and breweries to discuss their favorite beer notes or help each other with tips to produce their own beer. Homebrewing communities and brewery-specifc groups are created to help facilitate and collect like-minded individuals in one gathering space to hold discussions or just socialize. Kathie is an active participant in an Arizona women’s beer group and, although locked-down and in quarantine during the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they still chose to meet via video calls and held virtual happy hours and brunches. The activities of attending, discussing, identifying, and producing do not have to be done in person, but the virtual networking made easier by specifc technology (such as social networking sites and video calls) helps fans connect across the world, or street. Social networking sites. The best aspect of being a part of the craft beer community (aside from the beer) is being a member of the community. Using social networking sites broadens a craft brewer’s and a craft beer fan’s opportunity to engage with their community and even connect with a wider range of craft beer fans and advocates. The variety of social networking sites and tools available (e.g., smartphone applications, Facebook, and podcasts) harness the infuence of word of mouth and amplify it at a signifcantly lower cost (frequently at no cost other than time) to the craft brewer. The ease of use and access to information with smartphones means fnding and drinking craft beer has never been easier. Craft fans use apps such as Untapped and TapHunter to log their beers, fnd their beers while traveling, and capture snapshots of their favorite adult beverage. Such technologies align with what Renee Middlemost, in this collection, discussed in relation to another food-based fandom: coffee shops and roasteries, as the apps and social networking sites help the brewers and fans maintain their producer-consumer relationship while also engaging in the fannish activities of identifying and discussing. Untappd is a popular phone app to track beers, connect with friends and other craft beer enthusiasts, and research beers that interest the beer enthusiast. Users are awarded badges to celebrate trying different types of beers, checking in at different locations, and logging a beer on particular holidays, such as Beer-giving (Thanksgiving), Hoppy Hanukkah, or Leap Beer (Leap Day).

For the love of beer


Users can “toast” another user’s logging of a beer (akin to liking a Facebook post or a tweet) and comment on the posts. When logging a beer, users can rate the beer (out of fve with increments), mark how it is served (e.g., in a bottle or in a can), tag friends and locations, create a favor profle (e.g., chocolate or creamy), write up their own assessment (using up to 140 characters), and upload a photo—or do none of these things. All actions are optional, but doing so accomplishes two things: it creates a log of beers the user enjoys and creates an experience to connect with other fans of the beers. Untappd is a fan community on its own, allowing for users across the world to connect with each other. Local breweries and pubs are likely to be listed and usually include an updated tap list. Breweries frequently interact with users by “toasting” or commenting on check-ins, thus creating a link between fan and brewery. On the Apple App store, Untappd has over 41,000 reviews and a 4.8 (out of 5) rating. TapHunter is another highly rated phone app that allows enthusiasts to fnd craft beer on tap locally, or if they are available in bottles elsewhere. With TapHunter, enthusiasts get a brief description of the favor profle, an option to follow the beer (i.e., receiving an alert that the beer is available when out and about), RateBeers (another app) rankings, and the option to review a beer and read the reviews of others. While reviewing the beer, a fan can rate the beer (out of fve with increments) and write a short review (using again up to 140 characters). TapHunter is an app widely used to discover and enjoy a variety of beers, wines, spirits and assorted cocktails nearby. Users can look at a tap list prior to arriving at a TapHunter verifed establishment as well as receiving alerts when that establishment updates their tap lists, thereby allowing the business to market their current brews. Craft breweries use Instagram and Facebook to highlight new and/or seasonal beers, brewery happenings and collaborations, along with the best photographs of their drink, sometimes with distinct hashtags. At the time of writing, a search of Instagram tags resulted in #craftbeer at 24.6 million posts, #drinklocal at 4.8 million posts, #drinklocalbeer at 323,000 and #drinklocalcraftbeer at 33,500 posts. Outside of the apps, people like to post about their beer and share their journey with their followers. Facebook provides a continuous stream of craft happenings. Breweries actively update their pages to show their hours, food (if they have a kitchen) and events that may be going on. For example, every February, Arizona is the home to Beer Week, hosted by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is an organization that advocates for Arizona’s independent breweries. This yearly experience drives community engagement through a variety of events held at local breweries. Breweries in Arizona turn to their Facebook and Instagram accounts to share their happenings and releases during Beer Week as local independent breweries are encouraged to create new beers and show off the best of the best. In 2020, Arizona Beer Week kicked off its tenth anniversary with special beers, dinner pairings, parties, and other events that were hosted at the state’s breweries and craft beer bars. The notable event during Beer Week is the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. The Strong Beer Festival offers more than

