International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Image of French, Italian, Romanian and Spanish Cuisines in Russia
Dr. Edgar Hoffmann

The article focuses on the image of a number of cuisines of Romance speaking European countries in Russia. The aim of the investigation is to identify the key factors in the collective norms and values, as well as in individual practices, which create a certain image to the investigated cuisines.This article describes the basic principles of critical analysis of discourse as a methodological basis of research. Depending on the material, research includes both quantitative and qualitative methods and their combinations. The corpus consists of material from various strata of public and private discourse – external corporate communications of companies manufacturing and selling foodstuff and the consumers, culinary literature, blogs, and electronic conferences on culinary websites, as well as consumer surveys and interviews with representatives of manufacturers, supermarkets, restaurants and other catering establishments across Russia.The article presents two strata of material: a) survey of consumers about their attitudes to the countries under study and their cuisines, and b) culinary literature about these cuisines. The analysis is limited to examples of the French, Italian, Spanish and Romanian cuisines.Mutual verification of results by strata and cuisines and the subsequent critical interpretation and explanation shows a diverse image of the cuisines under study. French cuisine, being “Imperial” has the best image: It is in all respects a prototype of a real authentic foreign cuisine. Italian cuisine is famous for its “affordable” main dishes, which have long been part of Russian cuisine, but it is less familiar as a single national cuisine. Spanish cuisine enjoys a less definite image; it is characterized only in comparison with French and Italian cuisines, from which it lags behind in popularity. Romanian cuisine has a neutral image, being seen as part of “Balkan” cuisine in the collective memory of Russian citizens and is not seen as a separate cuisine. It is worth noting that in all the investigated cuisines, except for Italian, the collective norms and values and individual practices do not coincide. Further studies should provide more concrete resultsand help to answer all the unresolved questions.

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