Taste, Toil and Ethnicity: Immigrant Restaurateur and the American City

Par Krishnendu Ray
This paper inverts the dominant perspective of the consumer in academic work on ethnic food by inserting the habits, memories, work and dreams of immigrant entrepreneurs in an examination of taste in an American city. Although such a perspective has been ignored in most theoretical discussions, taste has for long been co‑produced by immigrants and natives in American cities. Taste is transactional in a number of ways, minimally between producers, consumers and commentators, but also between domains of value—economic, aesthetic, and ethical—denoted by the locution “tasteless.”
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