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500 beers on tap from 130 breweries. General admission tickets to the Strong Beer Festival cost $60, while the VIP tickets range from $80 to $100. While some of the events that occur during Beer Week are open to the public, some require tickets and have limited available seating, refecting the in-group/outgroup identities of fan communities. During the ten-day event, more than two hundred beer-centric events and celebrations take place. Fans and brewers alike can connect via the hashtag #StrongBeerFest to share their experiences, and love, for Arizona’s craft beer industry. Thus, Instagram allows for the physical attending fannish activity to occur simultaneously with the fans’ virtual identifying and discussing. Craft beer fans seek out other fans on Facebook for their identifying and discussing. A variety of locally based groups and national groups provide a community for like-minded individuals. Arizona Beer and Body Craft Beer Girls is a private group for craft beer ladies in Arizona with 491 members who actively share what they are drinking, inviting other group members to meet up at favorite destinations and offer a sense of community. The two-year-old group is still growing as a subgroup for the main group of Craft Beer Girls Beer and Body, which has just over twenty-three thousand members. Arizona Beer Enthusiasts (ABE) is a public group with over forty-six hundred members. Its members participate in a daily roll call of who is online and drinking their favorite (not always local) craft beer. The Minnesota Craft Beer Lovers group is a private group with just under two thousand members. Much of the group’s discussion focuses on what people are drinking and where. Participants in these Facebook groups log in and share their vacation beers, their fve o’clock beers, their shower beers, and their beer fridges with other members of the community. They eagerly engage and share travel tips, or just commiserate about their days at work or at home. These groups provide a place for fans and fannish desires, conversations, and activities to fourish. Podcasts. Finally, craft beer enthusiasts engage with other enthusiasts through podcasts. Craft beer enthusiasts tune in to get insight, information, and entertainment. People subscribe to podcasts to connect with other fans. Looking at the Fifteenth Annual Podcast Awards nominees and winners in 2019, at least six shows centered around wine, beer, or other spirits, with two winning in their category. Hundreds of craft beer shows exist on Spotify, centering on all aspects of craft beer, including homebrewing, regional-specifc breweries, and craft beer culture. The large quantity of podcasts on this topic allows for twofold fans: fans of the beverage and fans of the shows. This medium creates an additional fan community for these individuals. Most of the podcasts have engaging interviewers with brewers and enthusiasts alike. The Beerists are four craft beer lovers, and thus fans in their own right: John Rubio, Grant Davis, Laura Christie, and Mike Lambert; based in Austin, Texas, they have been recording episodes and drinking beer in front of microphones since 2012. The show’s website describes their show as “Part beer appreciation, part drunken comedy …” and “a podcast about the appreciation, advocacy, and the enjoyment of craft beer.” During their podcast, the

For the love of beer


four co-hosts taste and review a panel of craft beers, ending each episode with their individual rankings. The Beerists, and other craft beer podcasts, educate and create craft beer fans through their discussion and passion for the beverage. One review for the show on Apple Podcasts reads, “Super informative and so hilarious. This podcast is what got me into craft beer and that’s been such an interesting and fun experience” (An emotional mess). Another highly regarded podcast is Good Beer Hunting hosted by Michael Kiser. Where The Beerists focuses on taste and make-up of the actual drink, Good Beer Hunting showcases interviews with those who are “working in, and around, the craft beer industry.” One review on Apple Podcasts for the show reads: Good Beer Hunting is my favorite thing to read when it comes to beer journalism because of the depth and quantity of the stories they tell. Their podcasts are no different, with deep and engaging conversations with some of the industry’s biggest players. [...] I would highly recommend this podcast for any who are simply looking to hear much more than one normally does from brewers and business owners at all levels of the beer industry. (DJ_ZRO) Good Beer Hunting’s podcast is only part of the namesake’s organization. Alongside what their website refers to as “studio practice,” which offers help for growing brands, they also offer written editorials (which houses the podcast) and develop experiences through events “from small studio gatherings to largescale festivals.” Through this triad, they are “a critical, creative, and curious voice in the world of beer,” who writes “about and partner[s] with breweries of all shapes and sizes in order to create a better future for the craft.” Through the two teams involved, a design studio and editorial team, Good Beer Hunting offers a place for consumers, fans, producers, and businesses to come together to learn about the craft and creates a space to nurture these different populations. These and other podcasts refect the discussing and producing activities. Craft beer fans are no stranger to producing fan art or even producing their own copycat version of their favorite beer; a multitude of recipe books exist as well as a plethora of recipes on Pinterest for this very purpose. For fans of craft beer as a whole, producing their own beers as part of homebrewing is also a “producing” activity. Some fans produce fanfction that includes craft beer as either a central component or a side “character” to the story. For fans of craft beer, it may not just the consumption of beer, but it’s also about the production of a drinkable, or non-drinkable, item. These podcasts ft into this form of the fandom, by creating spaces for craft beer fans where hosts and listeners can gather discursively and celebrate their fanship.

