Taste Tests: Pizza and the Gastropolitical Laboratory in Mumbai

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This article is about experiments in taste. Focused on the cultural politics of pizza in Mumbai, it highlights the visceral work required to naturalize consumer choice as a catalyst of social futures in contemporary India. It emerges out of interviews and observations among food marketers and among customers and workers in a pizza restaurant. Guided by the concept of 'experimentality' elaborated in medical anthropology and science and technology studies, the article reframes definitions of food in experimental terms through two ethnographic registers. The first narrative focuses on the marketing of pizza, and explains how marketers turned their restaurants into laboratories of cosmopolitan cultivation. The second narrative shows how laboring bodies become enrolled in that laboratory, as young adults recruited from low-income neighborhoods come to work at a pizza restaurant. Such experiments blur the lines between evidence and enjoyment, and ultimately add up to a revaluation of public eating itself. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Solomon, H

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 19 - 40

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-588X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0014-1844

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00141844.2012.751928

Citation Source

  • Scopus