Craft beer fandom matters The craft beer fandom matters. Duffett states a fan is “a self-identifed enthusiast, devotee or follower of a particular media genre, text, person or activity” (293). In this case, craft beer fandom falls under the “activity” category of

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Duffett’s defnition. From a craft beer enthusiast’s perspective, craft beer is a fanship and a fandom. As a fanship, a strong degree of commitment exists in the sense of buying, trading, posting and even traveling to craft breweries to show support and connection to craft beer. Reysen and Lloyd argue that a fanship can be conceptualized as a component of one’s personal identity and drawn upon when making interpersonal comparisons (e.g. “I love this band”). In this sense, those who would self-identify as a craft beer enthusiast and exclaim they love craft beer would be showing their fanship. As a fandom, the craft beer fandom is more than just drinking beer and posting pictures on social media. The craft beer fandom is a bonded group that supports the local industry by buying beer from small, independent brewers. The craft beer industry would not be growing as much as it currently is without people coming together, as a community, to support them. At the time of writing, 8,054 craft breweries operate within the United States. For an industry that prides itself on being small and independent, having this devotion in its consumer provides a more stable foundation from which they can expand into a crowded market. Similar to what Middlemost found with local coffee shops in Australia, the craft beer industry depends on its fans and their activity to matter. Beyond the economic and communal impact, seeing the craft beer community as a fanship and fandom matters. People are social creatures: it is only human nature to seek out an opportunity and be a part of something greater than oneself and greater than the food and beverages that provide physical sustenance (Cottrell, Neuberg and Li; Deaton; Krueger). The idea of community is something that is valued; it is a sense of security and a sense of belonging. People come together over beer and build fan communities at the local breweries and taprooms. People gather and share their stories. They gather around craft beer and use the beer as a means of and for conversation. They may discuss the complexity, the favor notes, and the variety of favors and styles that craft beer offers—but in doing so, they are getting to know other fans as well, developing bonds that can transcend the fandom. As Reid observed, breweries and local communities depend on each other, “creating a symbiotic relationship that is strengthening the social fabric of the towns and cities that Americans call home.” Breweries and taprooms become cornerstones in their communities, and fandom is the cement holding it all together.

References An emotional mess. Comment on “The Beerists Craft Beer Podcast.” Apple Podcasts Preview, 10 December 2017, 23996362#see-all/reviews. Brewers Association. Promotoing Independent Craft Brewers. September 19, 2019, www Cohen, Erik. “The Sociology of Tourism: Approaches, Issues, and Findings.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 10, 1984, pp. 373–92.

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Cottrell, Catherine A., Neuberg, Steven, L., and Li, Norman, P. “What Do People Desire in Others? A Sociofunctional Perspective on the Importance of Different Valued Characteristics.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 92, no. 2, 2007, pp. 208–31. Deaton, Shannon. “Social Learning Theory in the Age of Social Media: Implications for Educational Practitioners.” Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 12, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1–6. DJ_ZRO. Comment on “Good Beer Hunting.” Apple Podcasts Preview, August 9, 2017, Duffett, Mark. Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Eddings, Bryce. “Defning ‘Craft Beer’ may be harder than you think.” The Spruce Eats, 21 May 2019, Goeldner, Charles R. and J. R. Brent Ritchie. Tourism: Principles, Practices, Philosophies, 10th edition. New York City: John Wiley and Sons, 2006. Hindy, Steve. The Craft Beer Revolution. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Krueger, Joachim. “On the Perception of Social Consensus.” Advances in Experimental Psychology, vol. 30, 1998, pp. 163–240. Missouri Revisor of Statues. “311.195.” Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo, Missouri Law, MO Law, 28 August 2016, &bid=33413&hl. Novelli, Marina. Niche Tourism. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005. Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place. Boston: Da Capo Press, 1999. Plummer, Ryan, Telfer, David, Hashimoto, Atsuko, and Summers, Robert. “Beer Tourism in Canada Along the Waterloo-Wellington Ale Trail.” Tourism Management, vol. 26, no. 3, 2005, pp. 447–58. Reid, Neil. “Craft Breweries as Third Places.” The Beer Professor, 23 February 2018, www Reinhard, CarrieLynn D. Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018. Reysen, Stephen and Nyla R. Branscombe. “Fanship and Fandom: Comparisons Between Sport and Non-sport Fans.” Journal of Sport Behavior, vol. 33, no. 2, 2010, pp. 176–93. Reysen, Stephen and Jason D. Lloyd. “Fanship and Fandom in Cyber Space.” Encyclopedia of Cyber Behaviors, edited by Zheng Yan, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2012, pp. 292–300. Stebbins, Robert. Sociology: The Study of Society. New York City: Harper & Row, 1987. Tajfel, Henri. “Social Identity and Intergroup Behavior.” Social Science Information, vol. 13, no. 2, 1974, pp. 65–93. Tyma, Adam. “Introduction: ‘What Exactly is Beer Culture’?” Beer Culture in Theory and Practice: Understanding Craft Beer Culture in the United States, edited by Adam Tyma, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017, pp. xi–xxvii. Watson, Bart. “National Beer Sales and Production Data.” Brewers Association, 2020, www Weaver, Ken. “The Future of ‘Craft’.” RateBeer Weekly, January 3, 2013, us2.campaign-ar Wilson, Thomas. M. Drinking Cultures: Alcohol and Identity. New York City: Bloomsbury, 2006.


Abbots, Emma-Jayne 8–9, 32, 40–41 Abercrombie, Nicholas 32, 34, 36, 42, 165 accuracy 107, 111, 116, 169; faithful 127–28, 164, 169, 172; verisimilitude 107, 110–11 aesthetics 35, 36, 39–40, 125, 130, 141, 167–68, 172, 174; see also authentic affect 17, 61, 74, 75, 105, 113, 116, 119, 120, 121, 123, 131, 144, 149, 165, 166–67, 169, 173; affection 6, 76, 125; affective 2, 4, 11, 18, 22, 65, 74, 78, 105, 110, 116, 131, 143, 150, 153, 157, 159–60, 163–64, 166, 171, 172, 175; affective engagement 172, 181; affective experience 149, 163; affective framework 174; affective turn 115–16, 166; models of 116; see also emotion; feelings affrmational fandom 55, 163, 174 agency 21, 24, 166 amateur 8, 35, 109, 169 anime 106–7, 109–14, 151 Anime Eats 109–10 anti-fandom 54 app 180, 184, 198–99 appropriation 35, 119 archive 21, 22, 33, 40, 101, 164; archiving 166; archivist 9; curation 10, 64 artifact 2, 92, 101–2, 110, 113 artifcial 100, 169; fake 98, 119, 130; inauthentic 153 aspiration 72, 74, 85, 109, 169, 180 attitude 2, 4, 17, 25, 40, 62, 74 audiences 38–39, 46, 72–74, 89, 118, 121, 163, 165, 195 Austen, Jane 6, 8, 28, 29, 141 Australian bushfres 185–87 authentic 10, 52, 98–102, 106, 127, 128, 141, 142, 146, 159; authenticity

5, 11, 33–34, 51, 100–1, 107, 108, 110, 116, 130, 141, 169, 173; see also accuracy avant-garde 90 Bacon-Smith, Camille 119, 165 Baudrillard, Jean 153, 168 Baumann, Shyon 2–3, 5, 7–8, 31, 34–35, 74, 79–80 BBC 28, 32, 33, 110 Beanhunter 180, 184 beer 5, 11, 96, 135, 151, 163; craft 191–202; culture 5, 194–95, 200; fights 197 Binging with Babish 165, 172 blog 9, 32–35, 40–42, 45–49, 106, 110, 111, 119, 121, 142, 145, 155, 156, 170–71, 180–82, 185; blogger 9, 32–36, 41–42, 49, 180; blogging 33, 35–36; vlog 121, 128–30, 156; vlogger 127; vlogging 130 Blumenthal, Heston 7, 10, 11, 31, 32–42 Bourdain, Anthony 11, 89–102 Bourdieu, Pierre 47, 156, 167, 178 brand 32, 36, 37, 40, 41, 45, 50, 62, 64, 68, 74, 174, 180, 192, 193; branding 37, 169; brandom 128, 173; name-brand 141; personal brand 107 Brewers Association 191–97 Brown, Alton 7, 46, 48, 52, 56, 73, 90 butterbeer 107, 120, 127, 135, 140, 153, 156, 159, 164, 172–74 capital 155–56, 180; culinary 31, 38–41, 150, 156; cultural 31, 35, 37, 41–42, 116, 135–36, 139, 142–45, 155, 167, 178; fandom 109; geographical 156; social 4, 35, 41, 156, 167; subcultural 67, 120–21, 131, 143, 150, 156 capitalist 4, 56, 165

206 Index chef 8, 11, 31–35, 38–42, 45, 49, 50–54, 72–74, 89–90, 93, 96, 97, 102, 113, 115, 138, 173, 180; celebrity chef 1, 6–8, 10, 31–37, 40–42, 45, 50, 54, 71, 73–74, 90, 96, 152 Child, Julia 7, 72, 90 chocolate 28, 108–11, 123–28, 130–31, 137, 141, 158, 199 Chopped 7, 45, 46, 48, 51, 53, 54 class 3, 35–36, 73–74, 84–86, 89, 119, 138, 167; class mobility 73; class-based 36, 73; high class 111; lower-class 74, 86; middle-class 31–32, 41, 73; upperclass 7, 73, 110; upper-middle-class 35; working-class 110, 182 close reading 119, 121, 123 coffee 1, 6, 11, 118, 151, 177–87, 198, 202 cognitive 2, 4, 18, 22; beliefs 2, 19, 74, 93, 182; thoughts 4, 24, 79; see also attitude collect 196, 198; collecting 166, 178, 198; collection 6, 144, 170, 197 commercialized 42, 150, 160 commodity 74, 164; commodifcation 150; commodifed 149, 159, 160 communal 1, 2, 4, 9, 67, 163, 175, 182, 195, 202 connoisseur 7, 74, 193 consumption 2–3, 5–6, 8–11, 17, 28, 31–32, 35, 54, 63–64, 72, 85, 105–6, 112, 114–15, 121, 130, 134, 136, 142, 144, 146, 149–55, 157, 159, 163–68, 173–74, 178, 181–82, 187, 195–96, 198, 201; consumable 6, 61, 116, 150, 152–54, 156; consumerism 61, 74, 163, 166 context 18, 29, 41, 48, 49, 55–56, 60, 92, 100, 109, 127, 159, 165, 169, 171, 179, 182; cultural 65, 179; historical 22, 65, 179; industrial 65; social 120, 130 convergence culture 173 cookbook 1, 6–7, 9, 11, 26, 28, 33–37, 39, 42, 51, 91, 106–7, 118, 128, 134, 137, 139, 141–42, 144–45, 150, 156–59, 170 cooking shows 5–8, 73, 99, 100, 109, 116, 119–21; competitive 5, 8, 45, 46, 50–54, 73, 75–77; instructional 74–75; see also fan cooking cosplay 105, 119, 146, 152, 163, 166, 169, 174 craft beer see beer craft brewery 191–93, 196, 199, 202; breweriana 196–98; brewers 193; brewing industry 197; brewing movement 193 creativity 24, 36, 41, 119, 121, 122, 141

culinary subjectivity 19–22 curation see archive De Kosnik, Abigail 167, 182 democratization 11, 37, 41, 72 discourse 18, 21, 31, 40–41, 74, 78, 85, 102, 112, 116, 163, 166–67, 171, 174 Disneyland 149, 150–51, 153, 155, 157–58 distinction 5, 16, 36–37, 41–42, 46–47, 73, 150, 154, 166, 169, 179, 181, 192, 194 Doctor Who 137–38, 144 domestic 7, 35, 67, 72, 74, 90, 106, 119, 121, 123, 125, 149–50, 159 Downton Abbey 28–29, 109, 118 Duffett, Mark 3, 194–95, 201–2 eatymologies 149–50, 154 education 35, 76, 85, 89, 92; educational 52, 73, 172 ekphrasis 164, 168, 170, 174–75 elite 36, 72, 79–80; elitism 51, 84; elitist 36, 79, 85–86, 100 embody 21, 45, 53, 154, 159, 169, 196; embodied 11, 16, 18, 37, 60, 112, 115, 130, 131, 149, 152, 157–59, 165, 196; embodiment 17, 51, 105, 124, 131, 169, 196 emotion 4, 18, 75, 77, 115–16, 126, 166–67; emotional 16–17, 25, 63, 85, 91, 94, 111–12, 126, 150, 154, 166, 175, 195, 201; emotional attachment 1, 9–10, 181; emotional bond 25–26, 91; emotional connection 4, 94; emotional engagement 3, 6; emotional investment 67–68, 84–85, 194 enthusiasm 32–34, 36, 42 enthusiast 3, 34–35, 62, 74, 131, 180, 193, 195, 197–200, 202 erotic 105, 110, 112–14, 116 ethnography 48, 85, 191; autoethnography 32, 177, 179; virtual ethnography 119 everyday life 4, 11, 16, 31, 39, 72, 75, 85, 93, 121, 131, 136, 178 exploitation 67, 180 Facebook 47, 75, 92, 112, 156, 184, 195, 197–200 fan activity 2, 6, 8–11, 25, 28–29, 46–47, 55, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 84–86, 107, 152, 166, 178, 181–82, 191, 194–96, 198, 200–1; fan art 76, 94, 112, 114, 130, 132, 165, 201; fan cooking 31, 118, 146; fan food 61, 107, 135, 138, 142, 146, 164–66, 168, 170, 173–75; fan labor 11,

Index 107, 177, 179–82, 185–87; fanfction 76–77, 165–66, 201 fan community 2–4, 8–9, 47–49, 56, 90, 92, 191, 199–200 fan engagement 31, 55, 110, 149 fan of food see foodie fan studies 1–8, 10–11, 31, 39, 42, 46, 63, 68, 76, 107, 119, 121, 134, 151, 165–67, 174–75, 179, 187, 195 fandom, defnition of 3–4, 74–75, 178, 195–96; fanship 194, 197, 201–2 fantasy 105–6, 109–10, 113, 115, 119, 134–35, 153, 163–65, 169–70; imaginary 105, 110, 113, 115, 119, 135, 149, 160, 165, 168 The Fat Duck 31–35, 37–39, 41 Feast of Fiction 107–12, 116, 129–30 feelings 4, 17–20, 28, 77, 91, 100, 114, 116, 128, 131, 174, 179, 181, 187, 194–95; see also affect; emotion feels (tactile) 18–19, 110; haptic 110, 115, 169–70 festivals 97, 181, 195–201 Fieri, Guy 46, 50–52, 56, 90, 152 fne dining 31–32, 34–35, 37–39, 41–42 Fiske, John 31, 167 favor 18–20, 26, 40, 41, 45, 51, 136–37, 139–41, 144–46, 154–55, 163–64, 167–68, 171, 175, 192, 193, 199, 202 folklore 10, 24, 29; folk group 10, 24–29; folkloristics 24, 27–28 food as: ancestral 16, 21–22; colonization 16, 21; communication 1, 17–18, 25; de-colonization 21 food culture 1–3, 5–11, 15–17, 19–20, 56, 72, 75, 84–85, 90–92, 100–2, 119, 167, 177, 180, 182, 187; cuisines 7, 8, 9, 71, 76, 79, 80–81, 84–86, 97, 105; food industry 1, 2, 16, 20, 21; food narrative 16, 18–19, 21–22; food system 3, 16–18, 20, 75 Food Network 11, 45–56, 73, 152 food porn 37, 99, 114–15 food preparation 35, 71–72, 75, 90, 92, 99, 111, 115, 174 food recreation 8–9, 11, 26, 105–7, 109, 116, 119, 150, 163–70, 172–75 foodie 2, 7, 9, 15, 31, 71, 74–76, 79–80, 84–86, 134, 164, 177; foodie activity 78, 86n2 foodscape 2, 18–21, 71 foodway 28–29, 40–42 Galaxy’s Edge 150, 153, 155–57, 159, 164 Game of Thrones 1, 26, 108, 135, 138–39, 142–45, 152, 156–57, 159, 164, 170–71


The Geeky Chef 121, 127–28 gender 5, 16, 60, 62, 121, 125; gendered 34, 73–74, 123, 130 gourmet 7, 77, 79, 158, 181 The Great British Bake-Off 7–8, 77 gustatory 105, 109, 116, 168 Harry Potter 26–28, 107–8, 119–20, 127, 137, 139–40, 153–54, 156, 164, 170, 172–74 health 1, 3, 9, 71–72, 75–76, 82–86, 100, 125 Hills, Matt 10, 55, 74, 119, 134–36, 150, 152, 156, 159, 164–66, 169, 178–79 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 61, 168 Hollows, Joanne 31–32, 36–37 identity: cultural 5, 19, 118; fan 11, 64, 74, 77–80, 82, 84–86, 129, 173, 178; foodie 77, 79–82, 84–86; gamer 9, 67, 125–27, 129; geek 60–61, 63–64, 125, 131; player 120, 122–25, 130–31; self-identify 85, 178 imagination 73, 114, 118, 135, 140, 151–52, 154, 156, 158, 165–66, 169 immersion 38–39, 105, 111, 134–43, 145–46, 149, 154–55, 169, 172–73 immersive see immersion income level see class The Inn at the Crossroads 164, 170 inspiration 33, 35, 41, 77, 85, 139–41, 155, 186 inspired category 139–40, 145 Instagram 47, 125, 156, 163, 186, 195, 199–200 interdisciplinary 3, 5, 10–11, 15, 24, 121 interview 34–35, 38–39, 99, 113, 126, 177, 182, 186, 200–1 Iron Chef 45, 52–54, 73, 77 Japan 93, 105, 118; Japanese 5–6, 27, 73, 93, 105–6, 108–9, 111–13, 151, 155 Jenkins, Henry 4, 5, 47–48, 55–56, 68, 119, 134, 153, 165, 179 journalism 201; food journalism 90, 92, 101 journalist 20, 65, 92, 126; food journalist 11, 92, 101 Klingon gagh 107, 135–36, 139, 144 Lagasse, Emeril 49–50, 74 lifestyle 7, 20, 45, 64, 73–75, 121, 131, 156, 181, 183

208 Index liminal 31–32, 36, 41–42, 147, 159 linked category 136–37, 144–45 literacy 6; cuisine 80–83; culinary 75–76, 81–83; food 71–72, 75–76, 80–86 Longhurst, Brian 32, 34, 36, 42, 165 Lord of the Rings 8, 26, 156, 170 manga 6, 11, 106–9, 113–14 MasterChef 8, 32, 73, 77 materiality 2, 20, 22, 38–40; material culture 37, 55, 164, 169 McDonald’s 11, 59–64, 67–68, 136 meaning 1–2, 4, 7, 11, 17, 19, 24–25, 27–28, 40, 47, 49, 52, 61, 85, 100, 116, 118–19, 125–26, 135, 151, 155, 165, 174, 197 mediated 6–7, 10–11, 77, 84–85, 89–92, 99, 101, 173; mediatization 31, 37, 39 meme 46–48, 51–52, 54–56, 64, 122, 130–31; meme culture 48, 56, 130–31 Michelin 32–34, 36–37, 39–42 microbrew 192; see also craft beer mimesis 164, 166, 168–69 mimetic 40, 119, 136, 164, 169 monetize see commodity Morley, David 177, 187 Mugglenet 164, 174 naming convention 135–36, 139, 145–46; cultural capital 139, 142–45; descriptive 142–43, 145 Nerdy Nummies 119, 121, 128, 130–31, 174 New York City 9, 99 nomadism 11, 45–49, 51, 55–56 nostalgia 6, 16, 60, 63–67, 102; colonial nostalgia 102 nutrition 3, 17, 21, 71, 75, 82–83 object 65, 114, 125; of affection 4, 9–10, 74–75, 178; of consumption 112, 114; of desire 112, 114; of fandom 25–26, 28, 149 Oliver, Jamie 7–8, 31, 91 online platform 121, 127 parasocial: interaction 10, 100; relationship 11, 91, 92 paratext 37–38, 42, 62, 77, 151, 171 parody 52, 62, 106, 113–14, 125, 129 participatory culture 105, 121, 131, 195 pathos 94, 96, 99 performance 10–11, 24, 35, 38, 64, 66, 75, 93, 110, 120, 130, 151, 163, 166, 168, 170–71, 178–79

personalize 18, 27–28, 39, 41 play 10, 18, 32, 34, 48, 73, 105, 139, 146, 152, 154, 158, 163–66, 168–69, 174, 191, 193; game play 118, 121; role-play 10, 113; see also cosplay pleasure 2, 8, 31–32, 48, 74, 85, 109, 112–13, 120, 144, 146, 150, 154, 156–57, 163–65, 167–68, 170, 173, 175, 179, 182 poaching 45–48, 51, 55 podcast 62, 198, 200–2 popular culture 3, 5–10, 20, 48, 74, 86, 108, 128, 167, 187 preferences 3, 7, 140, 157; tastes 3, 26–28, 105, 146, 155; values 1–3, 6, 15–17, 19–20, 22, 24, 26, 28–29, 41, 54, 183, 194–95; see also attitude queer 76, 125, 130 questionnaire 75–76, 92, 97, 101–2 Ramsay, Gordon 73, 152 re-created category 136, 140–42, 145 re-creation 8–9, 11, 26, 105–7, 116, 118–19, 127, 143, 146, 149–50, 156, 158, 163–66, 168–70, 172–75 Reinhard, CarrieLynn D. 4, 74–75, 134, 178, 194–96 remix 45, 55–56, 119 restaurant 10, 25, 28, 31–41, 51, 61, 63–64, 74, 80, 84, 89, 93, 96, 99, 118, 136, 141, 152–53, 155, 158–59, 164, 177, 180, 182, 184; bar 99, 118, 139; café 113–14, 118, 126–27, 153, 177–78, 180–84; chain 5, 59, 61, 63–64, 68; fagship 33, 37, 193; pop-up 118, 173, 175; themed 9, 118, 138, 149–50, 153–56, 159, 164, 172 retail 40–41, 50, 183, 191 rhetoric 93, 123, 164, 170, 174–75 Rousseau, Signe 32–33, 36–37, 41, 180 Scott, Suzanne 11, 60, 169, 173 sensory 18, 105, 110–11, 113–16, 135, 167–68, 172–74; multisensory 32, 36, 38, 170; sensation 66, 74, 114–16, 149, 163–67, 169, 174, 194; sensorial 18, 153, 163, 166, 169–73, 175; sensual 10, 19, 105, 109–10, 112, 115, 157, 168, 174 signature dish 34, 118, 120 simulation 168; simulacra 168–69, 172 smells (sensory) 40, 110, 135, 140, 146, 149, 168 social interaction 100, 120, 125, 178

Index social media 8, 11, 18, 32–33, 37, 46–47, 59, 62, 67, 75, 77–78, 151, 156, 177, 180–81, 183–87, 195, 202; social networking sites 198 squee 111–14, 116 Stanfll, Mel 67, 128, 182 Star Wars 139, 150, 153, 155, 157, 159, 164 storytelling 38, 90, 94, 119; transmedia 165, 172, 174–75 subculture 120, 150; see also identity subvert 41, 55, 125, 168 supermarket 32–33, 37, 41–42 tangible 61, 105, 116, 151, 158; visceral 19, 118; see also consumable TapHunter 198–99 tastes (sensory) 18, 110–11, 114, 135, 140–41, 149, 168–69, 171, 175 taxonomy 11, 134, 136–37, 145–46 television 6–7, 9–11, 31, 34, 45–46, 49–50, 65, 71–77, 79–80, 84–86, 90–91, 98–100, 109, 121, 135, 151, 158–59, 167, 172, 179; food television shows 7, 11, 71–76, 79–80, 84–86, 121; reality television 10, 73 textual 31, 39, 41, 48, 56, 60, 66, 118, 152, 158–59, 166, 168, 170–71; intertextual 37, 48, 53, 118, 130; paratextual 38, 42, 60, 62; textuality 41, 136 theme park: fans 149–50, 154, 157–59; food 9, 140, 149–50, 153–57, 159, 164; localization 155–56, 159; space 149–51, 153, 159, 169, 175; see also Disneyland; Walt Disney World; The Wizarding World themed category 137–41, 144, 145 tour see tourism tourism 5, 28, 120–21, 125, 127, 151, 158, 179–81, 184–87, 196; culinary tourism 5, 28, 75–77, 151, 157; food tourism 10, 127, 179–82, 184–85, 187, 196–98;


pilgrimage 9–11, 120, 127, 151–52, 163, 168–70, 173–74 toxic fandom 59–60, 62–63, 65–68, 119, 178 tradition 1, 5–9, 21, 24–25, 27–29, 31, 35, 38, 40, 73–76, 82, 90–91, 93, 109, 144, 158, 173, 185, 192–93 transcreation 107–8 transformative fandom 55, 163, 168 translocation 107–8 transmedia 1, 8, 11, 32, 37–39, 121, 164–65, 171–75; transmediatization 32, 36, 39, 41–42; see also storytelling Tumblr 11, 33, 45–49, 51–56, 106, 110 tutorial 109–11, 120–21, 127–30, 172 Twitter 46–47, 61, 75, 156 Untappd 191, 195, 198–99 Valve 119, 126, 130 vegetarian 25, 29n2, 108 vidding 135, 165 video game 11, 118, 120, 126, 170 Vietnam 97–98 Waitrose 32–33, 39–42 Walt Disney World 9, 11, 61, 149–51, 153–54, 157, 158 website 9, 15, 28, 47–48, 106, 108, 110–11, 113, 127–28, 141, 170–71, 183, 193, 195, 197, 200, 201; see also blog; fan activity Williams, Rebecca 11, 46, 120, 141, 151–52, 154, 158, 167, 173, 178, 181 The Wizarding World 120, 140, 153–54, 172–73 Wollongong, Australia 183–84, 186 world-building 135, 163–64, 173 YouTube 47, 105, 107–09, 119–21, 123, 127–30, 156, 165, 174 YouTuber 113, 172